To Cloud or not to Cloud – that is the question.

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With so much pressure it seems to move to the Cloud, SME’s have got a challenging decision ahead of them.

Do they stick with what they know best, the CAPEX, budget swallowing old ways, or reach out of their comfort zone and try an OPEX pay as you go way of IT? Should they embrace the new ways of doing things, or stick with the analogy ‘you can’t teach old dogs new tricks’.

With so many cloud companies offering solutions, it’s no wonder SME’s get confused with what’s on offer. So let’s take a look at the decisions SME’s have got to make.

Most SME’s think about moving to the Cloud because of rapid growth, wanting to streamline processes, especially when you have multiple sites in the business and making IT useable for the future. However there another important reasons that should be thought about.

With the news rife about cyber security, threats and hacking of large businesses, security is probably the most important concern for any business owner and worry that stops SME’s moving to the Cloud. Cloud-based software can help minimise security risks, how? By storing data safely on secure servers in secure locations instead of in your server room. With severs not being kept on your site, you are also minimising electricity bills, the chance of any electrical faults. Worry not, if the unfortunate does happen, most Cloud based providers will offer business continuity / business recovery to ensure that the business runs with no compromise.

Cloud Computing = No servers in your office = Minimised security risks

As the business expands, your IT requirements will change to accommodate your business needs. More employees, home-working, repairing hardware all have an effect on your business. Choosing the right IT requirements for your business that grow with your company strategy and growth is important. Implementing Cloud Computing in the business is simple, predictable and flexible as it takes care of everything for you.

Cloud Computing = Predictability and Flexibility

Whether your business is in a low season for sales or the office is flying high as a kite from taking on sales, as a business owner you need to make sure resource is in place to accommodate all situations. With Cloud Computing, your business has the power to stay flexible as you do not have to invest in new servers or equipment or supply additional IT training. By implementing the Cloud into your business you’ve saved money, seen cost savings and seen your IT change so it’s predictable.

Cloud Computing = No servers in your office = Save money

Another reason for implementing the Cloud into your business is affordability. By adopting the software into your business, you are providing it with a way to add new software tools, saving you money. You’re also able to increase your storage capacity, without having to spend thousands on hardware and servers. Again, saving you money. When you decrease the number of computer systems you don’t use and reduce the size of your server room, in some cases eradicating the need for one at all, this dramatically cut your electricity consumption. Imagine how much that would add up to over a year?

Cloud Computing = A greener way of working = More space

With the old ways of working, maintenance of the traditional software, is costly and requires a huge amount of support from your IT provider. With Cloud Computing, this is no longer an issue, the Cloud provider will take care of the software upkeep.

One of our clients recently said to us:

“I love that I can call Cloud Shepherd and it’s all taken care for me, I don’t have to worry about a thing – I can get on with the rest of my day”.

Cloud Computing = Less stress

When it comes to cost, Cloud Computing depends on the business’s needs and requirements. It can be acquired on a monthly, direct debit or yearly subscription.

If you are looking to make IT more accessible to your employees, looking to save money and make a change for the future to be more environmentally friendly, looking to take away the pain of IT and the upfront costs it brings, then Cloud Computing is something you need to explore.

Cloud Computing – fluffy nonsense or hard hitting Technology

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As the cloud makes its stance well known in the world of technology, still it brings fears of fluffy nonsense, expectations of hard hitting tech and benefits that seem too good to be true.  We asked ourselves what are those benefits to business owners thinking of bringing the Cloud into their business and what differences will they see.

IT decisions are hard, trust us we’ve been there.

Traditionally, 80% of IT budgets have been spent on doing what you do. 20% spent on creating new ways of doing business.

We’re here to change that and prove there are huge benefits to be seen…

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Firstly, the Cloud allows you to Consolidate IT costs.

Historically, capital expenditure investment in equipment has made computer power, storage and scalability very hard to manage. The disparate resource of PC hard drives, RAM and processor power have meant that many organisations have had far more resources than they could effectively use, and manage.

Deployment of a managed desktop delivers exactly what is necessary to provide all users with sufficient compute power – paid for per user, per month. This shift to operational expenditure based costing for IT allows for instant elasticity, long term scalability and easy fixed cost growth for the business.

Secondly, the Cloud allows you to work on any device, in any location, bringing true diversity and mobility to the modern organisation.  Which means working from home computers and mobile devices is possible and a thing of the future.  Perhaps even employees will be appreciative of this step, working from home when the car’s broken down or the kids are sick, means they will still get paid and they don’t get stressed being behind on work as it still gets completed.

This also allows for mix and match of aged and modern IT estates. The implementation of thin client devices, and mobile devices, can allow businesses to foster a “bring your own device” (BYOD) strategy.

Thirdly, Cloud brings Futureproof IT, let us guess, you didn’t think that was possible?

The key to the growth of most organisations is cost efficient agility, allowing them to compete in any market, at any pace. Future proofing the technology infrastructure within the business with a virtual desktop allows the business to deploy exactly what is necessary, when its necessary, where its necessary – to instantly accommodate any change within the business. All of this happens at a fixed cost per user.

With us, there are no refresh points and no technology expiry.  The end user access equipment becomes simplistic, and easy to manage.

And lastly, if the above reasons were not enough, the Cloud is fully managed – that’s right no more headaches!

Defining a technical handover point in any IT estate is always difficult. The managed desktop, and in particular when delivered over a fully managed network, allows for a very clear handover point ensuring skill sets employed by the business are deliberate and in line with user engagement, productivity and growth strategies rather than break fix and IT estate management.

Hopefully, we’ve helped put your mind at rest and reassured you that there are benefits for business, employees and you, the business owner.  Embrace the Cloud and in return, the benefits will come floating through.

Whether you have a specific direction or project in mind or, you just want a coffee and a chat about the things you do and how moving to cloud computing can improve your business then get in touch…

What is the Cloud and how can it protect my business?

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The Cloud has become an IT buzz-word that many companies are either implementing into their everyday working life or disregarding it, because they don’t understand what it means for their business.

Let’s start from the beginning,

What is the Cloud?

It’s a technology that allows us to work in the same place, on any device, in any location and in a highly secure environment.

How will the Cloud benefit my business?

Over the next 5 years, the need for a local IT department will be dramatically reduced.  The days of capex expenditure is gone, no more worrying about where the money will come from to buy that expensive server and of course the, ever-increasing energy bills will become something from the past.

Firstly, the Cloud is opex expenditure, it is a pay as you technology which means you can budget your IT costs into a monthly manageable, predictable, scalable sum.  It’s no wonder for those reasons, it has attracted so much attention from the Technology world.

Working with the Cloud allows you to:

  • Take your office anywhere in the world with an internet connection
  • Access all your data, email and work applications in one place
  • Secure and backup of not just your data but your entire server.

We understand it’s a lot to take in and it’s different, not many like change.  However, this change is for the good and will allow our businesses to develop, keep up with technology at an affordable pace.

Whether you have a specific direction or project in mind, or, you just want a coffee and a chat about the things you do and how moving to cloud computing can improve your business then get in touch…