Is The Cloud Just Someone Else’s Computer?

Is cloud computing all that it’s cracked up to be and is there really a business benefit to it, or are you just paying for the privilege of using someone else’s computer?

We’ll be covering some real-world examples of how small and medium-size businesses are benefiting from cloud computing.

The Road Warriors & Home Workers

Probably the biggest players to benefit from cloud computing are employees on the move and those working from home.

With a stable internet connection, they’ve got access to their email across multiple devices, laptop, tablet, and phone. All of which are easy to set up and access if you are on the right cloud service for email.

The big 2 are Office 365 (Microsoft) and G-Suite (Google). Both have integrated their email platform into favourite email clients like Outlook and smartphone devices running iOS or Android. In contrast, before these cloud services were readily available email on the move was not plain sailing.

Things like the correct exchange server login details had to be precise and varied with whoever set up your in-house server. If you were still relying on a POP/IMAP email service, then it was hit or miss if everything was synced up across all your devices.

The IT Department

One of the biggest winners in cloud computing is the in-house IT department or managed service provider.

Cloud makes life a lot easier.

We’ve already covered email in the cloud but from an IT manager or service provider’s perspective, this is a huge responsibility that has now been taken out of their hands.

I remember the days when if your Exchange email server ran out of space or service stopped working it was literally all hands on deck.

With Office 365 exchange online services or G-Suite, this is just not the case.

Yes, you may have service interruptions from both Google or Microsoft.   However, the downtime is minimal, and the business is not having to pay the correctly experienced IT professional to “be there” in case the exchange server falls over.

Other cloud services that change the IT manager’s life include tools such as RMM which is a remote monitoring and management tool.

This compromises of a small piece of software that are installed on all desktops, laptops, and servers.

It proactively monitors all the machines in the company and reports on possible issues.

Inbuilt to such tools is also the ability to take control of any device that has an internet connection.

This allows IT companies and departments to fix and work on issues without having to leave the comfort of their desk.

This has totally changed the way that IT professionals now work when it comes to system administration and IT support.

Developers

Last, on the list are software developers. It’s a growing industry and costs have been reduced dramatically by cloud computing for developers due to services such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon AWS.

Both these services allow developers to build test environments for their software solutions with no physical hardware requirement.

Back before these services existed, developers would have to invest thousands of capital on server hardware purchases and connectivity.

A great example of just how flexible and scalable services such as Amazon AWS are companies like Airbnb.

They own no physical hardware. The entire operation based on the Amazon AWS platform.

See here for the full story on how Airbnb grew using Amazon AWS. >> https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/airbnb-reinventing-the-hospitality-industry-on-aws/

This has obviously benefited many large-scale operations but Small and Medium business can also benefit from Azure & AWS. Business ventures which would usually require capital investment to host software or an application can now “on demand” with setup taking only a couple of hours instead of a 2-3 month project.

We’ve only just scratched the surface here.  If you want to find out what other ways the cloud can benefit your business, then let’s start a discussion.

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