Top 10 reasons to reach for the cloud
Small businesses are continually being urged to join the cloud computing revolution. Proponents claim it is a no-brainer, especially in times of austerity and belt-tightening. But why should small to medium-sized businesses switch from housing an office-based server set-up and associated hardware to the seamless world of the cloud? What are the real benefits? By Ian Beckwith.
By Ian Beckwith
The economic landscape is showing little sign of improving. Doom and gloom appears to be the order of the day and small to medium-sized businesses (SMEs) are having to chivvy and diversify in order to survive. Finding ways to cut costs and firefight their way through the grim economic landscape has become a major challenge for companies. In fact, economic analysts and politicians are convinced that the UK’s economic recovery largely depends on the future success, growth and prosperity of SMEs.
But there is no doubt that cloud computing is offering a shaft of light for small businesses. It is becoming crystal clear that the cloud is more than a trendy buzzword and is becoming a viable alternative. It is the perfect antidote to companies who continually dread the cry of “the server’s gone down”. So here are my top 10 reasons why SMEs should switch to cloud computing.
1. Reduced costs: In general terms, hosting in the cloud costs less than trying to achieve the same in-house with an office-based server, associated hardware and other equipment. In the current climate, SMEs need to cut costs and should be asking themselves: “Do I need that server and all that hardware?” The intense competition between cloud providers has also led to a sharp fall in the cost of cloud computing, making it almost impossible for SMEs to ignore it as a viable option. There are great deals out there.
2. Predictable and uniform costing: Cloud computing is normally based on the number of users, which is a predictable and regular model. There are no hidden costs. It is not only a good option for SMEs but also for charities and not-for-profit organisations who may have had their funding cut and are looking to reduce their overheads.
3. Scale up and down easily: Cloud computing is increasingly being viewed as an elastic consumption of services. The number of users, for example, using a Hosted Exchange service within an organisation can be increased or reduced at any time.
4. Leave it to the experts: Companies switching to the cloud can save cash on in-house training and the hiring of expensive outside consultants and other experts.
5. Spread outlay instead of initial large payments: Servers need heavy investment, but cloud computing allows your spending on cloud services to be evenly spread out.
6. Access from anywhere: The cloud has no boundaries because it is internet-based. Services can be accessed from the office, home, or anywhere with web access.
7. Disaster recovery benefits: If a technical disaster happens at your place of work, you can simply move to another environment (such as your home) where you can resume your services. So you are not solely relying on one office-based server.
8. In-house IT role: Allows any in-house IT experts to focus on core technology and concentrate with what’s really important in boosting and growing your business.
9. Eco friendly: Cloud computing offers countless environmental benefits. The biggest one is that there are fewer servers per business. Other IT issues include the way hardware is manufactured and disposed of while there are also implications around power consumption, especially when equipment needs to be constantly switched on with an email server.
10. Cutting-edge technology: Your company will be sure to receive the latest technology without continual investment. And cloud computing also offers SMEs enterprise class services and high levels of technology normally reserved for big business.
About the author
Ian Beckwith is the Sales and Marketing Manager at Giacom World Networks. Ian has worked for Giacom for five years and has 30 years’ experience in the technology sector. Ian heads a team of business development professionals within Giacom and has been instrumental in rapidly expanding the company’s reseller channel.
About the company
Giacom ThinkCloud is one of the leading providers of cloud-based services. Based in Hull, East Yorkshire, the Giacom ThinkCloud team has grown since setting up in 1999 as a web hosting provider. It has one of the biggest networks of 450 cloud resellers in the UK. Although 90% of Giacom ThinkCloud’s clients are based in the UK, it also has clients across Europe and the rest of the world. For more information visit www.giacom.com/ or contact Nick Marshall or Ian Beckwith on 01482 611060.