Growing numbers of businesses are choosing to make the move to cloud computing in 2018, drawn by increases in efficiency and potential cost savings. As advancements in cyber security make this an ever-safer method of operation, we take a look at the main benefits of moving to the cloud, and how your business can start to make the transition.

What is cloud computing?

To put it at its simplest, the cloud is essentially the internet. In traditional computing, businesses purchase and own computer hardware and software licenses, which requires a large capital investment and begins to depreciate from day one. With cloud computing, services are generally subscription-based, paid monthly and treated as an ongoing operational cost.

Businesses subscribe to online software, and always have access to the latest version, get online support and find it easy to add functionality for additional users as their enterprise grows. By using cloud-based servers, rather than owning and maintaining physical servers onsite, businesses are able to save money and benefit from improved performance, reliability and disaster recovery.

Cloud computing offers a scalable solution that can adapt to changing business requirements. Whether you opt to adapt all your operations to utilise cloud-based software, infrastructure and online platforms, or take a more gradually approach, starting with one or two applications, you’ll soon see the benefits of this popular way of working.

Benefits of working in the cloud

  • Adaptable, scalable solution: Use only the services you need, when you need them. Rather than investing in a high performance server to enable you to cope with demand during your busiest periods, you can have access to all the power you need during those times only, and scale back when you don’t require the same capabilities. With seamless migration from your existing systems it’s easy to make the change.
  • Easy online collaboration: Work with your colleagues in real time, wherever you are in the world. Set permissions for your documents and ensure there are no duplication or security issues with complete control over everything. Your employees can work from anywhere, on any device, and still, have access to all the same applications and files.
  • Smaller capital outlay and predictable monthly billing: Get started straight away and only pay for what you need each month. Upgrades happen behind the scenes automatically; bugs, faults, and fixes are dealt with before you even know about them, all for a competitive, all-inclusive fee.
  • Better security and backups: Most cloud providers offer a higher level of security, watertight backups to additional remote servers and tighter controls than you would be able to implement using in-house hardware. Add to this the greater reliability and high level of support that dedicated cloud storage and software providers offer, and working in the cloud seems a safer solution than any other.

Is cloud computing right for you?

If you don’t currently work in the cloud and you’re unsure about making the change, it’s reassuring to know that you don’t have to make the leap all at once. Why not start with just one aspect of your operations – a particular software package for example, or your email storage, and see how to works for your business?

Like all solutions, there are potential drawbacks to cloud computing, and these need to be fully considered and weighed up against the cost savings and other benefits. Potential downtime, vulnerability to attack and inflexible packages can all be an issue, but by taking the time to research providers you can minimise those risks.

Choose a cloud services provider who will assist you in assessing the needs of your business, both now and for the future. Many providers offer migration services, to make the transfer of your data and operations seamless and stress-free.