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Small businesses in the Cloud | part one

Small businesses in the Cloud

The world of work has gradually become unrecognisable to what it once was, due to rapid technological advancements over the last decade or so, and is now widely a remote one, this would not be possible without the Cloud. Business owners were forced to make the transition to the Cloud far more rapidly than they had anticipated – especially because of the sudden arrival of the pandemic and the particularly difficult times over the last year. The Cloud allowed business owners to keep their organisations operational amid the uncertainties that the pandemic brought in its wake.

Change can cause apprehension, especially in business. The Cloud causes apprehension and confusion predominantly because most people simply don’t know what it actually is, what it can offer a business, and how it will help them achieve their business goals going forward – we believe this is at least partially caused by the language used by professionals surrounding it.

Making a transition to Cloud computing is a big step and can cause anxiety in business owners, and understandably so. To relieve this apprehension and anxiety they need to achieve a good understanding of what they are investing their precious funds into. There are, of course, some providers that want to take you for all you’ve got and persuade you into purchasing the most expensive option, but that isn’t true for us – we take a genuine interest in your organisation and will guarantee that you are properly advised to make sure you acquire the tools that will benefit your organisation the most.

In the remainder of this article, we will explore what Cloud computing is and some of the jargon that professionals use when discussing your options, in the process preparing you for a good two-way conversation with an IT professional.


***Cloud* computing**

Cloud computing is one of the latest advancements in IT tools, services, and infrastructure. Traditionally, businesses purchased, supported, and maintained their own IT hardware and software platforms in an attempt to make them intertwine and compliment their daily workflow activities. The Cloud works on a subscription-based service, and is designed specifically to cater to the way you want to use or work with it; it can be moulded flexibly around the way your team work and the demands of your organisation.

‘On the Cloud’ is a common term, but what does it mean? This refers to the organisation’s IT services being provided over the internet from a data centre as opposed to it running from locally based servers.
When ‘on the Cloud’ all of your computing resources are delivered on-demand, including your data storage, email and telephony communication, software databases and applications. Businesses can then enjoy all of the benefits provided by agile and flexible technology that is available to your team almost instantly.

A particularly prominent part of the Cloud that business owners enjoy, is how cost effective it is – you only spend exactly what is needed and not a penny more. Your monthly payment is only for what you are actually using, making the scalability of the Cloud a real money saver for your business.

Having your IT provided as SaaS (Software as a Service – more on this soon) guarantees your applications are always up-to-date and, alongside that, your back-end infrastructure and security mechanisms are all part of that rolling fee. With a Cloud provider you can be sure there will be no surprises – an agreed fee is an agreed fee.

The commercial benefits are by some way the leading reason for a Cloud transition. But – as we stated earlier – the world is changing. This has lead business owners to become attracted to the Cloud for other reasons, most predominantly the ability to work anywhere in the world with an internet connection. It is revolutionary – suddenly your team isn’t restricted by anything – they are able to access all the applications, files, and documents they need to, anytime, anywhere.

We will now take a closer look at some of the jargon used by Cloud providers. Obviously, it is beneficial to understand as much as possible before starting your conversation with them to ensure you know exactly what you’re getting and what to expect from the service or software you’re buying.


***SaaS* (Software-as-a-Service)**

Software-as-a-Service is the delivery of applications, the storage of data within those applications and the security and backup of that data (depending on your provider), which applies all over the internet as a contractually paid service. SaaS irradicates the complex software and hardware management tasks that – as we all know – can be so very time consuming.

***IaaS* (Infrastructure-as-a-Service)**

Infrastructure-as-a-Service is computing framework that is provided over the internet. Your provider supplies and manages the infrastructure for you on a subscription basis, leaving you to purchase, install, and configure your own software. If this is the best option for you, we would recommend you get some help with this from a professional to ensure it is done correctly, efficiently, and cost effectively.

***Cloud* storage**

The aim of Cloud storage is to remove the hefty storage requirement from individual computers or servers and make access much more fluent. The Cloud stores your data in remote servers (known as the Cloud) that can be accessed from multiple devices and is accessible to anyone, anywhere (with permitted access and an internet connection).

***Cloud* applications**

A Cloud application is the software you access online instead of installing and accessing it on individual computers or on-premise server.
In the remaining blog in the series we will be exploring where you are currently with the Cloud (if anywhere at all), and what is possible when you use the tools you are quite possibly already paying for to their full potential.


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.

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