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Cloud Jargon Explained and the Benefits of the Cloud

In our last piece, we clarified some of the myths surrounding cloud technology that prevent businesses from tapping into the great benefits that it can offer. Another barrier to adoption is the jargon that surrounds many cloud services. In blog we will attempt to demystify this jargon so that you can understand the key elements of cloud computing solutions.

SaaS – Software-as-a-Service

Software-as-a-service is the delivery of applications, the storage of data within those applications and – dependent on your provider – the security and back-up of that data too, over the internet as a contractually paid service.

Some of the SaaS options are internationally well-known and are the life blood of many companies, including Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, and Zero Accounting. SaaS has delivered a range of benefits for companies of all sizes:

  • SaaS takes the burden of managing the software and associated hardware from the hands of businesses, enabling them to focus on using these tools to deliver value.
  • SaaS applications offer high levels of cross-platform integration. As the whole is always more than the sum of its parts, workflows become more streamlined, different applications can complement each other and add more value, while new systems can be easily inserted into the mix to provide new capabilities without sacrificing efficiency.
  • Subscription pricing means that users can be added quickly and if the business wants to move to a different solution, they can do so with minimal fuss.
  • AI is often integrated into the functionality of SaaS applications, helping staff complete task more quickly and with the benefit of intelligent insights.

IaaS – Infrastructure-as-a-Service

Infrastructure-as-a-Service is the provision of computing services via the internet. One example is virtualisation, where the data and systems on your on-premises servers are migrated to a cloud provider that runs a data centre with its own servers. These services are intelligently designed to be precise and scalable; a virtual server (your data and apps) can be distributed across multiple physical servers, enabling businesses to pay for what they use. Hosting IT services in this way can also enhance reliability; if one server fails, your IT services can still be run via other servers hosted by the cloud provider.

Cloud storage

Cloud storage is essentially storage away from on-premises solutions. A key benefit of cloud storage is the elimination of CapEx and management costs associated with running an in-house server stack. Cloud storage enables your business to access your cloud-based data or applications remotely via the internet from any number of suitable devices, from anywhere and by anyone you decide to grant access to.

Cloud applications

As CDs increasingly fade from collective memory, we are getting used to running applications via the internet. These are essentially what cloud applications are, with many of them accessible via web browsers.

Now that we have dispelled some of the myths surrounding the cloud, let us take a look at how the Cloud can improve operations in your organisation.

The Benefits of the Cloud for Businesses

Collaboration

With remote working becoming more popular across the world, the cloud enables seamless collaboration and business activities across geographically dispersed teams. These remote access and collaboration capabilities were brought into sharp focus during the Covid-19 pandemic, which saw almost half of UK workers work from home at its height.

The cloud enables teams to collaborate online regardless of their physical location, utilizing a range of tools and capabilities, including live document editing, videoconferencing, and shared document libraries.

 

Scalability

The Cloud allows your organisation – no matter its size – to scale its IT resources up and down in close alignment with changing demands. Cloud solutions can scale automatically with your requirements, for example, if a growth-spike occurs, cloud providers can quickly accommodate larger numbers of users and data usage near-instantly. You can add new users to a SaaS application quickly, and host more data on cloud-servers without needing to manually install new server infrastructure in your office.

Data backup & business continuity

Cloud solutions are very amenable to regular backup and disaster recovery solutions. The cloud makes it possible to access data quickly and to keep it backed up and recoverable should you ever need it. This minimises the impact of downtime or the complications that can arise following data loss.

Reduced cost

The Cloud is cheaper in comparison to traditional IT! The Cloud often saves a lot of money for businesses that implement it as there are no capital investments (excepting initial monthly subscription costs in some cases) required to start using it.

This, along with the opportunity to expand and flex the services according to the needs of the business at that time, means you avoid paying for services and resource capacity that you are not using. This is also true for the performance and features of the Cloud plan you are on – if you are not making the most of the features available to you, you can downgrade to a cheaper plan that more closely matches your needs.

With the right guidance and knowledge, making a transition to Cloud computing will help your organisation thrive. We hope this article has helped to boost your understanding of the cloud and the opportunities it can bring to your business.

Ensuring value from your IT

Using the tools at your disposal in your Microsoft 365 ecosystem correctly will ensure value. You have the power to revolutionise the way your organisation works. We can ensure that you implement the right tools, use them correctly, and plan for the future with those tools as important assets in the sustained success of your organisation. Our success can be attributed to one thing: TRUST. Ever since our very first year in business our clients have been happy to recommend us to other businesses, and we have grown steadily as a result of this. We can help you get the best from your IT in the most secure way possible, providing your business with a stable platform for growth. Don’t hesitate – contact us now!