If it’s not broken, why fix it?

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It’s our mission to change the way business owners think with regards to the technology. Our company was born from a desire to help small and mid size businesses. We want to help them to deliver more using the technology that’s available.

So many business owners stick with the technology they have due to the professional relationships they have built with their suppliers, the price and we’ve heard it many times ourselves, the thought of it’s not broken, why fix it?

Well, you may want to ask yourself, what impact is that mind-set having on your business?

What about the question, is your IT improving your business and helping it grow?

You may want to consider the impact your current technology is having on the environment?

Are you saving time and money?

That’s why here at Cloud Shepherd, we’re offering a complimentary review of the technology you use, the IT processes you have in place, where your IT is currently taking your business and where it should be headed!

The idea of the review is to allow you to look at your business from the outside in, specifically your technology. We help our customers grow by focusing on their core strengths knowing they are underpinned by reliable effective and fully managed technology systems.

For more information you can speak with us on 0800 368 7373 or email chantall.herbert@cloudshepherd.co.uk. 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.

 

#WorcestershireHour Festival of Business proves great for business!

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We were one of many businesses from across the county who took part in the #WorcestershireHour Festival of Business on the streets of Worcester City Centre back in September.

The day enabled us to build relationships with like-minded companies as well as re-connecting with existing contacts, it was also a great way of boosting the brand awareness for the company.

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We supplied a kindle, which involved entrants tweeting with the hashtag #WinAKindle on why they should win!  The lucky winner, St Pauls Hostel was chosen by Stuart Allen, Founder of Worcestershire Hour.  The kindle has gone towards the charity helping the reading / creative group they hold for the residents.

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Kristian Stott, CEO of Cloud Shepherd commented ‘ Taking part in exhibitions such as the #WorcestershireHour Festival of Business is great for brand awareness.  We enjoyed the event, it was great to see so many people getting involved, clients, local businesses, school children and even consumers were taking an interest!  We’re already planning our exhibition stand at the Herefordshire & Worcestershire Chamber of Commerce Business expo in March and look forward to seeing everyone there.

 

Get ahead of the game with IT efficiency

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The world of technology evolves every day, with a gadget for every possible need you may have in your day to day life. With so much technology available at the touch of a button – it’s tricky to know what you actually need for your business. If as a business owner you are looking to get the best from your IT and whilst doing that transform your business results, then a less is more attitude could be the right approach for you.

Scalability, flexibility, productivity and efficiency is the key to the success of any business and to keep ahead, the above must be present and working a 100% to respond to customer needs in real time.

The IT systems / processes you choose to implement are fundamental to the business achieving its goals. The high costs of operation remain an issue for businesses and so opting for a more efficient server could save you space and money, as well as reducing your environmental footprint.

IT environments are being restructured every day by the cloud, mobile and big data. If you don’t get things right, you won’t be moving forward and as a result of this you’ll be left behind. Does that make sense? If it does, then your business must put time aside to improving its service offering and that can be complicated.

We see it so many times; it happens far too often, a businesses limited IT resources is tied up in day-to-day maintenance, due to time-consuming and complex deployment and management tasks. Unfortunately, this exhausts your resources, in terms of both budget and employees and because of this the development, creation and implementation of more innovative and effective IT services, is compromised. If you decide to choose a server that automates and simplifies routine IT tasks, you can then focus on the perfect way to optimise your IT solutions and move your business forward.

We understand that IT may seem like a complicated code for you to crack, however it’s simple with the right systems in place and advice on hand. IT should be agile, scalable and reliable and with cost effective server networks will undoubtedly put your business in a stronger position, back in the game and strides ahead in your industry. So less really is more, when it comes to a simplified network – you can gain competitive advantage with a network that’s built to go the distance.

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5 Ways The Cloud is Changing How The Corporate World Does Business

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The world of information and data continues to grow and as it does, the cloud is there beside it. Noone, is more appreciative than the corporate world.

So why is it changing the world we live in?

Upgrades made simple…

We all know, that time when software is due for an update, it can be a daunting task for any size business. Imagine if you’re a massive corporate.

However, because cloud providers such as ourselves look after every aspect of cloud computing, no business, including the corporate ones have to worry about making sure they keep track of the updates and when they are due.

We take care of all updates and all upgrades. Meaning that businesses, like yours, can get on with their job, their working day doesn’t have to stop whilst the updates take place…

Lower operational costs

The cloud saves your business money in two ways; IT staffing and equipment costs.

Cloud providers such as ourselves take care of everything, all of the maintenance and the system updates, so it means the corporate players can cut their IT budgets in half, at least. We’re not saying to you that Cloud Computing services don’t cost money, they do – but it’s a fraction.

Equally, because of all the equipment, i.e servers are off-site, every business will save money, but corporates will see the bigger cost savings by avoiding costly upgrades / upkeep.

Scalability…

With corporate companies comes massive amounts of data. Another reason why the cloud is so beneficial. The cloud is extremely scalable, which is essential for the changing data storage needs of the corporate world.

What happended before we had the Cloud? Well businesses had to waste time, as well as money upgrading servers and expanding their storage needs.

Using Cloud providers such as ourselves, increasing / decreasing storage is easy as all you have to do is contact us. The best part is the change, it’s often instant.

Work anywhere, at anytime on any device

The cloud is an everywhere platform, it gives any business, unparalleled mobility particularly in the corporate world.

The cloud makes working from anywhere, at anytime on any device possible. Whether that means employees want to work from home or share files with colleagues around the world.

Another bonus is the cloud helps keep the corporate world on the same page, all the time – how? Files, data, and documents are kept in a central storage location, so can be accessed at any time, anywhere, again on any device.

Storage Security

Keeping your data off-site is the thing most businesses shy away from the cloud is mentioned, however the cloud is one of the most secure forms of data storage available.

Why? Information is is stored in the cloud and not the actual device itself and because of this business data is always secure and accessible, even in the event of theft.

We understand that the cloud is easily accessible, however providers take extra measures to protect stored data by only granting access to users, how? With encrypted passwords.

Also, providers also use the most up-to-date security monitoring software to ensure security breaches don’t happen.

When it comes to the cloud and cloud computing in the corporate world, it plays a giant role. Have you integrated the cloud into your company’s plans?

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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…