Before the cloud ever existed and smartphones became popular, we saved our data on hard drives and servers and shared it via floppy disc, USB stick and email.
In recent years, cloud computing has become increasingly important for small and medium-sized businesses. From remote working and enhanced group collaboration, to increased security and faster disaster recovery processes, the cloud provides an overall better business performance.
For many SMEs, migrating to the cloud just makes sense, and many are transitioning.
In the UK, 88pc of firms have adopted cloud computing, because of its ability to minimise IT costs while enhancing efficiency, streamlining processes and increasing security.
Of course when making the decision to move to the cloud, the security of your data will be a of key concern. You need a trusted IT support partner to make sure that your systems and business data are secure.
How cloud computing can help your business succeed
Remote working is becoming increasingly important to firms of all sizes.
It could be for checking emails on-the-go, updating shared documents remotely or participating in a video conference from home; cloud-based technology enables your team to do their job even if they are away from the office.
Flexible working also gives employees more freedom and versatility in their working day, helping them achieve a healthier work-life balance. This flexibility can greatly improve an employee’s motivation and productivity.
Remote working means that you can also give your clients a better customer experience, because your employees can work outside traditional business hours.
Naturally, people need to be able to access business systems to do their job remotely. But you’ll also want to ensure that confidential information is protected when devices are used outside the office environment.
The security of your business data is key when transitioning to a cloud-based system. Make sure you ask your IT support partner about virus and malware protection. In addition, integrated deployment is vital, and the right IT partner should be able to ensure that your business systems do not interfere with the introduction of a cloud system. Above all, a cloud solution should be part of a robust IT support strategy, which includes training staff in cyber security awareness, as well as minimising service interruptions and proactively fixing any problems.
With a cloud system all your data is stored securely in one place instead of on multiple devices which can easily get into the wrong hands – protecting you against cyber threats.
Rest assured that your data will remain secure against unauthorised usage if a device that is used to log onto the cloud network is lost or stolen. You can secure your data easily, by simply changing the password used to access the cloud network from the specific device and user.
Working with colleagues online in real time is easy with the cloud. You can view and edit the same files without any complications. Cloud computing provides teams with secure access to business data and files from any location and device.
Even though your employees may be scattered geographically or simply working remotely, productivity won’t be affected as files can be securely accessed from anywhere.
As files are synced and stored in the cloud, team members are able to access and work on documents together, increasing co-operation and productivity. Moreover, it’s simple to send a document as a shared cloud link, removing the laborious process of sending large files via email or across other unsecured file transfer systems.
4. Reliability and availability
Unreliable IT support costs your business time and money, be it reduced productivity from IT downtime or a costly cyber attack. When your IT systems are managed remotely by experts in cloud computing, you will experience fewer IT issues and less downtime. Cloud computing services provide your business with security and backups to protect you against the risks of cyber attack and data theft.
Unlimited data storage with cloud computing works effectively, without overloading and crashing your server which reduces the risk of downtime.
Your cloud computing provider should also look after the monitoring, maintenance and upgrades of your system networks, detecting potential issues and proactively fixing them.
Cloud-based technology helps you to easily communicate and interact with employees and customers anywhere in the world. The more information and ideas you exchange, the more productive you become. With more efficient remote working, cloud computing can enable closer collaboration with international teams. Everyone will be able to access files no matter where they are, as long as they have a good WiFi connection.
What you can do now
Cloud computing allows you to adapt your IT systems to your company’s growth, simplifying your business operations and increasing efficiency among teams.
If you’re a small business owner, make sure you take advantage of the benefits of a cloud solution, which will give you more time to focus on the core areas of your business.