When we talk about the cloud, there’s still a whole host of people who think we’re talking about the weather. Ok, that maybe a bit facetious, but the point is the cloud remains very much misunderstood.

understandingthecloud-inner

Cloud computing is the biggest thing since the inception of the internet itself. If you think that’s a bold statement, here’s why we think it can revolutionise your operations transforming a local garage into a modern day business.

When looking at cloud solutions, you may come across terms such as SaaS, it simply means Software as a Service. It refers to software which functions remotely ie. in the cloud. SaaS can also refer to Storage as a Service whereby a company ‘rents’ space to store data which is transferred via the internet and accessed using specific software applications.

The next big thing

The cloud enables all businesses, even one man bands, to take advantage of evolving technology without having to make huge investments in either infrastructure or IT training. Quite simply, the big guns do it for you. You let the likes of Microsoft, one of the leaders in cloud technology, undertake hosting, developments and security, and you reap the benefits, including any updates.

How does it work?

A safe, secure system which is easily managed and cost effective, cloud computing means you don’t need to buy a vast amount of computers or hardware, you simply access your system via the web which also means you can do it anytime, anywhere and from any device. You pay as go, there are no licenses and no infrastructure, all you need is a desktop, laptop, iPad or smartphone.

On demand

You can’t overload the system. The more demand your business places on your system, the more storage, capability and server time is automatically provided. You can easily scale up and scale down according to your requirements.

Flexibility

As the cloud effectively means in the internet, but in a secure location, you can access your business anywhere as long as there is an internet connection. It means you can keep in touch with your business from your hotel or living room as well as when in your garage.

Cost savings

Most cloud-based solutions attract a monthly fee making them accessible to practically any business. There are no start-up costs and no additional investment is necessary to upgrade.

Development

As technology improves or your provider adds new tools and applications, you can access them within minutes without investing in new equipment, installations or reconfiguring your network. It makes new developments immediately accessible, you may not even realise upgrades have even taken place. It means your IT solutions will never become outdated.

Maintenance

This is something you don’t need to worry about, it is undertaken on your behalf; you don’t even have to make back-ups. Your laptop could stop working tomorrow but your data is readily accessible from any other device. There’s no downtime, as long as you have internet access, you have access to your cloud solution and everything you need to operate your business.

Security

Perhaps it’s innate that humans fear the things over which they perceive they have no control and in turn, causes the biggest anxieties over using the cloud, in fact, security is one of the cloud’s greatest assets. Most cloud providers have robust and leading edge security protocols in place and their developers are continually improving already sophisticated security technology. As a small business, you benefit from the kind of high level technology on a par with the world’s biggest corporations.

In a nutshell, the cloud is the way forward and offers small businesses the opportunity to think and act big.

Read our guide : 10 reasons your workshop needs the cloud for more information on this computing revolution.