For some businesses, cloud computing is now a standard business practice and a cost effective way of maintaining and expanding operations for their company.
But for many others, just a mention of the phrase ‘moving to the cloud’ causes concern and worry, as a number of owners and CEO’s simply do not understand what it means, and some are even fearful of what it could ‘do’ to their business.
The mystery around cloud computing begins with the name, which seemingly indicates it’s something which takes place in the sky. Indeed, a US survey for Microsoft found that over half of the respondents thought that cloud technology was affected by the weather.
Of course, that’s not the case, and we’re here to help demystify the cloud and explain how understanding what a virtual office can do for your business could transform the way you operate.
The first step to demystifying the cloud is understanding exactly what cloud technology is.
So what is the cloud? In the most general terms, the cloud is an off-site location that houses hundreds, or perhaps even thousands of servers. It’s a huge data centre, which is accessed via the internet.
Everything you use on your computer requires digital space. All your files and the programs you run need to be kept somewhere, whether it’s on the hard drive of your computer, or a server in your office.
The cloud is simply an off-site version of that storage, which you can access any time and anywhere, via an internet connection. So the cloud is another term for internet based computing.
Putting things “into the cloud” simply means transferring them from the storage on your own computer, mobile phone or office server, and placing them into a location that you can access from anywhere, whenever you want.
A virtual office is a term applied to businesses who are taking their day to day operations into the cloud. They’re ‘going virtual’ by removing the need to have costly and space consuming equipment in their own offices.
And they’re making their businesses more flexible by using a virtual office to run key operational components – so they don’t need to worry about being in the actual physical office to get work done.
A virtual office has many components, and you may find that you already have some of them in place. It includes the ability to:
As with cloud technology as a whole, a virtual office offers businesses so much more freedom and flexibility with their operations.
Scalability is a key benefit, because you don’t need to rely on physical technology in the office. If you want to grow your business with more staff members, it’s simply a case of extending licenses or requesting more digital space, and this can be done in a matter of minutes.
The same is true if you need to change the features of the cloud to your specific business needs. You don’t need to have every single feature as part of package, and if you do need something you don’t already have, it’s easy to just add on that request.
Ultimately, this flexibility impacts on your IT investment. Because you don’t need expensive on-site technology, can scale easily and can customise to your specific needs, a virtual office is highly cost-effective.
Cloud technology is replacing standard servers, so it’s not really a question of if but rather when you decide to move some of your businesses operations into a virtual office.
Rather than being shrouded in mystery, the cloud is actually very simple to use, and getting started really is easy. It’s definitely not something to be worried about.
You can learn as you go along, and with the help of a dedicated IT support team like Paralogic, you’ll soon wonder how you did without a virtual office.
The best thing to do if you’re interested in setting one up is to have a think about the key features you’d want from a virtual office. Then simply give us a call on 01844 293 330 or fill in the form on the right, and we’d be more than happy to help advise you on exactly what you’ll need to do to get started.
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