As a small business owner that is adapting to cope in an ever-changing and connected world, have you considered using cloud computing to streamline the daily running?
The IT systems and devices that you rely on to run your business can often be costly, the hardware is cumbersome, and software becomes outdated before you have even installed the latest upgrade.
Research from the Cloud Industry Forum (CIF) revealed that the overall cloud adoption rate in the UK now stands at 88%, with 67% of users expecting to increase their adoption of cloud services over the coming year.
With many Cloud computing systems available, understanding the different types of cloud services and advice around how to protect against possible cyber threats can be a bit of a minefield.
What is Cloud computing?
Essentially, Cloud computing is a digital service that allows a business or individual to access data and files when in the office, working from home, or being out on the road.
If you use systems in your business such as Dropbox, Slack or Salesforce then you are already using a cloud-based tool. Microsoft, Amazon, Google also all offer cloud services that are popularly used, but it’s not always obvious how to protect your business when using these services.
In order to understand cloud security, it’s important to consider the services involved. Cloud solutions come in all shapes and sizes and business are often adopting multiple solutions where the security systems are different.
Why should I use Cloud computing?
There are numerous ways that cloud computing benefits small businesses.
The double C – Collaboration and Convenience Flexibility and accessibility are key factors in improving productivity for SME’s who rely on digital systems and technology. Having the ability to store files in the cloud so that employees can access files anywhere, whether they are out on the road, are in your office, or are working from home is more convenient.
Cloud computing systems can store and back up company data, whilst also streamlining how information is shared.
A recent report from insurance company Direct Line revealed that 25% of small and medium sized businesses have fallen victim to a cyber attack in the last 12 months. With this, comes intense public scrutiny on a businesses ability to protect their data. Using a cloud computing system could help with this by adding an extra layer of security to your existing defence systems.
If you are a small or medium sized business with a constrained budget, then cloud computing is a no brainer. Through using cloud services, you will only pay for the services you need and the difference in the cost of these compared to those associated to software and hardware will be significant.
Data that is stored in the cloud is encrypted to block hackers attempting to intercept files. Furthermore, advanced technology can identify corrupted files and incubate viruses to prevent them from spreading and putting your entire network at risk.
Efficiency Using Cloud computing provides unlimited data storage, meaning that you can free up space on your server. Systems used by your business should run more efficiently as your servers won’t be overloaded and are less likely to crash. The overall result of this is that your employees will experience less downtime, which will help to keep your clients and customers happy.
The automatic backup that comes with Cloud computing means you’re less like to lose what you have been working on.
Here at The Cyber Resilience for the West Midlands, we have launched a short questionnaire to ask small business owners if they currently use Cloud Services and if so, how do they use them. If you have 5 minutes to complete our questionnaire, you can do so via this link.