Cloud has been a buzzword in IT and Telecoms for a number of years now. It’s gradually been adopted by business owners from one man bands, to large corporations over the last decade. And why not? There are some fantastic cloud based solutions out there now that simply cannot be ignored by business owners. Thus we are now at the point where cloud is gradually creeping into businesses across the UK. And even in our homes. There’s not many people I know that don’t use cloud in one way shape or form in business or even their everyday lives. Our TV’s are coming ready for cloud services. We are watching films, listening to music, all from the cloud. Lots of mobile apps rely on cloud based technology. But why is cloud becoming so popular in business and in everyday life? Well the answer is simple. It’s due to connectivity.
Improvements to connectivity over the last 10 years have been the most important factor that has allowed cloud based services to thrive. Sure, the concept and benefits have been there for all to see from day one. But implementation over a poor connectivity was never realistic. That’s why VoIP had such bad press in it’s early years. The concept was fantastic. Flexible. Low cost. More control for management. But deploy that service on unreliable connectivity, and you’ll soon be ripping out those systems and reverting back to a traditional PBX. Which I’m sure many business owners have done. Well perhaps those days are a thing of the past. Fibre ADSL has now been rolled out to the vast majority of the country. It won’t be long before 4g is available nationwide. You can now pick up a 100Mb leased line for around 10% of what you could 15 years ago. If you consider the fact the government have put aside a £100 million war chest for the BDUK voucher scheme that allows businesses to claim up to £3000 off the implementation of newer, faster more reliable internet access. It’s clear that connectivity really shouldn’t be an issue anymore. Thus there’s no excuse to not have adequate connectivity to support cloud based solutions. Especially in business. Connectivity is now almost as indispensable a electric and electric. That’s why the government have launched such a scheme. And with the prices of improved connectivity dropping the way they are, it’s no wonder cloud services have swept into our businesses and everyday lives to the point where we’d now probably be lost without them.
So the big question business owners should be asking themselves, is cloud right for your business? For me it’s simple. Regardless of whether you are a sole trader or a nationwide corporation, it’s not a case of if, but when it is right for you business. With businesses having faster, cheaper and more reliable connectivity available to them that when is most likely now. Minimal CAPEX. A lot more control. Solutions that are more flexible than anything you had before. If cloud isn’t on your radar now, it soon will be. And if people within your organisation or external advisors are not at the very least discussing cloud for your business, then you really need to broaden your horizons.
Of course there will be those of you that feel cloud is not, and will not be right for your business. Ever. Which is fine. Perhaps you only have ADSL to support the cloud solutions and you cannot accept the fact that if you lose your internet, you lose your cloud. But maybe, just maybe we are at the point where despite that, the pros still outway the cons. The cloud can be accessed anywhere, by anyone, at anytime on anything. As long as you have a connection to the outside world. It brings a whole new outlook on disaster recovery for your business. If you still can’t see clear justification for a transition to the cloud, don’t worry. it may prove to be only a matter of time before your hand is forced. If we take the telephony space for instance, as much as the PBX shrugged off the initial competition of VoIP 10+ years ago, hosted telephony now doesn’t have the same connectivity barriers it had back then. Cloud telephony has weathered the storm and is yet again on the charge. It’s funny how all the major PBX vendors has previously laughed off VoIP as competition to their on premise solutions, and yet now most have either launched or purchased a hosted voice platform to enter into that space. Or at the very least launched a hybrid system. Why? Because PBX’s like many other on premise solutions and applications are losing the battle to the cloud. Everything is going into the cloud and if you want to keep up technology, it’s time to embrace it.
The reality is that cloud is not only a buzzword in our industry now, but it is here to stay. Our businesses and everyday lives will continue to adopt cloud based services alongside the continued improvement to connectivity across the country. If cloud isn’t something your business has looked at, it surely is only a matter of time before you do. For those of you that embrace the cloud early, perhaps you’ll have a distinct advantage against the competition that haven’t and perhaps… your businesses will thrive in a parallel fashion to that of the phenomenon that is the cloud.