What is Cloud Computing?
The internet is radically changing the way we do business and adopting a Cloud Computing way of working enables your business to improve the way it works and deliver more efficient results. In previous years, employees would work using the programs they had installed on their computer or the office server. However, Cloud Computing has now replaced this and allows them to access the same programs but directly through the Internet. This could include applications, databases, email and file services.
In its simplest form, Cloud Computing benefits businesses by being able to store and access data and software programs over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive or a physical server in the office. Cloud Computing enables the delivery of a series of computing services including servers, storage, desktops, VoIP and more over the Internet. This is rather than data taking up storage on on-site servers and machines and business data is stored in remote and powerful data centres.
A common analogy to describe Cloud Computing is that your business is renting the Cloud service, rather than buying it.
Using data centres, Cloud Computing benefits organisations of all sizes including helping to reduce their costs, increase the performance of their systems and become more flexible in their working practices. Microsoft has datacentres globally, including ones in London, Cardiff, Orkney and Durham.
The business benefits of Cloud Computing
A core benefit of Cloud Computing is the ability to scale up and down your cloud capacity as and when your business requires. based products such as Microsoft Office 365 and Microsoft Dynamics 365 are ideal for businesses with growing or fluctuating bandwidth demands.
Microsoft Office 365 encompasses all of the workplace applications you’re already familiar with such as Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Outlook and more. Office 365 is entirely Cloud based so has the capability to work and collaborate within Office 365 wherever your employees are located as long as they have an internet connection as well as being able to create, edit, and share from your PC, Mac or your iOS, Android, or Windows device with anyone in real time.
By using a Cloud based platform such as Microsoft Teams and SharePoint, organisations are able to collaborate with each other more efficiently. Company documents are kept within Microsoft Teams and SharePoint which enables employees to work together wherever they are. This means they are able to work on a document without having to send an updated version to all the necessary members of the team. They are also able to organise and schedule meetings within the platform.
Moving to the Cloud can help reduce the cost of managing and maintaining your IT systems. Rather than buying expensive equipment and paying for the maintenance of such equipment, by moving to the Cloud, this uses a monthly usage-based subscription model that is friendly on cash flow, and enables businesses to eliminate the high costs of physical hardware capital expenditure.
Automatic software updates
Another of the benefits of Cloud Computing is that the servers are located off-premise. All cloud suppliers roll out regular software and security updates, your internal staff will no longer have the headache or worry when it comes to making updates to internal servers.
Disaster recovery is something businesses of all sizes should invest in. Often, smaller SMEs lack the required cash and expertise, making disaster recovery more an ideal than a reality. However, Cloud based Backup and Recovery Solutions are now very affordable and save businesses time. They also avoid the large up-front investment costs and commonly offer additional expertise as part of the ongoing monthly cost.
Lost laptops are major business headache and with data security breaches now significantly fineable under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that came into force in May 2018, keeping your business data secure is now more important than ever.
However, with Cloud Computing, all data is stored remotely in the cloud and businesses can access their data no matter what happens to their laptops and other devices. The added security benefits of cloud also enable businesses to remotely wipe all data from lost laptops if required.
Microsoft Azure is a Cloud Computing platform that is comprised of IT Infrastructure and data applications. Azure has a multitude of capabilities including being used for basic document storage to mobile and web application services. Microsoft Azure has security built in to the platform and has over 20 Cloud Computing related security certificates and is the first Cloud service provider to attain the new international standard of ISO 27018.
Microsoft EM+S is a set of Cloud-based BYOD management tools that secure sensitive company documents which can be securely accessed by users regardless of location or what device they are using, whether it is a smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Devices are all managed in a single system where you can also manage user credentials, applications and security from a single place. Microsoft EM+S also helps to facilitate user productivity whilst maintaining compliance with GDPR.