Digital readiness: Getting your head in the cloud
For businesses that wish to stay competitive, and meet with the demands of the hyper-connected online customer, the move to ‘the cloud’ is a necessity.
The cloud is essentially a global network of servers that allow for the storing and managing of data, running of applications, and delivery of content and services over the web. Instead of accessing services and files locally through computers, users can access everything online. The cloud is a shift away from having onsite infrastructure that is managed and maintained by the business.
Companies that have managed to swiftly move to an online operation saw incredible benefits during the Covid-19 pandemic. Moving to a digital model meant businesses were able to continue trading with customers, and employees could work from home during quarantine periods.
Here are the different cloud types that businesses should consider:
- Public cloud: everything is managed and operated by third-party providers, for example, Microsoft Azure.
- Private cloud: exclusive computing resources for a single company; this cloud can be physically located at a data centre or at the company’s office.
- Hybrid cloud: this is a mix of public and private clouds, and data can be shared between them.
Benefits of the cloud
With the rise of cyber attacks this year, and data breaches becoming more common, now is as good a time as ever to move to the cloud. Cloud services let businesses back data up regularly and/or automatically to a safe online location. If something unexpected occurs, your business can be back up and running in minutes.
With a public cloud such as Azure, single sign-on and multi-factor authentication can be configured for users anywhere, and protection from cyber attacks is robust. Read about how Azure’s Security Center lets a business configure assets securely, and monitor and triage security-related incidents, and check out the many ways we use Azure to secure data at rest.
With cloud services, your business has the freedom to scale infrastructure as and when needed. Azure, for instance, can monitor usage spikes and will automatically adjust resources and scale your services according to demand, ensuring applications run smoothly at all times.
Onsite infrastructure tends to have a steep upfront investment that is coupled with ongoing maintenance, management and upgrades over time. The cloud, on the other hand, provides economies of scale which translate to cost efficiencies for your business.
Cloud-based services often remove expenses such as software licensing and upgrade fees, power and cooling costs as well as server maintenance. When you move to the cloud, you won’t have to fork out for hardware maintenance. Instead, you’ll subscribe to software and services and pay a monthly fee.
When your business adopts the cloud, it has the power to run with greater efficiency. From accounting and payroll to team collaboration and file access, moving to the cloud can allow teams to be more productive and focussed.
Online CRM and ERP solutions means sales data can be accessed anywhere, anytime. Instead of juggling storage and memory in a local network, you can put more time into business strategy and planning or improving customer experience and brand loyalty.
Do what you do best
Removing on-site infrastructure and adopting online software services in the cloud means less time maintaining software and more time improving your business. Adopting the cloud will help you free up time and resources for activities that help you stand apart from your competitors, and grow.