7 November 2018
According to international accounting firm BDO, mid-sized businesses are the engine of the UK economy, having ‘grown faster and generated larger profit growth over the last five years than their smaller and larger counterparts’. These companies play a key role in generating UK revenue and creating jobs, so it’s vital they’re supported with the best possible IT infrastructure.
But choosing the right infrastructure isn’t easy. Especially when these companies often face the lingering challenges of being a smaller organisation, like limited budgets, as well as the need for powerful but agile infrastructure to help them grow. Fortunately, the emergence of cloud technology has offered a clear path towards tackling these problems – and many mid-sized businesses are already taking advantage.
Tackling big challenges with smaller budgets
One of the key reasons mid-sized businesses are moving to the cloud is cost. During expansion periods, many businesses discover they need dedicated servers to support their operations. Traditionally, this would have meant purchasing expensive on-premise solutions – and making sure you have the space to store it – then paying for set-up and on-going maintenance.
But by moving to the cloud, businesses can budget for server, storage, firewall and maintenance requirements with one fixed monthly fee. Ultimately, this means businesses can reduce their IT costs, freeing up budgets for other growth priorities. Such as hiring new staff, investing in training, or even opening new offices.
Saving time and hassle for IT teams
Another frequent motivation for mid-sized businesses moving to the cloud is reduced infrastructure management. As businesses grow, the burden on IT teams only gets larger – and there are always new, unexpected problems to tackle. A shift to cloud computing can help to alleviate some of this load, as the provider covers management of the IT infrastructure. As a result, IT teams are free to focus on core business issues, instead of hardware maintenance tasks, which is a much more productive use of their time.
Staying agile in an ever-changing market
Although business growth is exciting, the larger an organisation becomes, the more difficult (and expensive) it is to react quickly to changes in the market, implement new procedures, or take advantage of new technologies. Providing five people with the devices and platforms they need to thrive is fairly straightforward – doing this for a two hundred strong office across two sites is much harder.
This is another key reason why so many mid-sized businesses have already moved many of their applications to the cloud. Cloud-hosted applications can be updated and adapted more quickly, allowing mid-sized business to stay agile and responsive, no matter how quickly they grow.
Finally, more and more mid-sized businesses are looking to invest in cloud computing for the security features it offers. To some, equating the cloud with improved security might seem counterintuitive. How can storing data remotely be more secure than an on-premise solution? But in reality, cloud providers have taken intensive steps to ensure the absolute security of their services. Their business reputation depends on it, after all. And of course, with most cloud computing providers offering 24/7 monitoring, 365 days a year, this is likely to be a more rigorous level of protection than in-house IT teams could offer.
For those who are concerned about security threats, it’s important to note that cloud backup is just as effective as traditional backup solutions. If a data system does go down for any reason, this can be disastrous for business operations, and may even result in loss of revenue. With cloud backup, data stored on servers is automatically backed up to a secure and highly resilient storage facility.
Connectivity to support the cloud
It’s not hard to see why so many mid-sized businesses have already made the move to the cloud. And this technology is only set to grow in popularity. But whether you’re already a cloud convert or are looking to make the leap to support business growth, it’s important to remember that robust connectivity is crucial in supporting cloud-based services and infrastructure. So, to fully reap the benefits of the cloud, mid-sized businesses should first look to their data services. From this, they can set about enjoying the many benefits of cloud computing – all while continuing to grow and compete as a valuable part of the UK’s economy.
7 November 2018 | Cem Ahmet
The views in this article are the personal views of the author and are not necessarily endorsed by Gamma.