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Should You Move Your Business to the Cloud?

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What are the benefits of using the cloud for your business and whether cloud services are safe; here we take a look at some common questions around cloud computing.

Having your computer software and files in the cloud provides you with access from anywhere, at any time. Perfect for remote working and those that work on the move. The flexibility of using the cloud is one of its main benefits, but many are wary of it. With common concerns surrounding how secure it is, or the cost to move your whole business operations into the cloud. So, let’s take a closer look and see if we can disband some of these concerns.

Are cloud services secure? And can they be hacked?
A common fear is how secure the cloud is. Many businesses spend time and money building the security infrastructure on their own physical servers, but could your money be better spent elsewhere? Cloud providers guard their security very carefully, with companies such as Google, Microsoft and Amazon Web Services, security is of the utmost importance. The files stored in the cloud are also encrypted, making it harder for cyber criminals to access. That said, as with any online system, it is possible for cloud services to be hacked, we would always recommend you back-up your files locally as well, that way you have all bases covered for any eventuality.

Can my documents disappear in the cloud?
The short answer is yes, the risk of data loss does exist. More often than not, human error is by far the most common cause of data loss. If you have your computer set up to automatically sync with your cloud network, then when you delete a file from your computer, the next time the cloud syncs with your computer system then that file will also delete. Office 365 does offer a 30-day period to recover deleted items before it is gone forever. There are other options to use software such as Backupify to ensure everything is backed up.

Are cloud services expensive?
Cloud computing services fall into three categories: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS). Which one you use depends on the needs of your business and the cost of these services can reflect the size of your business.

The more space you need on servers, the more it’s going to cost. If you are a relatively small business, then using public cloud computing is most likely going to be the cheaper option for you. However, if you are a larger business, then having an on-site infrastructure, or using an off-site data centre will be the best option. Here at Computer Care, we offer a great level of flexibility for your business, efficiency and reliability in the way you use IT, with Office 365 apps accessed through our Cloud Service Provider, keep your servers secure in our off-site data centres and enjoy the flexibility of a hosted desktop, with just one bill to pay. For large businesses, cloud migration can be an expensive undertaking, but many will see long-term cost savings with cost control best practices in place.

What are the advantages of using cloud software?
There are many advantages including being able to control the costs of your IT service. The cloud infrastructure offers the ability to pick and choose what apps and services you use and how much capacity on the server you need, meaning you only pay for what you need.
Using cloud services such as Microsoft means you always have access to the latest versions. The automatic updates mean no downtime for your IT equipment and your network is secure. Talking of security, cloud service providers data centres are monitored 24 hours a day by cybersecurity experts and intelligent systems, so any breach of security will be quickly spotted.
Using cloud software to host your documents also enables you and your team to access everything, from anywhere. Which, in a world of remote and flexible working makes for more efficient and collaborative working.

Who are the top cloud service providers?
Amazon Webs Services (AWS) is often thought of as the cloud service leaders, with an offering for businesses of all sizes. Microsoft Azure are also seen as leaders in the cloud world, after moving their software (Microsoft Office, Sharepoint etc.) to the cloud, many businesses followed their move. It’s also relatively easy to use, a real bonus for their users.
Other good options for your business are Oracle, Google and Salesforce.

We are all guilty of looking at the price tag and going with the cheapest option. We truly recommend looking at what your business needs and which service provider fulfils those needs. What you might save in the short term may come back with a bite in the long term if you find yourselves having to migrate across to another server, or that your business isn’t working as efficiently as it should on the cloud with the provider you originally chose.

If you want to discuss cloud storage for your business, and to work out with service provider best suits your needs, please get in touch, or find out more here.

 

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