If there’s one technology that’s become synonymous with digital transformation in recent years, it’s cloud computing! Offering software, computing resources, infrastructure, development platforms and more, on demand via the internet, the cloud gives Yorkshire businesses access to IT capabilities that were once financially and logistically out of reach.
The pandemic brought the benefits of the cloud into sharp focus. With millions of us forced to work from home, cloud-based communication and collaboration solutions like Microsoft Teams and Zoom stepped in, keeping businesses productive and effective under circumstances that were new to most.
Today, cloud adoption continues apace, with 92% of organisations hosting at least some of their data in cloud-hosted services already. In the coming years this adoption is likely to accelerate further, with experts forecasting the value of the cloud computing market to rise to $2.4 trillion by 2030, up from $677.9 billion in 2023.
So why does the cloud matter for your business?
The cloud offers agility, flexibility and scalability that is difficult or even impossible to match with on premises hardware. By embracing the cloud today, you adopt an IT system equipped with the characteristics you need to grow and develop your business for years or even decades to come. One of the most compelling reasons to transition to the cloud is the value-for-money it offers compared to conventional IT infrastructure. You’ve probably heard this argument before, perhaps without being given an explanation as to how exactly that value is delivered. So to help, here’s a quick guide to how Yorkshire businesses can get more value from their IT using the cloud, explaining 5 key ways the cloud can save your business money.
Cloud Computing Offers Adaptable Pricing
Traditionally, IT investments required a significant capital outlay. You had to budget for project consultancy costs, then you incurred the hardware purchase costs and that’s before you’ve even considered the bill for installation. Before you knew it, your project costs had spiralled to tens of thousands of pounds, which you hoped would be recouped by the new capabilities you’d just acquired and improved workplace productivity.
The cloud eliminates the stress of budgeting for, and financing large-scale IT projects. With subscription-based, per-unit pricing, the cloud lets you closely match resource provision to point-in-time demand. This ensures you only pay for the computing resources, number of instances, or number of user accounts you actually need.
While subscription pricing is common, cloud service providers use a variety of other pricing mechanisms, including hourly pricing, reserved instances, pay-as-you-go pricing and spot instances. Each option has its benefits and drawbacks, so make sure you consult with your IT provider or a cloud computing specialist to ensure you choose the right model for your needs and budget.
The Cloud Lets You Reduce Reliance on On-Site Hardware
In addition to eliminating capital expenditure on new hardware installations, the cloud offers ongoing cost savings that businesses sometimes overlook.
With no bulky server stacks in your office, the cloud frees you from the expense of powering, cooling and troubleshooting physical hardware: all of this is now managed by the cloud service provider. Additionally, you also avoid the hassle, stress and cost of hardware lifecycle management, including costly equipment renewals.
Lastly, if you’ve ever undertaken a large-scale infrastructure project, you’ll know there are logistical challenges to navigate to ensure you’re able to continue serving your customers. The cloud delegates these challenges and responsibilities to the cloud service provider. They manage and maintain the infrastructure; you simply connect and use your cloud investment.
The Cloud Offers Improved Workplace Agility
In short, workplace agility refers to an organisation’s ability to adapt quickly and remain effective despite rapidly changing circumstances and newly emerging challenges. The rapid shift to remote working during the pandemic provides a good case in point.
While few of us want to see a return to the struggles of the past few years, many businesses have discovered the benefits of remote and hybrid working practices, and continue to allow employees to work from home at least in part. Even if you’ve decided that remote work isn’t right for your business, keeping it as a viable option will allow your business to remain agile and adaptable to changing circumstances going forward.
Remote or hybrid working practices can also facilitate lower office overheads. For example, allowing employees to work from home just one day a week could allow you to remove a single workstation, which in turn could allow you to postpone that move to a bigger office you had in the pipeline.
Productivity-Promoting Automations Are Enabled by Cloud Technology
Time is money in business. Getting the most out of each working day means happy clients, and the profits you need to grow and develop your business.
The struggle to remain productive however, lies in the conflict between value-adding tasks that benefit your business and its customers, and those time-consuming, menial tasks that provide no value in and of themselves.
The cloud makes it possible to eliminate or reduce the burden of those low-value tasks thanks to widespread automation, and integrations that unite data stores and workflows. From marketing and finance, to HR and payroll, automation-rich cloud-hosted software allows you to reduce the time spent on menial tasks like routine data handling across every business department.
Other platforms provide the tools for creating unique, custom automations. Microsoft’s Power platform is one such example, providing a set of pre-built tools and templates for building automated workflows, creating custom applications and harnessing value from business data. By exploring the potential of cloud-powered automations across your business, you free up staff for meaningful work that moves your business forward and contributes to your bottom line.
Cloud Solutions Offer In-Built Data Security Features
From ICO-imposed fines for GDPR non-compliance, to the direct financial impact of ransomware attacks, the consequences of poor cyber security are well-documented, and well-understood by most business owners.
Most cloud solutions were developed over the last 10-20 years, during a period of heightened cyber security awareness. As a result, cloud providers often integrate powerful security features and capabilities into their platforms to entice security-conscious business customers. User access controls, encryption, integrated data backups and multi-factor authentication are just some of the features included as standard across numerous cloud product offerings.
It’s no secret that we’re fans of value-for-money here in Yorkshire.
By transitioning your IT to the cloud, you can take advantage of cost-effective software, infrastructure and resources that provide strategic business value in more ways than one. Enjoy automations that empower productivity, security features that safeguard against costly data breaches, and adaptable pricing that matches the ebb and flow of your IT needs.
Stay tuned for our next article, where we take a closer look at 4 solutions that can help Yorkshire businesses gain maximum value from their IT.
Armco IT: IT Support and Managed Services for Businesses Across York, North and East Yorkshire
There’s nothing we love more than seeing Yorkshire businesses flourish by harnessing the power of IT. Our team of dedicated engineers stands ready to help you overcome any technical challenge and deliver tailored solutions that help your business meet its goals and growth ambitions. From our base in Malton, we deliver proactive IT support and services across York, North and East Yorkshire. We have a strong track record in delivering impactful IT to clients across a wide range of sectors, including manufacturing, design and insurance, among many others. We focus on maintaining, optimising and securing your digital estate, so you can focus on the growth and success of your business. Contact our team and let us start our journey together today.