We talk about the cloud and how it changes the way that businesses approach their technology solutions a lot, and for a good reason. It’s become so commonplace in the business environment that you’d be hard-pressed to find any business that doesn’t take advantage of cloud computing in some form or another. In a competitive industry, the small business needs all of the help it can get, and the cloud delivers.
When we talk about the cloud, we like to describe it as someone else’s computer system that stores and deploys data or applications across an online infrastructure. You can think of it as a computer that’s hosted, maintained, and managed by professional IT technicians, all so you don’t have to deal with the complications (or costs) of using cloud computing for business. The cloud can be used for many purposes, including the following:
- Enhanced data mobility: Access your data from any Internet-connected device, including smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
- Anywhere, anytime application access: Fully leverage your mission-critical applications without installing them on every used device.
- Data storage: The cloud can store your business’s data in a secure online environment, for later access or deployment.
What Your Business Needs
Depending on your business’s specific requirements, your cloud will probably be different from any typical “one size fits all” cloud solution. There are several different kinds of cloud offerings, but only one of them will suit your business model. The type of cloud you’ll use will depend on how much control you want over your data, and how much responsibility you’ll want for the upkeep and maintenance of your cloud.
To help you understand what type of cloud computing solution your business needs, consider asking yourself the following questions:
- Do you want to augment your cloud with additional security features? The public cloud is usually hosted by a service provider, and as such, doesn’t allow for secondary security features. However, if you host a private cloud in-house, or have a managed service provider host it for you, you can augment your security as much as you need.
- Do you have a limited budget? Small businesses are often limited by the scope of their budget. If this is the case, a public cloud might be best suited to your company's needs. The great part of the public cloud is that it’s easy to use by any kind of business, and it relieves some of the many problems associated with cloud management and security.
- How much control do you need? If you want to have a lot of control over your data, a private cloud allows for role-based user access. This helps to keep your data in an environment in which you have maximum control.
- How much responsibility for maintenance do you want? Most enterprise-level technology requires a certain amount of maintenance and management. This can easily be outsourced to a cloud provider or a managed IT service provider, effectively allowing your business to leverage both a public cloud or a private cloud easily enough.
Investing in a hybrid cloud allows your business to effectively leverage both the minimal management of a public cloud, and take advantage of security practices like those seen by the private cloud. The hybrid cloud is a great solution that’s specifically designed to suit the needs of your business.
For more information about the cloud and what it can provide for your business, give us a call at 0845 4666 500 or follow the link below.