Technology has helped modern businesses in so many different ways, and there is no better example of this than cloud computing.
The cloud has found its way into many different aspects of our lives. From social media to the apps on our phones, to online banking. Cloud services are also helping businesses modernize and operate in better, more efficient ways. We spoke to one company that can attest to this. TechQuarters, an IT company and Microsoft Partner that has been providing small business IT support that London-based organisations have used for many years, is a cloud-based company. They told us about some of the benefits it can have for modern businesses.
What is Cloud Computing?
As most people in business will be aware now, the cloud is a means for hosting data and applications over a network, where they are accessible from any smart device (computer, mobile phone, tablet, etc,) in any location. According to TechQuarters, many businesses in recent years have opted to use the cloud to modernize their IT infrastructure. Rather than relying on physical servers that sit in their offices, these businesses are hosting their data, apps, and network in a public cloud – such as Microsoft Azure. This offers greater flexibility and agility when it comes to business operations.
Cloud computing usually comes in 3 categories of service: Infrastructure, Platform, and Software (as a Service). Most people will be familiar with Software as a Service; any app that is cloud-based, such as Microsoft 365, or Google Workspaces, is considered SaaS. Platform as a Service is mainly for businesses that want to host, run, and even develop their own apps in the cloud. Infrastructure as a Service is what businesses use to migrate their entire IT infrastructure to the cloud – it mainly revolves around virtual servers that can be used for different purposes.
Benefits of the Cloud for Modern Businesses
So, what exactly are the main benefits that modern businesses can get from leveraging the cloud? We discussed this with TechQuarters who, as Microsoft 365 consultants, have much experience in cloud services through their work with Microsoft. According to them, the cloud can transform businesses into much more agile and resilient organisations. Below is a breakdown of some of the key benefits.
For businesses, redundancy is a good thing. Data redundancy, that is. It refers to how secure an organisation’s data is. So, for example, if you have files on your computer, plus a backup of those files on an external hard drive, your data has a degree of redundancy. Data stored in the cloud will never be tied to a single location – this is because clouds are supported by a network of distributed data centres. Even if one of your cloud provider’s data centres is affected (which in itself is unlikely) your data will remain safe.
- Lower Costs
The cloud can help businesses lower their costs in two main ways: By reducing their capital expenditure, and by reducing their ongoing operational costs.
Running an on-premise infrastructure incurs a higher CapEx because you have to factor in hardware and software, as well as hardware maintenance, upgrades, repairs, etc. With the Cloud, you can wipe out the majority of your hardware expenses. Cloud infrastructure is also much easier to manage and deliver support to, which lowers operational costs (for instance the number of billable hours spent on support is reduced).
Perhaps your business is expected to grow steadily over time. Or maybe you run a business that is busier at certain times of the year?
There are lots of reasons why a business may need to scale it’s business and operations; and if one is relying on on-premise infrastructure, it means either spending money to upgrade the infrastructure hardware to meet demands, or spending more on infrastructure hardware than you need to accommodate for periods of higher demand, and simply absorbing the costs for the rest of the year.
With the cloud, you don’t need to do that; the reason being is that a cloud infrastructure can be scaled both up and down to meet demand, meaning an organisation only needs to pay for the resources they have actually used.