The Cloud for SMEs
“Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage and computing power, without direct active management by the user”, or so Wikipedia tells us. The cloud already plays a large part in our personal data storage, through our photos and music, and is set to be an increasing part of the business world.
In our other blog this month we mentioned BIM (Building Information Modelling). This is the construction industry’s Cloud based software that enables project participants to share and revise documentation and view designs in a shared space that makes collaboration and communication simpler for all concerned. It is widely used and promoted by the Government as the best medium for designing and building public works. It is typical of the industry specific software that ahs become more common over the last year. Some smaller architects and consultants were initially concerned that it put projects out of their reach as the big companies with their greater I.T. resource would have a built-in advantage.
In fact, the advent of easy to access cloud computing tips that advantage back to the smaller business. With a long-term commitment to in house servers and other hardware, larger organisations may be slower to react to the shift into the cloud and be less able to reap the benefits that a smaller business will.
- Cost savings: Paying only for the services you need on a monthly basis cut down on software and hardware costs. With the need for servers, and their demand for energy and space, office running costs will reduce.
- Scalability: If you have a short-term requirement for extra storage space, a common issue in industries like film, then being able to acquire the space you need when you need it means that having to own and service the largest server you are ever likely to need, just in case is gone.
- Security: Cloud computing adds an extra layer of security to your system. The advanced encryption often used in cloud storage networks makes data harder to steal.
- Convenience: Sharing files is also much easier, as we mentioned with BIM earlier. Your staff can, therefore, collaborate on projects much more easily, even from remote locations. When files are stored online, project teams can work together and update documents in real-time.
Speedy remote access to data is vital for many businesses, especially when users may be spread across the country rather than in centralised offices. If your business is mostly working remotely now, then Cloud computing has many advantages. Even if your medium- or long-term plans include a return to the office for the whole team, the cloud is still a good risk management strategy. Office floods, inclement weather, power outages. Any number of problems can deny you access to your data if it is held locally. Backing data up becomes a regular time-consuming task, and can you guarantee that the backup is always kept safely?
At eInfinity, we have partnered with Microsoft, using platforms such as Office 365 and Azure to deliver world-class business cloud services, from e-mails, to telephony, to business processes and applications. Any questions, just ask our team.