Business leaders and tech experts talk a lot about business modernization – organisations restructuring themselves to operate in more future-proof ways. At the core of this concept, you have cloud computing a technology that has been a hot topic of conversation almost everyday for the last decade. Many IT companies have made it their business to help smaller organisations tap into this technology and reap the benefits. We spoke to one such company – TechQuarters – whose IT support Croydon and London businesses have been using since 2010, and which is reliant on cloud technologies (as a remote business, they need it to deliver support).
What Does Cloud Computing for Small Businesses Look Like?
Cloud technology has evolved into a diverse array of applications. Nowadays, the most common types of cloud are public clouds – ones that are build and maintained by companies like Microsoft, or IBM. These clouds are build to provide other businesses with services, and this is the primary way in which smaller organisations can access this technology. Some of the most common types of cloud services include the following:
1.Software as a Service
It is likely that many people have used software as a service even if they don’t know what the term is. Any application that is hosted in the cloud, instead of being installed on a PC or mobile device, is an example of software as a service. For instance, Microsoft Office 365 is software as a service, and companies like TechQuarters act as Microsoft Office 365 consultants, helping small businesses implement it in the right way. This type of cloud service allows businesses to access apps and systems without being bound to a specific location.
2.Infrastructure as a Service
The ‘as a service’ model is probably the most common use of cloud computing in business. For example, cloud providers like Microsoft offer ‘Infrastructure as a Service’. This is where the cloud provider effectively rents out access to their cloud infrastructure to businesses. The customers then get access to the underlying cloud infrastructure, where they can then build their own virtual environment. Cloud infrastructure is used as a replacement for on-premise servers – as they are managed by the cloud provider, businesses don’t have to worry about replacing hardware every few years.
3.Platform as a Service
The third main ‘as a service’ cloud solution (though there are others, too) is Platform as a Service. This is actually somewhat similar to Infrastructure, but instead of giving the customer access to the raw cloud infrastructure resources, they get a pre-build platform within the cloud. This platform can be used to build and host apps and workloads that support the various IT processes and systems that form a business IT infrastructure. This service involves less work on the side of the customer, but the trade off is it is less customizable.
Of course, arguably the most common and well-known way in which businesses use the cloud is with cloud storage. Most people, whether they realise it or not, are using cloud storage. This is another example, of how the cloud is replacing on-premises systems and solutions. Most London IT support companies nowadays are both using cloud storage exclusively, and recommending their clients to do the same. Cloud storage has many benefits for businesses. For one thing, it means employees can access their work anywhere. It also further reduces a business’ reliance on their physical workspace. Plus, it can be used for backup services, which can protect small businesses against the impact of data loss and cyber-attacks.