5 business benefits of the cloud

Our industry loves to use buzzwords, but it’s not always made clear what these terms mean for our clients. What do tech companies mean when they say “the cloud” and more importantly, what does it mean for your business?

In most cases “the cloud” refers to software and services accessible using your internet connection. Instead of being stored locally on your own computer or mobile device, these services are hosted remotely by third parties on their own servers.

Here are five benefits of the cloud for your organisation:

 

1. Minimal Upfront Equipment Costs

Moving to cloud services can reduce the cost of managing and maintaining your tech. You no longer need to purchase expensive in-house systems as these are costs that your cloud service provider will incur. You’ll still need to invest in the equipment your employees use to access cloud services, but costs for on-site servers, back up and maintenance are removed from the equation, minimizing your upfront costs. These services also negate the need to employ highly-specialist staff to keep your infrastructure running, as again these are costs that your provider will shoulder.

We recently assisted a Bath based construction company in moving their entire IT infrastructure to the cloud for 30 staff. With minimal upfront costs the company were able to save money to invest elsewhere in the business. We have also provided them with Vodafone One Net, a fully secure, hosted phone system which is located within Vodafone’s core IP-based network, eliminating the cost of an expensive on-site system (a ‘PBX’).

 

2. Scalability

Through adopting cloud services, your business can scale it’s operation and storage needs up and down quickly to suit your situation, allowing flexibility as your needs change. Rather than purchasing and installing expensive upgrades yourself, the service provider can handle this for you.

A Bath based car dealership have partnered with us to introduce Microsoft Office 365 to their business and have the option to increase or decrease the number of licenses they have at any one time due to the flexible 30 day contract we offer for this solution.

 

3. Collaboration

Staff and business productivity can see a major increase with more efficient collaboration via the cloud. No longer will colleagues need to wait for each other to stop working on the same file. It can be accessed from any location and updated in real time.

Your business can become more global as a result of working with other organisations all over the world accessing the same cloud services. This kind of collaboration can make your business more attractive to work with and staff morale is improved.

One of our clients is a specialist transportation company. Their administrative office is in Dorset, but their line of work takes their staff worldwide. We introduced Microsoft Sharepoint to their organization, a cloud based service allowing them to access and collaborate on files with colleagues, wherever they are in the world and on any device.

 

4. Disaster Recovery

All companies need to consider how they would cope with a disaster. A Wiltshire based Insurance company with multiple sites are utilizing our cloud based phone system solution ‘Horizon’ to assist with their business continuity plans. Any unexpected event such as snow, floods, strikes or utility roadworks simply doesn’t affect them as their phone system sits in the cloud meaning calls can be easily diverted to any mobile number using the user friendly online portal, allowing the business to carry on making and taking calls whatever the circumstances.

A Bournemouth based application vendor in the care industry recently experienced an office fire, leaving their premises unusable. With their built-in disaster recovery, all inbound calls were redirected to a pre-designated mobile number free of charge, whilst they located a new office to work from. Once they found new premises we were able to assist them by providing connectivity to the site within 8 days (quicker than Openreach) and replacement handsets, allowing them to receive calls as normal, on their same number even on the other side of town, ensuring business continuity.

 

5. Security

All businesses worry about security. Cloud services offer a higher level of security than a local server as you never have to worry about losing critical data and business applications due to, for example, a natural disaster or a full system meltdown. As a cloud service provider, we also offer the option to back up data to additional remote servers, giving another level of reassurance that your data won’t be lost. Our cloud security services also allow us to perform more regular security audits on your local server than you likely would have done in the past. This helps to ensure your business is airtight and your sensitive information is kept under wraps.

A Dorset based accountancy firm utilises our disaster recovery service to take a complete snapshot of their onsite environment to an offsite location, ensuring that in a disaster scenario business continuity can be maintained far quicker than previously possible. We also protect their IT infrastructure with a cloud based anti-virus solution from Bitdefender, regularly voted the number one detection product on the market. Not only does Bitdefender guard your organisation against viruses, rootkits, phishing, data loss and web threats, it also allows you scheduled full scans, for all your employees, at times that suit your business.

 


To learn more about how our cloud services can benefit your business, please contact your Grapevine account manager. Alternatively, please call 01202 644434 or email enquire@grapevine.uk.com to arrange a free initial consultation.