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What is the cloud and how can it benefit SME’s?

Traditionally companies have used on-premise servers from which they run their IT infrastructure, using a local IT support company to manage their systems. However recent developments in the cloud computing market have allowed small to medium size companies to benefit from huge cost savings and improved reliability, by moving their network to ‘The Cloud’.

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Typically cloud computing works on a pay as you go basis, with companies paying a fee for all of the services they require. They can add or remove services such as Microsoft Office, Sage and other applications as and when they need them. This saves on initial software expenditure, together with hardware costs. Due to ever tightening budgets business owners and IT staff are seeking to find cheaper and more efficient ways of sourcing their IT. The cloud significantly reduces capital expenditure by using monthly payments instead of single outlay.

The cloud is simple and quick to roll out, which minimises both set time and cost. Previous reservations about moving to the cloud are no longer valid as improved functionality and availability of applications has dramatically changed the entire platform. It now offers a flexible and customisable basis for all small companies.

Security has always been a concern for clients, as has the control and access of their data. This has raised questions about where and how data is stored, recent developments have allayed these fears though with off-site backups and site replication. When combined with guaranteed Service Level Agreements (SLAs) the cloud market is now a secure, reliable and dependable place for a business IT system.

In summary a company may benefit from a Cloud migration if they:

  • Doesn’t want to invest in expensive on-site servers
  • Prefers monthly payments to initial outlay
  • Would like a flexible approach
  • Require the latest software versions without having to pay for upgrades
  • Want to save money on IT support
  • Wants to know exactly what IT costs they will have

The cloud runs across a broadband connection and negates the need for local servers. Existing workstations can often be used regardless of their age, due to the way in which the cloud processes data. This means that you ROI on equipment is often improved as older PC’s can be used for longer.

There are many companies providing Cloud computing, but one of the most established and preferred suppliers is Ashgoal who run their own cloud platform, which offers superior uptime and reliability.

Ashgoal are a certified Citrix Partner and were established in 1979.  For more details contact Ashgoal on 08442 459100 or visit www.ashgoal.com

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