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What Is Cloud Computing?

By now most of you have probably heard the term ‘the cloud’ and wondered at some stage what this term means, and if it has any real significance for your business?

Many of us remember only too painfully the transition over the last two decades of our business filing systems from logical human systems of paper and filing cabinets to digital documents and computer storage. Well, the best way to view ‘the cloud’ is the next phase of that transition, and to bear in mind that a process we may once have thought of as irrelevant and tedious, we now cannot imagine business life without –the computer, and so at some point in the short to medium or long term we almost certainly will view the transition to ‘the cloud’ with the same reverence…

So, what exactly is ‘the cloud’? It’s a broad term used to describe the science of keeping your business computer system in a remote location from your office, most likely on a server located in a secure data centre. Soon, the days of cumbersome on-site IT equipment drinking your valuable resources of electricity, space and staffing will be gone, and the responsibility of your business IT supply and maintenance will be the responsibility of your service provider in ‘the cloud’, benefits of which become immediately obvious! Imagine a world where you can have all the newest and most up-to-date applications for your business, without the need for expensive upgrades of hardware and software; where you never again have to worry about how to cope with a hardware failure and how to afford expensive IT support contracts from a 3rd party or even the wages of your in house IT guru; where all your staff can work from any location regardless of their movements or commitments…oh, and lets not forget reduce insurance premiums as you no longer insure expensive servers…all sounds tempting doesn’t it?

So, you are probably wondering how all this works in practice? Essentially, as long as your business has sufficient bandwidth to the internet and work stations for each user then you could transfer all your business administrations to ‘the cloud’. Your staff won’t see any difference in the way that they work or the applications and files they work with, the only difference is that they will be accessed from, and stored at the ‘secure’ remote location in ‘the cloud’. The access to and support for the services you use can be rented on a monthly basis from your ‘cloud’ supplier. You could enjoy on-going access to any new upgrades to your applications without any CapEx requirement for new equipment or software plus expensive engineering time to install! The cloud services offered by Ring24 include the full suite of Microsoft applications including the MS Office suite, email and Sharepoint. As your local ‘cloud’ supplier Ring 24 is happy to discuss how using services in ‘the cloud’ may help your business move in to the future and save you £2-3,000 if your business will be considering a necessary IT upgrade in the near future.

Mike Williams