What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud Computing represents a shift in the way IT works for your business. It allows IT to be delivered as a service, paid monthly, proportional to your consumption. It requires no hardware to be installed in your premises, no on-site maintenance, no expensive software, no capital expenditure. It also means access to all your IT services not only from your office but everywhere your team works.

How does it work?

“Cloud Computing” is the same as “Hosted Services”. Instead of having servers installed in your office, they are hosted in our secure and highly resilient data centre and accessed by you through the Internet or a dedicated connection. You have all the benefits of IT without having to bother about the problems, since all equipment is managed by our qualified team. Moreover, with all your IT hosted externally, you can have access to it from everywhere, as long as you have an Internet connection.

What are the main advantages of using Cloud Computing?

Mobility You can access your IT resources from everywhere.

Deployment  The time between establishing a requirement and having the solution available to your business is shorter than with a physical system, which needs procurement of hardware and installation.

Zero maintenance Your IT team will have more time to focus on the core business.

Business continuity By having your services hosted securely, you minimise the risks to the survival of your business in case of a disaster.

Op-Ex, not Cap-Ex You can have IT as a service and pay for it monthly, according to your consumption and the number of users you have (operational expenditure). You won’t need to make large upfront investment (capital expenditure), such as purchasing servers or software licences.

Which hosted services can benefit your company?

Everything can be hosted in our cloud: email, data backup, application software such as Microsoft Office, even your entire computer network. If you need to scale up your resources, such as storage capacity, you do it by just paying an incremental monthly fee, instead of spending thousands of pounds for it upfront. It is a more cost-effective model and it also dramatically reduces the deployment time for IT solutions.

How does a hosted computer (or virtual desktop) work?

A hosted computer (or virtual desktop) is a computer with all the attributes of a normal one, such as hard drive and memory, but instead of being physically installed in your office, it is hosted in our data centre. It is accessible via the Internet or dedicated connection by using any computer (it does not require an expensive workstation to function). Alternatively, you may use a thin client, which is a simplified computer, to connect you to the virtual desktop. The advantage is that a thin client requires no upgrades and costs much less than a traditional computer. Your virtual desktop can be easily integrated with other cloud-based solutions.

What are the advantages of having a virtual desktop solution?

By adopting a virtual desktop solution, your company eliminates the need of upgrades to your current machines. Moreover, when hiring a new employee, you can opt to procure a thin client instead of a more expensive workstation and save money. You can also save money with software licencing, since with a virtual desktop you can pay for some licences monthly per user. And if you virtualise your entire network, your employees can benefit from having a uniform platform, with the same configurations, capacity and software for everyone, minimising the risk of incompatibility.

An additional advantage is the mobility and data security that virtual desktops can provide. If, for example, you have a mobile sales force, they will be able to work from their laptops, integrated to your network, with the same efficiency as if they were in the office. Moreover, if a laptop is lost or stolen, no critical information is compromised, since it is all stored in the cloud.

What are the challenges of Cloud Computing?

Since all the services will be running externally, your company will need a reliable broadband Internet connection to operate. This is already available in most places in the UK and we can help you define your requirement. Additionally, we can suggest more robust connectivity solutions which have higher reliability and avoid downtime.

Some concerns have been raised about security of Cloud Computing since the data will be transmitted through the Internet. However, Cloud Computing is as safe as Internet Banking or online shopping.