Should Your Business Switch to Cloud Services?

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The information and records you store on your company servers and computer hard drives are crucial, whether it’s financial data, ongoing projects or customer details. That information is essential for you to run your business day in, day out, but it’s also vulnerable to unexpected equipment breakdowns or even cyberattack.

Meanwhile, staying up to date with the latest developments in software can be a time-consuming business as you acquire new programs, update existing ones and ensure you have enough licences for everyone that needs access.

As for the hardware required to handle all that information and processing, that can be an even more expensive responsibility, as the need for more and ever larger servers means you’re fighting a constant battle to keep everything working smoothly.

As a result, more and more businesses are turning to cloud computing to manage some or all of these issues.

What is cloud computing?

The principle behind cloud computing is that all the data we currently store on mainframe servers and individual computer hard drives can instead be accessed over the internet. This is precisely the model we are using already when we use things like Gmail, Dropbox or even Facebook – as long as you have the correct login details, you can access them from any computer, wherever you are in the world.

Ever faster internet speeds mean that we can manage ever more complex information being processed in real time, which means that as a way of managing data it can actually be more efficient, faster and allow for greater flexibility than the traditional way of working.

Advantages of the Cloud

There are all sorts of benefits that using cloud services can bring, from lower costs and more flexible working to greater business efficiencies as a result of improved collaboration, scalability of resources and the elimination of the need to continually update or change both software and hardware.

  • Cheaper – counterintuitive as it might seem to suggest that getting someone else to do something you could do yourself, the fact that you can forget about having to buy and maintain servers, or buy, update and switch software means that chances are you’ll soon be saving more than you’re spending.
  • Remote working – as more of us work from home or on the move, being able to access what we need to do our jobs on a daily basis from wherever we happen to be becomes ever more important.
  • Scalability – cloud computing allows you to adjust your usage of services as you need them on a monthly, daily or even an hourly basis. It can also make adapting to growth, trends, seasonal fluctuations and other variations in workflow almost seamless.
  • Collaboration – just because we’re all working in different buildings, towns or even countries, it doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be able to work collaboratively when developing and completing projects. Because everyone has access to the same information in real time, and displayed in exactly the same way, a far smoother process can be assured.
  • Flexibility – using a cloud-based software provider means that getting updated to the latest version of a program, or switching to an entirely new and better one, can be done in a matter of minutes for all your users.
  • Security – whoever is storing your data and providing your services has an interest in ensuring their security is the very best there is, so it’s probably going to be more robust than anything you’re likely to be able to guarantee.

The importance of choosing the right cloud product for your business

Needless to say, choosing to take all your computing online is a big decision, as it can feel like you’re letting go of the lifeblood of your business and entrusting it to someone outside of your organisation. Making sure you invest wisely and choose the right product for your business is something you need to get right, as it will be dictating the way your business operates for some time to come.

When it comes to everyday software platforms, two of the biggest players in the market are Microsoft 365, which incorporates all the elements that used to make up the old Office suite (Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc) and Google Workspace, which offers its own versions of the same sort of programs (Docs, Sheets, Slides, etc).

Each has its own advantages, with the smoother integration across multiple platforms that the Google product offers weighing against the easier transition and greater functionality that will probably come from Microsoft Office due to users’ greater familiarity with its products.

The other major factors that will be affecting the final decision will of course include things like pricing and storage.

Should you switch?

Switching to cloud services won’t be the right move for every business, but it is certainly worth looking into, as the long-term savings could be considerable. And a lot of businesses have been taking the step, prompted in many cases by the changes they were forced to make to keep going through the pandemic.

Timing could be everything – if you’re faced with the prospect of an expensive server upgrade, for example, that would be a good time to investigate alternatives. Meanwhile, as staff demand more say in the way they work and hybrid working becomes more prevalent, the kind of flexibility it provides can be a real bonus.

Here at Pickl, we’re experts at helping all kinds of businesses manage their IT outsourcing issues. We have the experience and knowledge to help you decide if transferring your systems to the cloud would be the right move. And if you do decide to take the step, you can rest assured that we’ll be with you every step of the way to make the transition as smooth and non-disruptive as possible.

Contact us now to find out more.