Cloud computing for businesses generally involves hosting IT systems including applications, servers and data in a third party service provider’s data centres. These systems are accessed through the internet. These data centres are typically far more powerful, resilient, scalable, and reliable than anything most businesses could afford to host themselves in their own office or data centre.
What are the benefits of cloud computing?
Cost – Your IT costs are more manageable as you will typically have clearly defined monthly costs for the services, often on a ‘per user’ basis for software (SaaS). You also won’t have to purchase, maintain or upgrade any on-site equipment.
Scalable – You can easily scale cloud services up or down as you grow, generally without any large capital expenditure or the need for expensive migrations
Accessible – Cloud services are generally accessible anywhere with an internet connection, although can often be locked down to specific locations for security if desired. This is extremely useful for business continuity and day to day working, particularly with remote working on the rise
Secure – Most cloud service providers implement extensive security controls to protect hosted platforms and hold accreditations to provide reassurances to customers
Resilient – Cloud services are hosted on highly fault tolerant systems in data centres and are often replicated to data centres in other regions. Usually there are strict up time guarantees as part of the SLA (Service Level Agreement)
Manageability – Cloud systems can be managed remotely. Generally you can scale up resources instantly, in comparison to hours of work and careful planning for on-site work. For SaaS (Software-as-a-Service) solutions, all users will be running the same version of the software which ensures consistency and saves time and money on expensive upgrades. It also means changes are made iteratively which is more manageable for users.
We are Microsoft Silver Partners, but also partner with a range of other cloud vendors which we have carefully selected and regularly review. We will get to know your business, review your requirements and discuss the most appropriate cloud solutions for you.
Data stored in the cloud can often be accessed easily, from anywhere in the world. Whist all cloud storage providers vary, they often offer a local desktop client which allows you to access your files from your computers document folder. They often also offer the ability to access frequently used files without the need for an internet connection.
The cost of cloud storage does vary, as with most things, it is important to focus on the value that us provided rather than price. As most cloud storage is fully scalable, you are often able to change the number of users based on your changing requirements. This is particularly beneficial to start-ups and smaller businesses as it allows for flexibility as you grow.
Many businesses are reluctant to trust cloud storage solutions out of fear over data security. Labyrinth ensure that all cloud storage solutions that we recommend have robust data security controls in place and comply with all local data protection legislation. All solutions that Labyrinth recommend ensure that data in encrypted both is transit and at rest. Data will also typically be replicated in multiple locations to ensure business continuity.