How often have you heard the word “cloud” today? It is definitely the “in-word” for IT companies at the moment. But do you really understand what “cloud” means? Let me try to explain it in laymen’s terminology.

So, what is the cloud?

Basically, a cloud is somewhere you store or receive data from. You can have a public cloud, also as known as “Software as a Service.” For this you generally pay a monthly cost and receive a piece of software that is hosted in a datacentre and delivered to you over the Internet. A good example of this could be the way you do your online banking. Probably the most common software as a service application at the moment is email.

On the other hand you may have a private cloud. This is somewhere that your company pays for where you access applications and data. It could be as simple as an on-site server.

So what exactly is the answer to “what is a cloud?” Well, it can be anything you want it to be! One thing I tell all of our clients is to not get too worried about what the cloud is or what it does. People get really worked up when they hear someone has moved all their IT systems to the cloud and think they have to do the same. This is the wrong approach, however. It is all about getting the right IT solution for your business at the best possible price.

Moving all your IT systems to a cloud platform will work for a lot of businesses, they may even see considerable cost savings but it can also be an overhead on your business, and to get it right means a lot of planning and no shortage of headaches. One major consideration for you to think about is this, if you put all your data in the cloud and your Internet connection goes down, how are you supposed to access it? If it is down for hours, how much will this cost your business?

One big advantage for businesses is to have all their data in a cloud that all employees can access from any location on any device. This brings major performance improvements and gives your people flexibility to work at home.

Moving your business to the cloud takes a lot of thought and management. Our advice would be to carry out an IT Strategy report first and foremost. In this report, you look at the aims and goals of the business and how IT can help you to achieve it. Any move to the cloud has to be budgeted and like anything else in business, it has to have a return on investment.

If your business is thinking about using the cloud, then the first step should be to get some advice on the best way to move forward. Give Unleashed a call today for unbiased advice on the best way to implement cloud technology.