Cloud technology has grown up over the past decade. No longer is it seen as a risky concept taken on by early adopters – instead, it has become part of the essential tool kit for the smooth day to day running of a business. As the technology becomes more sophisticated it is hard to argue that traditional server-based storage is the best option.
Making the case for the cloud can be summed up with five arguments.
1. A cost-effective solution
Hardware is expensive to make and an asset that can depreciate quickly, depending on how fast the technology develops. It can also be expensive in terms of the man hours required to keep the infrastructure up and running around the clock.
Keeping your accounting system in the cloud will mean that all the latest developments and improvements to applications and services are downloaded straight away without any hardware upgrades. Paying for your cloud services on an access basis also gets rid of servicing and installation costs.
Customer services can also be offered in the cloud to get you up and running faster. This means there is no need to hire in a team of consultants or temporary staff while your company implements a major project.
Taking hardware out of the equation means that small companies can benefit from a lower level of IT start-up costs in the same way large corporations do. Pricing models can start much lower and are much more easily tailored to individual customers.
2. Security matters
The higher levels of security offered by cloud technologies make it easier to implement an effective cybersecurity strategy. Ransomware attacks are increasing but for many businesses, cyber security is not their area of expertise.
While companies will always be responsible for their data security, partnering with a company that can add extra layers of protection while updating cybersecurity on their behalf takes some of the pressure off.
In the past, some businesses have been reluctant to trust cloud providers with their company information but in the last few years, service providers have worked hard to prove that the cloud is built on trust and that the industry will fail if they let their customers down.
3. Go paperless
Twenty years ago, the IT industry claimed we would soon be working in paperless offices but it is obvious that paper is here to stay. The problem is that the more information IT generates, the more reports and analysis end users demand – and most of it is still printed.
The cloud can help reduce the amount of paper reports by providing real time information from the source. It is the perfect platform for invoicing and other paperwork, allowing people to find source documents for figures in minutes and reduce the volume of questions about numbers in reports. It makes accessing the huge amount of information that IT systems produce much easier and more user friendly.
4. It’s collaborative
Remote working is becoming more commonplace but without cloud technology, remote workers are highly dependent on good internet connections to ensure daily synchronisation between their laptops and the server. If they don’t have it, they cannot access all the information they need, putting them in the difficult position of making decisions without all the data to hand. It makes the way they work inefficient, for them and the company.
But with cloud technologies, a remote worker can access all the software they need in real time with the same privacy restrictions as offered by a server, putting them on a level footing with office-based workers.
5. A brave new world
Scale is what drives IT product development but server-based infrastructure made upgrading painful and expensive for big companies and out of reach for smaller ones. Storing software in the cloud takes that problem away and means customers can get access to upgrades regardless of their size. Removing the distraction and expense of servers means there is more time for developers to focus on innovation and new products can be brought out quickly. These savings have made a huge impact on manufacturing in particular, where businesses have been using the cloud to experiment with new