If you are regularly involved in conversations about the Internet, business, data or technology in general it is likely that the term the “Cloud” would have come up. The Cloud is an enormous buzzword throughout the IT industry, business and beyond, but do you ever wonder exactly what it is and how you can benefit from using it? Let us explain….
What is the Cloud?
Only a few years ago our data, storage and applications were isolated and installed on hard drives – these instances are increasingly being left behind through the powerful emergence of the Cloud. So, what is it? Simply put, the Cloud is a means of storing and accessing data and software over the Internet instead of your computer’s hard drive, meaning you can access it anytime and anywhere you want via any device with a connected browser – Desktop PC, Tablet, Laptop and Smartphones.
More Businesses Begin to Adopt the Cloud
As a Business systems provider, Eureka Solutions main aim is to provide our customers with the most suitable software systems to ensure they have the information they need, both where and when they need it. More and more companies are beginning to notice the benefits the Cloud offers their businesses – such as a reduction in their overall IT costs and increased business efficiency from being able to access their data anytime and anywhere they need it. As NetSuite and Sage Business Partners we are certainly noticing the large demand for Cloud software solutions which is evident in our recent news articles:
- Eureka Solutions helps HCSS Education move to the Cloud
- Eureka Solutions signs up Gresham Computing, HCSS Education and Zaoui Capital to NetSuite
- Cloud Services for Small, Medium Sized Business
- NetSuite brings new successes to Eureka Solutions
Are you already using the Cloud? More than likely
If you are still wondering if you use the Cloud, here are a few examples of the way the Cloud has changed both our working and personal lives:
Email: if you can access your email inbox through a web browser and/or mobile application anytime, anywhere you are certainly using the Cloud. This ease of availability is possible thanks to the Cloud – you can respond much quicker and easier. This availability can improve your businesses operations, increase customer satisfaction and ultimately profitability. Could you imagine not being able to access your emails and reply instantly from your fingertips?
Storage and sharing: utilising Cloud storage such as Microsoft OneDrive means you can store and access videos, data, and pictures etc. via the Cloud which allows you to easily access information and large files whenever and wherever you want. Microsoft OneDrive lets you easily share stored data with others – no longer do you have to burn large files to a CD and post this to the recipient. The recurring element of the Cloud is the idea you can access and share data anytime, anywhere via any connected device. We are currently implementing this type of Cloud storage solution as part of our very own journey to the Cloud.
Cloud Business Software: accessing your business management software through the Cloud provides businesses with many advantages over installing software physically on your local machine. One of the largest benefits of this is you can work from anywhere. Your business can benefit from remote working environments, sales staff on the road can place orders into the system instantly which can result in improved productivity, enhanced staff moral and a more profitable business. The remote working benefits are endless, this flexibility is a crucial element throughout businesses – 65% of businesses stated this flexibility of access enables them to “quickly meet business demands”.
Online Banking: not too long ago you would have had to visit your bank to settle cashbook transactions, check to ensure payments had been received on time and find out your balances. Nowadays you can easily check your finances at your fingertips, from either an application on your smartphone or a web browser at your own convenience whenever and wherever.
Misinterpretations of the Cloud
As you and I know despite the demand and adoption of the Cloud, misinformation and concerns can prevail and various myths have arisen from this:
Service loss – it is not surprising that this concern is at the forefront of businesses when considering the Cloud. In fact, this is one of the largest myths associated with the Cloud. Realistically, the threat is no greater than those utilising traditional IT solutions with the main difference being that your Cloud software vendor is responsible for getting the system back up and running. The reality is that the system is highly secure and data is accessible 24/7. For example, The UK’s largest Cloud software vendor NetSuite operates a 99.98% uptime rate ensuring you always have access to your data secured in their resilient data centres. This uptime figure is something very few businesses can match whilst operating with non-Cloud based software systems.
It is much cheaper to operate in the Cloud – it has not been proven that operating on the Cloud is cheaper, it can however be more cost efficient in the long-term as the Cloud removes the requirement of in-house IT support, maintenance of in-house servers and expensive software upgrades. With Cloud software you only pay for what you use, subscriptions can be easily increased and decreased depending on your overall demand which is very beneficial for companies operating with seasonal fluctuations.
Migrating to the Cloud is more hassle than its worth – migrating to the Cloud should be a relatively pain free exercise if you work in partnership with a trusted and experienced systems provider – we have helped many businesses migrate to Cloud software with minimal disruption by working closely to support their business operations from the outset. In the long-term, benefits can result in greater efficiency, cost effectiveness and a business that is future proof no matter what competitive changes may arise.
Cloud costs jobs – the hype surrounding this factor is due to the idea Cloud IT resources can be easily terminated. In reality, the Cloud does not take jobs, it frees up time that may have previously been spent on labour intensive monotonous tasks. Many IT leaders believe the Cloud enables businesses to strategically direct their firms into the future allowing individuals to focus on their core organisational objectives.
Are you impressed by how the Cloud has sneaked into our day to day lives? Several years ago we would never have been comfortable with working on the Cloud yet today we are wondering how we would manage without it. If you are interested and impressed by the Cloud, follow our related Cloud Computing blogs.