At SoConnect, we often make a case for a cloud first approach to business IT. That’s because we know how much easier it will be for our clients to grow, optimise and streamline their business operations when they ditch the on-premise solutions holding them back.
If you’re running a business in the 21st century, you’ve probably heard of “the cloud”. No, not the fluffy white things in the sky that occasionally block the sun. We’re talking about the digital kind, the one that’s transforming the way we do business.
For the uninitiated, “the cloud” refers to a network of remote servers that allow users to access and share data over the internet. This means you can store your company’s information, applications, and services in a virtual space rather than on a physical device. It also means you can access that information from anywhere, as long as you have an internet connection.
What is a Cloud First strategy?
A cloud first strategy is an approach to technology adoption and decision-making that prioritises cloud-based solutions for IT infrastructure, applications, and services. It involves first considering cloud options as the preferred deployment model for new initiatives and then evaluating on-premise or non-cloud alternatives only when necessary. This strategy is based on the belief that the online systems offer significant benefits, such as agility, scalability, cost savings, and improved security, compared to traditional on-premise solutions. By adopting a this approach, organisations can better leverage technologies to drive digital transformation and innovation while reducing IT costs and complexity.
What are the benefits of a cloud approach?
The cloud approach to business IT is gaining popularity for a reason. In fact, there are several reasons why companies are choosing to move their operations to the cloud.
First of all, it offers flexibility. It allows you to scale up or down as needed, so you don’t have to worry about investing in costly infrastructure that may become obsolete in a few years. You can easily add or remove users, storage, and services, depending on your needs.
Secondly, it is cost-effective. By storing your data and applications on remote servers, you don’t have to worry about maintaining expensive hardware or software. You also don’t have to pay for costly upgrades or repairs. Instead, you can pay a monthly subscription fee for the services you need, saving you money in the long run.
Lastly, it offers a level of convenience that can’t be matched by traditional IT systems. With services like Microsoft 365, Microsoft Azure, and SharePoint, you can access your company’s data and applications from anywhere, anytime, using any device. This means you can work remotely, collaborate with team members in different locations, and keep your business running smoothly, even if you’re not physically present.
The best tools
Let’s talk about some cloud-based services available to businesses today. These tools should optimise your workflows, streamline communications and increase the efficiency and reliability of your business operations.
Microsoft 365 is a suite of cloud-based tools and services, including Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and Teams. With Microsoft 365, you can access these applications from any device, collaborate with team members in real time, and share documents securely. Microsoft 365 also offers online storage options, so you can store your files safely and access them from anywhere.
Microsoft Azure is a cloud computing platform that allows you to build, deploy, and manage applications and services. With Azure, you can choose from various services, including virtual machines, databases, and storage options. You can scale your services up or down depending on your business requirements.
SharePoint is a web-based platform that allows you to store, organise, and share information within your organisation. With SharePoint, you can create team sites, document libraries, and lists, which can be accessed by team members from any device. SharePoint also offers features like version control and document approval workflows, which can help you securely manage your company’s information.
Cybersecurity in the cloud
Now, let’s discuss what “cloud first” means for cyber security.
You’re entrusting your information to a third-party provider when you store your data and applications in the cloud. This means you must ensure your data is secure and your provider takes the necessary steps to protect it. Fortunately, most have robust security measures to protect their customers’ data. For example, Microsoft 365 offers multi-factor authentication, encryption, and advanced threat protection to secure your information. Microsoft Azure has various security features, including firewalls, encryption, and threat detection. SharePoint offers granular permissions, so you can control who can access your company’s information.
However, just because your cloud provider has security measures in place doesn’t mean you can be complacent. You still need to take responsibility for the security of your data, which means implementing your own security measures and following best practices for cyber security.
Best practices for cyber security
- Use strong passwords and multi-factor authentication to protect your accounts.
- Keep your software and applications up-to-date, as attackers can exploit vulnerabilities.
- Encrypt your data to protect it from unauthorised access.
- Limit access to your data and applications to only those who need it.
- Regularly back up your data in case of a cyber-attack or other disaster.
By following these best practices and working with a trusted cloud provider, you can enjoy the benefits of a cloud-first approach to business IT while keeping your data and applications secure.
The cloud is transforming our business, and this approach to IT can offer you increased flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and convenience. However, with this convenience comes the responsibility to protect your data and applications from cyber threats. Ensuring you follow best practices for cyber security, you’ll enjoy the benefits while keeping your information secure.
So, why not make a case for a cloud first approach to your business IT? You might even have a little fun with it. After all, the sky is the limit!
Now you know how businesses boost efficiency with the cloud, why not look at more of our cloud-based solutions? We can help you build an effective IT and cybersecurity strategy no matter where you are in your journey. So, let us know when you’re ready, and we can help boost and protect your business. Fill out a form here, call us on 03332401824 or email email@example.com.