By now you would have encountered the phrase cloud computing in your organisation. But do you really understand how it provides your business with a more streamlined way of doing things?

Any business with aspirations of remaining relevant in the digital age cannot afford not to use at least some elements of the cloud in its operations.

One of the biggest advantages of the cloud lies in its ability to be deployed quickly. Whether you are a start-up or an established organisation, this means that you do not have to invest in expensive hardware. Working with a trusted partner enables you to easily shift data to secure off-site servers. What is more, the cloud offers complete scalability so you only pay for the resources used. This means you do not have to order servers and have your IT department spend time in setting them up. It is simply a case of managing your requirements with your partner.

Going the cloud route also means that ongoing maintenance and support are taken care of. Your service provider will ensure that any technical issues are resolved so you can remain focused on your core business strategy.

While it is important to have local copies of your data, going the cloud route sees an additional layer of redundancy built in. It greatly reduces the risk of someone forgetting to run daily backups or, if you are really old school, lose the backup tapes of the past week.

Another key advantage is the ability to move to a hosted PBX environment. With infrastructure costs coming down and bandwidth speeds improving, your business can easily drop your fixed-line telephony and embrace the cloud to take care of those needs as well.

Beyond high level business benefits, using the cloud means your employees have access to important data wherever they are. So if someone needs to go and watch their son play that important school rugby match, they will still be in contact with the office and can update those sales figures if needed without being constrained to the office.

Being on the cloud should be a business priority. With the right partner, you can manage the migration and the elements that should be moved first. That vital first step just needs to be taken before losing momentum against your competition.

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