Monday, November 12, 2012

Cloud-Based IT Services - Are They Worth Daydreaming About?

Everything is online. Well, nearly. We've seen many old-fashioned science fiction ideas become reality with the emergence of the Internet. Press a button, talk to a friend or colleague via video chat. Shop online. Date online. Live the life of an alter-ego online. But work online? Store your documents online? That's exactly what cloud-based IT services offer to us.

It's an incredibly practical solution to problems that many of us didn't even realise we had. Before the Internet became - well, the Internet - shifting a file from computer to computer involved actual, real-life physical media, or networks. Floppy discs, rewritable CDs and, later, memory sticks were the order of the day. As technological convergence runs rampant through our mobile phones and other portables, though, the need for more accessible IT services becomes apparent. Consider, then, the advantage of storing all of your documents online with cloud-based IT services. You can draft a document on your laptop in bed with your morning coffee, then log in to the cloud via your tablet on your commute and make some crucial changes. By the time you've got into the office, you can log into the cloud again from your desktop and make the finishing touches to a document that's already on its third revision. Before cloud, this process would be very cumbersome. Now, it's as easy as going online.

But cloud-based IT services aren't just used for storage. You can actually access applications, and essentially carry out all of your day-to-day work over the Internet, too. Although this might seem odd to many of us who are used to working from software installed on your own physical computer, there are plenty of benefits that come with working from the cloud.

Firstly, because a cloud-based system is managed from a remote server, whenever - for example - more bandwidth is required, the demand can be met instantly because of the capacity of these remote servers. There is no need to implement technological improvements across the entirety of an office's systems.

Cloud-based systems are also useful for those dreaded blue-screen disaster moments. Again, no complicated recovery plans need to be implemented across an office-wide network of systems. The problem can be sorted out on the remote server, and that's that. It's sorted. No waiting for IT support to arrive. No more hours and hours of downtime whilst the problem is resolved. Switching to the cloud could well cause a massive boost in efficiency as a result.

It's easy to keep up with the latest software, too. Because all software updates and other essential maintenance tasks are managed by the suppliers of cloud-based system, you and your colleagues don't need to lift a finger to keep on top of security improvements and other essential revisions.

Another great benefit of cloud-based IT services is that they facilitate and encourage collaboration between users. Documents can be synced up and worked on together, which could have significant impact on the quality of decision making, improve communication and increase productivity.

For once there's a benefit to having your head in the clouds. Your business could get all of these benefits and more, just by using cloud-based IT services.

Using cloud-based IT services on a remote server has numerous benefits for businesses. They can be more efficient and less prone to problems than traditional 'on-site' IT solutions.

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