Cloud computing should your business be taking the leap?

Is your head in the clouds full of business ideas should you be considering taking the leap and moving your business to the cloud?

February 10, 2017  /  Lizzie Sullivan

One of the most important aspects for any business is their data. But how do you store yours? If you are currently working from your kitchen saving files to your hard drive then this could lead to the loss of, corrupt or even infected data.

What’s wrong with saving to your hard drive?

Saving data to your hard drive is said to be working locally, it’s quick and easy but what would happen if your computer broke. The average life span of a computer is hard to quantify and dependant on the type, model, warranty and how you use it. But what we do know is that sadly computers do not last forever and there will come a time when you will need to replace yours. The issue therefore arises from the not knowing when this time will come. If you are currently saving all your data on your hard drive with no back up you are at a high risk of losing all of your information at any time. And worse still you may not be able to get this data back.

But I do back up my files on a data stick or a plug in storage device?

It’s great that you are taking the time to back up your work to a data stick or a storage plug in device but this isn’t any safer then saving it to your computer locally. What if the storage plug in or data stick got corrupted making the data unusable. Or a pair of sticky fingers walked off with it thinking it’s a toy, then what would you do? A data stick or plug in storage device will only allow you access to the files making it difficult to share files with colleagues.

So what is the solution?

Have you heard of the cloud? If so then this may already be the solution you use. If you haven’t then we aren’t referring to the fluffy white things in the sky we are referring to “the cloud”. The cloud is another term for the internet. In the cloud you have a network of servers with each server performing a task. Some servers deliver services, others store data, but the beauty of the cloud is that it’s everywhere. It goes where you go giving you access to all your data from anywhere, well as long as you have internet access.

How do I use the cloud?

Through Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) you, the consumer, has the ability to download software with the providers permission through free access, a trial or a paid for service.  You can download it to your computer, tablet or mobile. Software-as-a-Service comes in forms such as games, apps and software. Do you have access to say Netflix or NOW TV? These would be counted as SaaS.

Benefits of using the cloud

  1. You don’t have to be an IT expert
  2. You can easily upgrade your software and perform maintenance tasks
  3. With an internet connection you can use it anywhere
  4. Provides a cheaper and more efficient way of working
  5. You can easily share your files with colleagues in a controlled environment
  6. You will have access to unlimited space allowing you to upscale or descale as required
  7. Once in the cloud you can connect and sync to other devices such as a smartphone or tablet

Are there any disadvantages to using the cloud?

Like all things there will always be a down side. In terms of the cloud, the disadvantages are that the provider you are using will have access to your data, they may share your information or possibly even delete it. To safeguard yourself we advise you to always read the providers privacy policy and ensure that you are downloading your software from a reputable source.

What SaaS would be beneficial to the small business?

A common example of business cloud based SaaS includes the likes of Microsoft Office 365. Office 365 enables you to access your emails and uses Microsoft Onedrive to store your files. By using this service and downloading the software onto your devices you can open your emails and your files from anywhere where you have access to the internet or through your phone network.

If you are unsure which software is safe or the best and are interested in talking to a provider that can help you recommend the right software for your business then speak to Boffix IT. We specialise in one man bands, people working from home and that great description SOHO (Small office home office). Call, email or contact us via our website for a simple easy chat that could very well change the outcome of your business.

In our next blog we will look at how you can integrate the cloud with your accounts. Access to your accounts anywhere online

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