The cyber landscape in retail
The cloud revolution promises big things for businesses of all sizes, with the potential for the cloud to drive up business and positively impact the bottom line. It is now considered the way to conduct business. But you may be wondering what the benefits are or perhaps just keen to cut through the jargon?
So, what does cloud computing, cloud solutions, cloud hosting and cloud management actually mean? Well, they’re largely all terms that refer to ‘the practice of using a network of remote (cloud) servers on the internet to store, manage and process data rather than storing everything on a local server or personal computer.’
What is cloud server?
A cloud server is essentially storage; a one-stop means of storing all your business data and programs on a remote server that is accessible over the internet.
Cloud server hosting performs all the same functions of a traditional physical server, delivering processing power, storage and applications but provide a centralised server resource that is hosted and delivered over a network (the internet), which can be accessed on demand by multiple users. It is best imagined as a combination of electronic structures that store data, information, applications and more, across different locations and computers.
All the information your business needs is united and synced in one place, meaning you can be more proactive and work on-the-go; liaising with customers, suppliers and colleagues with the resources you need, whenever you need them.
What cloud server options are out there?
Cloud servers come in all shapes and sizes depending on your business needs and budget, but there are three main types:
- Public cloud - The most common type where a third-party provider owns and manages the servers and other infrastructure and delivers on-demand computing services.
- Private cloud - Your business can host its own cloud servers yet still maintain control of management and maintenance. These server resources are not shared with other organisations but can be accessed by employees via a company intranet, for example.
- Hybrid cloud - Public and private clouds can be combined with on-premises cloud servers and off-site cloud servers working together. This hybrid cloud environment gives options and flexibility when it comes to control and security.
What are the 5 advantages of cloud based storage?
The cloud has been quite the gamechanger for the IT industry offering up benefits in the form of.
- Affordability – maintaining your own company infrastructure can be costly both in terms of time and money. Using a third party provider also provides options with regards to payment packages; businesses can opt for pay-as-you go, monthly or yearly options – large investment is not always necessary.
- Outsourced server management – everything you need is managed for you, freeing up your IT team for more pressing tasks.
- Scalability – As your business grows or changes, cloud servers can be scaled up or down quickly and easily.
- Reliability – Keeping your data located in a remote, powerful data centre increases reliability and strengthens your IT security and creating live cloud backups of your files, giving you total peace of mind.
- Flexibility – Cloud servers can be accessed from any location if you have an internet connection. Giving you the freedom to create a hybrid working environment where you employees can work from any location by connecting to the cloud servers.
The best in cloud computing technology
Many businesses are now choosing to operate solely in the cloud, opting for the ultimate in cloud collaboration seen in the likes of Microsoft 365, which is the perfect cloud server for small business. Described as “more than just apps like Word, Excel and PowerPoint, Microsoft 365 brings together best in class productivity apps with powerful cloud services, device management and advanced security in one, connected experience.”
The benefits of Microsoft 365 cloud technology include:
- Users can take advantage of email and scheduling among colleagues and customers, wherever they are located.
- There is also the ability to store, access and share files from anywhere, with 1 TB of online storage per user.
- Use group chat, host online meetings and calling in Microsoft Teams.
- Protect your business, employees, data and customer information with advanced security and device management.
Even though we’ve broken this down to try and make the cloud clear, the very best way to find out what your business needs and how it can benefit from moving to the cloud is to call our Cloud Server experts. We’re happy to talk through tailored packages that will serve you best, won’t break the bank and will set your business on the path to digital transformation!
Brand & Campaign Manager
Sonia Older is the Campaign Manager at Focus Group and a highly experienced copywriter. She boasts over 20 years of experience in content marketing and PR across multiple industries, and is the key driver of content and PR for Focus Group across all UK offices. Away from work, Sonia usually swaps keyboard strokes for ski slopes in the Alps with her family.