The technology to enable homeworking has been around for years, but business conservatism and tradition have stood in the way of it’s widespread adoption. That all changed for the UK on the 23rd of March, 2020, when the government announced an immediate lockdown of all but essential businesses.
Overnight companies had to get to grips with how they could continue operating in these unique circumstances. Some, like manufacturing and hospitality, were left high and dry, while others discovered that only a radical shift in working practices would enable them to continue to operate through lockdown. Be honest – how many of you had heard of Zoom six months ago?!
A number of our clients suddenly discovered that the investment they had made in cloud-based solutions were paying a far larger dividend than they had possibly imagined; enabling their staff to work from home while retaining full access to all necessary files and applications. There are many good reasons for embracing the Cloud – the current pandemic is merely an extreme example.
Let’s step back a moment and clarify what we mean by the Cloud, as it is a term thrown around a lot these days.
In simple terms we are referring to online services; to hosted server services which can be accessed from anywhere, to file management systems that allow you to control and distribute workload and information, and to software that originates on the web although it can be installed locally. In the Cloud computing model, none of these need physically reside in your premises.
It is the truest blossoming of the hybrid infrastructure – where the traditional physical server that used to sit lurking in a corner is consigned to the tech scrapheap, while you improve your green credentials. Naturally, there is still client hardware, network equipment, laptops and printers and these still need to be managed. However, even this task is made easier as the Cloud can be used to distribute new software and updates, and to run remote access procedures where fault diagnosis is necessary.
During the period of lockdown, we have supported clients who had already invested in Cloud technology, and those who maintained a more ‘traditional’ IT approach.
We’ve been able to handle both situations, but those clients who had already adopted Cloud technology definitely found the transition from office working to home working far easier to manage and much less disruptive to their business.
So, what ARE the advantages of basing your information technology in the Cloud, as opposed to spending money on physical boxes?
· Cost effective – pay only for what you need
· Strategic edge – truly agile, allowing you to respond to changes quickly
· Resilience – backup and restoration is simple and reliable
· Software integration
· Reliability – benefit from dedicated providers
· Mobility – could services can be accessed from anywhere you can get online
· Easy collaboration – makes sharing simple and straightforward
· Speed of deployment – no time-consuming hardware rollouts
· Scalable – it’s easy to match your resources to your business needs
Resources such as MS Azure servers, Egnyte and Datto provide the perfect platform for such industry-standard productivity tools like MS Office 365. This makes integration, sharing, collaboration and teamwork easy, regardless of the physical location of staff members.
Security, always a key component of any business’ IT strategy, and ideally multi-layered, can be handled centrally and policies are automatically enforced throughout your organisation.
Despite this, the user experience is not of some behemoth, but rather of an easily navigated, always-on system designed to help you deliver your services to your customers – improving productivity and client service.
If you haven’t yet embraced the Cloud, it’s high time you considered it. At IT Centric, we have years of experience in bringing together the best of the best in terms of file storage, management and end-user applications to give your business the security and agility it needs to cope with the unseen potholes of modern commerce.
We’re always happy to spend time with you to find ways to improve your IT structures and add greater flexibility and value to your business.
Book a 20 min chat with us and find out how the Cloud can help YOUR business thrive.