The proliferation of cloud computing over the past few years has been nothing short of astronomical. First being referenced by Compaq, back in the 1990s, the phenomenon only really took off in the mid-2000s. Now, however, it’s an integral facet of global communication, business and everyday life. One, without which, we’d find ourselves very quickly floundering.
Tangibly, though, what are its benefits to businesses? The team here at London-based Nutbourne, who amongst other IT support areas offer extensive cloud services in London, wanted to go through five of the main benefits to smaller businesses in utilising the cloud – particularly in a storage context.
Scalability is unquestionably one of the greatest benefits to transition to cloud computing, especially for SMEs. Most businesses set out with the intention of growing and SMEs are no exception to that. As a business grows, so too does its bandwidth and storage requirements. By utilising cloud services, these computing aspects (which have traditionally proven limiting factors in the rapidity of a business’ growth) are easily scaled upwards.
Cybercriminal attacks are increasing at an unprecedented rate. In fact, insurance giant Hiscox found that in 2018, in the UK, an SME was successfully hacked every nineteen seconds. DDoS, malware, phishing and spoofing attacks are becoming ever-more sophisticated and numerous. Unfortunately, this trend is only going to continue in that direction.
Though initially thought of as weak from a cybersecurity standpoint – without all that much evidence to ever back this up, a reflection on our semantic associations with the word “cloud” and our psychological link between proximity and safety, as much as anything else – modern cloud services in London are amongst the securest out there. Every year, more SMEs are migrating to the cloud and this enhanced security is a leading factor.
How exactly do cloud services compare with on-site storage, then? Well, cloud providers tend to have a more dedicated and thorough cybersecurity provision, with many even employing hackers on their payroll to systematically attempt to ‘break in’ to highlight weaknesses. On-premise alternatives, by contrast, tend to have a greater number of vulnerabilities to be exploited.
Security Isn’t Just Digital
As digital as the world we live in now is, there are still things that ‘digital’ can’t plan for – the weather is one of them. In the case of natural disaster, whether it be an earthquake, flooding or anything else, storing your data on-site is quickly made to look incredibly fragile. Downtime costs businesses a huge amount each year, with a 2016 report from the Ponemon Institute estimating that, on average, every minute of downtime costs businesses almost $9,000 – a pretty staggering sum whichever way you look at it. Cloud companies tend to have better resilience built in and experience, reports have shown, less downtime.
Cloud services tend to be offered on a monthly pay-per-user subscription model. This makes it markedly more cost-effective than traditional hard-drive alternatives, whether that be on-site or off-site. Moreover, businesses, in a bid not to be left caught short, tend to overestimate how much storage they might feasibly need and so, erring on the side of caution, buy much greater storage and server capabilities than really necessary.
The more flexible and organic nature of cloud storage services, on the other hand, enables businesses to approach their financial outlays with more precision. Energy bills are reduced too, when you segue from on premise storage to the cloud, as you may be able to reduce the number of dedicated (energy-intensive) servers you need running on-site.
SMEs need to be flexible in order to survive and thrive. This was arguably best demonstrated by the onset of the Coronavirus pandemic last March. Whole organisations had to very quickly adapt to an entirely new way of remote working. For offices utilising cloud services, this change was much smoother as they still had access to all the same files they had whilst working in the office. In what was an immeasurably trying and stressful time, easy access to workplace files made everything a lot easier.
5. Greener Business
We live in a more environmentally conscious era than ever before, and with good reason. The climate crisis is developing at an alarmingly rapid rate. We’re quickly approaching a tipping point in which the damage being done will be irreversible. Warming oceans, shrinking ice sheets, sea level rise and ocean acidification are just some of the issues faced today.
The Cloud Is Green
Fortunately, thanks to the work of prominent activists like Greta Thunberg and Sir David Attenborough, this is an issue very much in mainstream societal discourse. There are many areas in which society can be ‘greener’, and the more widespread adoption of cloud services by businesses is one of them. According to a 2019 report commissioned by AWS (Amazon Web Services), Amazon’s own cloud property, AWS was over three and half times more energy efficient than the median of surveyed US data centres.
Contact Us For Cloud Services In London
Our London-based cloud services are ideal for all kinds of businesses, but particularly SMEs and smaller outfits. Though not perfect – then again, what is? – they provide an agile, flexible and adaptable solution to businesses looking to streamline and optimise their IT operations. So, if you’d like to find out more about our London-based cloud services, then get in touch! Contact Nutbourne today on 0203 137 7273 or by filling out our interactive enquiry form.