When you make it easier for employees to do their job, you generally free up their time to get more done … and Cloud Computing can help.
Products such as Microsoft 365, (formerly Office 365), offer businesses the functionality they need to get on with the day job. Whether you require secure anywhere/anytime access to company data, the ability to set up virtual meetings or collaborate on a project with someone based miles away, cloud computing can deliver.
What issues do businesses without cloud computing face?
For some, the idea of saving your valuable documents using a software system that distributes those files across multiple data centres based far away seems risky.
Some businesses prefer to keep their files and folders on a physical server, neatly tucked away in the corner of the Office, or even on their own Laptop, which goes everywhere with them. It feels safe to keep things close, but in the case of where you save your data, it can be counter-intuitive.
Servers can be compromised, be damaged by flood or fire and if your data isn’t properly backed up to another device you risk permanently losing everything. Your laptop could break, be stolen on the train, and then not only have you lost your data, but someone could hack it.
Businesses that haven’t embraced cloud computing will be increasingly limited in our mobile world. They will struggle to access data and VPN connections are not as secure or flexible as the encryption inherent in Microsoft 365. In addition, businesses may want to reduce overhead costs (rent, electricity, hardware, etc) by having more staff work from home, and cloud commuting gives you that choice.
How can cloud computing alleviate issues and improve productivity?
Aside from the security considerations listed above, traditional ways of working where you have to be physically in the office to access data on your server, are disappearing.
Global pandemics aside, businesses need to function remotely. Employees want to read email and work on projects away from the office. They need to do this securely using any WiFi connection, any device, (including your kid’s laptop), and from any location. Cloud computing gives you that ultimate freedom with the reassurance of incredible security. It also saves you the considerable expenditure of buying a new server when the old one fails and the on-going maintenance costs.
What is included in a Cloud Computing service?
Depending on your business, you will need to choose the right type of cloud computing services. For the majority though, email is a no-brainer and Microsoft’s Email and Office apps (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc) have been the backbone of our working lives for years now.
In addition, how you store your data (SharePoint and OneDrive), host your Apps, (Azure Virtual Machine) and ensure your backup and security is A-class (Azure Disaster Recovery) can all be answered by cloud computing.
What is the average cost of cloud computing?
Cloud computing is supplied via licenses. For Microsoft 365, this is called Software as a Service and it is priced according to the functionality included in each ‘plan’ and is charged on a per user basis either monthly or annually.
For virtual servers, this is called Infrastructure as a Service and what you pay is influenced by a number of factors, including usage levels and data retention periods.
Cloud computing can be increased, decreased, or even, in the case of archive data, switched off when you don’t need to access it. If an employee leaves, you cancel their license. Basically, you pay for what you use and scale up or down depending on your business needs.