A lot of services advertise themselves as "cloud based" these days. However, what does it actually mean?
Essentially, the cloud is just a server that someone else is looking after. For example, with a cloud-based email service, it's someone elses job to look after the hardware and software that provide the service, leaving the user free to concentrate on their day job. Traditionally, email services required servers, expensive licenses and somebody (or bodies) to look after it.
Benefits of the cloud for businesses
- Generally, there is no up-front cost for cloud services (although there can often be costs associated with migration)
- Licenses can expand or contract on a monthly basis as needed
- It's someone else's job to look after the maintenance of the system
- Some cloud platforms offer additional functionality (e.g. collaboration, file sharing)
The cloud also has it's downsides. You are relying on the provider to look after your data carefully and provide a stable service which you can access constantly.
Our take on the cloud
We advise our customers to utilise a "hybrid cloud" - use it for some services such as email, but keep other services running in-house, under your control. If you'd like to know more about how the cloud could benefit your business, please give us a call.