Cloud storage is vital to modern-day businesses. Don’t be left behind as technology quickly progresses. Recently, a report from Close Brothers has revealed that 58% of UK SME’s do not use any cloud-based computing. Also indicating that any software, storage or other computer services are delivered over the internet using remote servers.
The report also goes into detail about how a third of small and medium-sized businesses (25%) do not use the cloud at all but are planning to adopt forms of the technology in the coming year.
Many points of interest were raised from the study:
- 36% do not trust cloud technology
- 29% believe that transferring to the cloud would be time costly
- 16% believe they cannot afford to invest in the technology
Other interesting points raised were to do with what exactly Cloud services are…
- 73% of SME employees do not understand what Cloud services are
- 10% admit to not knowing what the Cloud is
As a managed service provider for primarily small businesses, we feel we are the right company to accurately explain why cloud services can and will improve your business. We are finding a lot of businesses do want to improve their processes and undergo a digital transformation.
Does this sound like you and your business? Well continuing reading and I’m sure we can change your mind.
Cost – It’s not expensive
There is a big stigma around cloud storage and cloud services being expensive. In the past, this was true, as it was cutting edge technology. Now, the technology has been used by organisations from around 2005 (Amazon being one of the larger companies to first to use the service) and there are different levels of products and pricing designed for small, medium and large scale organisations.
For example, Google Drive and Dropbox are two cloud storage providers that offer free plans for single users. Albeit this isn’t a solution for businesses, but it proves that the technology isn’t wildly expensive or unreachable.
Along with this, cloud services save your business money:
- no longer pay for support fees and maintenance
- no longer buy physical software programs and install them on machines
- no longer invest in system hardware
Trust – It’s safe
The point of cloud storage not being safe or not to be trusted is wrong. Cloud storage is just as safe, if not safer, than any storage that is held on-site or remotely.
If you take cloud storage as the prime example, any files that are uploaded to the cloud server are encrypted (provided your supplier is advanced to do this) to conceal cloud-protected information.
An encryption key is provided for every file, allowing the user to access it by entering their password. This level of security doesn’t mean your data is 100% protected (as hackers can crack passwords) but it does mean they are more secure than physical machines holding your data. As a hypothetical break-in could mean your data is stolen.
Time – It doesn’t take years
Finally, the assumption about cloud migration taking a long time is usually wrong. It’s not to say that the process is instant, but it doesn’t mean your business will be unable to work or be stuck in limbo for months on end.
These are the two main factors which can affect the length of your migration:
The size of your business
A bigger network will naturally have more data. But being a small business, we can anticipate that your network shouldn’t exceed 25 users/devices (approximately)
The age of your business
Older businesses share the same factor of having more data, but the machines could be older themselves. The process of transferring data from older machines can be done, but due to writing speeds of disk drives, it could take longer. The alternative to this could be to upgrade your system and machine, as by 2020 any machines running Windows 2008 R2, Windows 7, and Exchange 2010.
If you can accurately measure these things then you can begin to understand how long cloud migration could take to happen.
What cloud-based computing services could I have for my small business?
Weighing up what your business would need from cloud services is the best place to start. Here are a few ways cloud services can be used for your business:
Move your email communications to the cloud. Leave behind the maintenance and hardware issues to the experts.
Backing up your data effortlessly. Store your vital data in the cloud, away from your office location. Protecting any risk of loss through fires, flooding or any other natural disasters.
Cloud-based technology can take the place of on-site servers in many cases, allowing you to handle all your networking needs from the cloud.
Microsoft Office programs are the best example of this. Having your software deployed from the cloud allows better control over licensing and allowing access to users who need it. Meaning users can run all the office suite from anywhere with an internet connection.
Deploying your phone line in your cloud is a great way to sync up all your communications within your network. 3cx is a partner of ours who provide this service fantastically. Their service allows you to access your inbound and outbound calls on the cloud and from your network PC. Read more about their services here.
If you do want to know more about Cloud Services and how they could change the way your business works. Blog by Excellence IT