Cloud computing: Getting up & running as a start up

As well as this Cloud computing can also power business applications, with Google leading the way with their suite of (free) apps that cover storage, schedules and email – as well as the seamless integration between them.

However with as many as 25 per cent of businesses yet to even entertain the idea of cloud computing (SmartDataCollective 2014), here we take a look at the many great reasons to harness this tech, whilst balancing out the argument with the few potential drawbacks.

The Cloud – The (many) great points…

Cost effective and Convenient

Among the major benefits of cloud computing services is the advantage of saving money on otherwise expensive software titles. Google Drive may make for the perfect example of this, providing for the editing of text documents, spreadsheets, and the creation of presentations all (currently) without the need for subscription.

Beyond this more and more tools and suites are now moving to the mighty cloud, from communication essentials to project management organizers and a number of helpful publishing tools to name but a few.

Getting over cost with free cloud storage

Google is already serving up free storage upon their Drive platform, however if you’re looking for something more sophisticated that comes with plenty of security features, (and are currently also thinking about business banking), you may want to consider Barclays – who provide a leading cloud IT service alongside their business bank account. You can read more about this deal over at Formations Direct.

Solid Back Up, Backed up by robust security

With Cloud computing the backing up and restoring of each file is made faster and simpler, and is protected by the latest security and virus shields the internet has to offer.

Depending upon which service provider you use, and presuming that you opt for a reputable company, the chances are that your cloud system will also be protected by industry leaders within the security field, who work towards ever more robust security in a bid to meet the always evolving cybercriminal head on. The leading threats against cloud computing are succinctly covered within this blog from InfoWorld.

Seamless Scalability

The cloud seamlessly scales up, so when you need more power – it’s there, simple as that.

The Cloud – The not so good points…

Potential for Downtime and the importance of support

The professional cloud computing provider that you choose must have an excellent reputation for continued and uninterrupted uptime which, with exception to Windows’ Azure, (with a staggering 54 hours of downtime in 2014 alone [Computer Weekly 2015]) the remaining market leaders thankfully do boast.

As access is primarily reliant upon the supplier of the service, it is wise to fully research such companies and you choose a cloud server with a certain level of uptime guarantee (Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and IBM make up the rest of the market leading pack on this front).

Going beyond this however it also pays to plump for a company with 24/7 support, particularly if you’re relatively new to the wonderful world of cloud computing.

Data Vulnerability and Security – Letting it go and leaving it in the experts’ hands

When being powered by the cloud, all data and programs are stored remotely (on the cloud provider’s servers) rather than locally (on your own), and so you must entrust the provider with keeping their system safe (which is no easy task when you may be dealing with business critical documents and applications).

That said you must now consider fact that you probably have some of the greatest tech minds working toward making cloud services ever more secure (rather than perhaps a singular employee from your IT department, who’s already pressed for time with a desk load full of other tasks). It’s a pretty stark comparison, right?

Weighing up all of the pros and cons of cloud computing services is crucial for anyone wishing to truly harness the cloud, although there really are very few drawbacks and plenty of reasons to dive right on in and connect to the cloud.

Despite being considered still in relative infancy, with this being but the beginning of what the cloud will empower us to be able to do, key to any business growth usually lies within innovating early. So become informed, as well as inspired as to just what the cloud can deliver for you today, as well as what this technology could achieve tomorrow.