An increasing number of large companies are turning to cloud computing for solutions. Whilst the pandemic lockdowns accelerated adoption rates, the advantages cloud computing brings to large businesses was already turning heads before 2020.
However, even large businesses that had furrowed into cloud computing were not leveraging the power of the cloud to its maximum capacity. Most businesses only used the cloud for file storage and email.
IBM reported that enterprises were only utilising “20% of their cloud”. A hybrid approach was the preferred method because IT teams were familiar with on-site servers and lacked the skillset required for cloud computing.
During the pandemic, more companies started using cloud applications for operational purposes. The capacity for large businesses to facilitate remote working and ramp up productivity whilst employees were absent from the office enabled large businesses to survive the pandemic.
It was only when businesses went all-in on the cloud that IT teams started to recognise the advantages of cloud computing offers large businesses. In this article, we’re going to discuss why large businesses cannot afford to go all-in with cloud computing.
Cloud computing could appeal to large companies during the anticipated economic downturn. It’s less expensive to run than on-site servers and certainly less expensive than a hybrid solution.
The cost of running on-site servers is estimated to be over £1000 more than cloud computing solutions. This figure, however, depends on the size of your company and the number of employees you have. It’s worth noting that whilst cloud software subscriptions like Microsoft 365 are low, their cost is based on a per-user basis. The costs can rack up.
However, you will save costs on energy use and, potentially, salary. Cloud computing software tends to cause fewer problems because the majority of potential errors can be identified and rectified before they cause downtime.
And because there is less maintenance and repairs required for fix problems in the cloud, large companies don’t require such a large IT team to handle a large workforce. Cloud computing can potentially save you a significant amount of overheads that would ordinarily of on your payroll.
Large data centres also take up office space which may require you to pay more rent for a bigger office. If you don’t need extra space to house on-premise servers, you may be able to downsize to a less expensive office, create another meeting room or the quiet room or add a few more employees to your workforce.
2. Cybersecurity Protection
Cloud computing is playing a key role in protecting data against the threat of bad actors. With the prevalence of cyber-attacks continuing to rise and becoming increasingly sophisticated, the cloud offers large companies an extra layer of protection.
Cybersecurity firms report that around 90% of successful data breaches are due to human error. The more people you have working for you, the more vulnerable your business network is.
Cloud software helps to build resilience and protect potentially vulnerable gateways that could allow hackers to your business network. Key protocols like permission-based access and multi-factor authentication prevent unauthorised personnel from logging on to your network.
Protecting your data from threat actors is important for a number of reasons, most notably due to regulatory compliance. Whilst large businesses should be able to survive financial penalties – 2% of your global annual turnover – reporting data leaks to affected parties can damage your brand reputation.
However, it’s worth noting that the cloud only provides defensive layers if the software is configured correctly. Two-thirds of data breaches are due to misconfigured cloud applications.
If your on-site IT team does not have the relevant cloud training, it is advisable to reach out to remote IT support professionals that have relevant experience with cloud computing.
3. Disaster Recovery and Backup
Large businesses not only have to protect sensitive data from hackers. Regulatory compliance such as General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) can have devastating effects on large businesses if they lose sensitive data due to a natural disaster, fire, flood or power failure.
Under the EU’s regulatory obligation, a broken, lost or stolen laptop is a liability. If you lose customer data that is stored on a mobile device, you are in breach of GDPR regulations.
Cloud-based storage solutions provide you with a central repository which is backed up every few seconds. Even if you experience a power outage or system crash, the amount of data you lose will be minimal.
Building a cloud-first IT infrastructure also makes it easier for you to rapidly activate your disaster recovery plan. Far quicker than you can expect to get back top and running if you store all your critical data on in-house servers.
4. Remote-Working Ready
One of the key advantages the cloud offers is flexibility. This was an obvious reason for large companies to adopt some form of cloud computing solution during the pandemic but is also facilitating the ‘new normal’ in the ‘living with Covid’ era.
An overwhelming number of employees insist they want to continue working from home – or at least to be given the option to work remotely. Flexible working hours were already a growing trend among millennials. Parents with young children also recognise the benefits of remote working.
The ability to access files, applications and video conferencing suites from anywhere makes it possible for employees to perform their work from anywhere and on any device.
Whilst there are some question marks with regard to the ability for teams to collaborate from remote locations, cloud-based solutions such as Microsoft 365 (Teams, SharePoint, OneDrive etc), help to facilitate collaborative work commitments.
For example, multiple people can work on the same document simultaneously. When somebody makes an edit their name is listed in the right-hand column where other users can see the change. The lead author can, therefore, either accept or reject the change or leave their own comment for further discussion and decision-making.
Instant chat in teams also makes it easy for teammates and colleagues to interact with one another in real time. And, of course, video conferencing means you can have face-to-face exchanges without having to schedule a meeting room.
We’ve written at length about the future of hybrid working. For more information about how cloud solutions and the team at MicroPro can help, read this article.
5. Scalability and Storage
Large businesses typically store a lot of data which continues to grow exponentially year-on-year. Retaining traditional methods of data storage eventually becomes problematic. The more data you collect, the more storage space you need. Which means investing in more on-site servers.
Cloud computing eliminates the need to keep expanding physical storage facilities – which as we have already mentioned require physical space – and a bigger, more expensive office.
Storing data on the cloud is inexhaustible. Whilst you will have to purchase more storage space to accommodate your growing database, the cost of cloud storage is far less than a physical data centre.
Cloud solutions also make it easier to scale your business up and down with a minimal amount of disruption. Whereas scaling on-premise IT infrastructure could take several weeks, cloud computing means you can scale in a matter of minutes, hours or days depending on your objective.
Scaling your IT infrastructure is made possible through the use of virtual machines (VM) – which incidentally provides an extra layer of security for remote workers. Because VMs can easily be transferred to a different server or hosted on multiple servers simultaneously, the cloud facilities access applications and workloads.
In short, cloud computing removes most of the complexity of scaling your business and storing data because the solutions are ready-made. And cloud software is becoming easier to use – even for individuals that are not so technology minded.
6. Speed To Market
The switch to digitalisation has been notoriously difficult for large companies. Multiple established high-street brands folded because they did react to changing consumer habits and emerging opportunities in new markets.
Today’s consumers predominantly shop online – or at the very least start their customer journey on Google. What’s more, the advancement of technology and the prevalence of mobile phone usage dictates how companies deliver customer service and provide customer experience. Convenience subsequently comes into play in a big way.
Having witnessed the collapse of established brands that were household names for decades, C-suite executives learnt their lesson. Decision-makers in large companies are increasingly turning to cloud solutions to help them reach their audience quickly and conveniently.
However, the most significant barrier that prevents large companies from getting products to market and reaching customers is speed. It’s extremely difficult for businesses to be agile with the inflexibility of existing business systems.
Cloud applications are readily available on mobile handsets and portable devices. Products that can be accessed or paid for in a secure cloud environment also make it easier for consumers to purchase goods and services from anywhere and VoIP technology makes it possible for businesses to connect with people all over the world – expanding your global reach for very little cost.
There has never been any time in history when large businesses have had the ability to interact this closely with a global audience for such low operating costs. We really are living in cloud nine at the moment.
7. Automatic Software Updates
Any piece of computer software requires maintenance to ensure your system continues to run effectively and to help secure your business network against the threats of cybercriminals.
Cloud-based applications are proving to have a number of advantages over out-the-box software. Not to mention that software companies are trading in their desktop version for cloud-based access anyway.
First of all, desktop-only software is only available via a download directly onto the computer which means your IT team has to go around the entire company to install a new piece of software onto a computer or laptop.
Cloud-based applications, on the other hand, are downloadable in a few clicks and don’t always need an IT professional to install it – although we do recommend consulting cloud specialists to configure the security settings properly.
But the key advantage of cloud computing brings to large businesses is the automatic updates and refreshments of the software. This is important for ensuring the software is always fit for purpose, maintains high performance and seals off vulnerable gateways that can be exploited by hackers.
It is difficult for large businesses to manage and police security updates when they are released by software companies – especially if you have a distributed workforce that is using home networks, public Wi-Fi and personal devices to access your network. This is the case regardless of whether you are using the desktop version or the cloud version of the software.
However, cloud computing again makes life easier for IT teams. With cloud technology, you can utilise the power of patch management which give you the ability to activate updates remotely on any computer on the network. This enables a single member of your IT team to easily update software – and in far less time than updating a desktop version.
Cloud Computing Specialists To Large Businesses in London
As you can see from the descriptions above, cloud computing is far easier for IT teams to manage than traditional IT solutions. And because there are fewer maintenance tasks to perform, your IT team will be able to focus more time and energy on looking at ways of maximising your IT network to take full advantage of cloud solutions – which is also more interesting for them than fixing run-of-the-mill IT problems every day.
Another option for large businesses to take advantage of cloud computing is to utilise the expertise of our cloud computing specialists in London. We can handle the day-to-day running of your business network, ensure your system is running at optimum performance and help you to put a strategy in place that improves your profits.
Call our IT support in London today and find out how we can help your business take advantage of cloud computing.