What is the Cloud? Six things it can do for every business

Magnet in partnership with Newstalk wanted to help businesses understand the benefits of moving more of what they currently do offline, and getting it online or ‘into cloud’. There are great advantages as the below article sets out

Taken from Octobers Magnet Advertorial on Newstalk

Taking Irish Business to the Cloud

Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’re probably familiar with the idea of the cloud. For years, the magical solution to all of your business problems sounded a little too much like snake oil. Like many technologies it has taken years to come of age, but we’ve finally arrived at a time where you have to look pretty hard for argument not to move to the cloud. Here are six things the cloud can do for your business:

1. Prepare for disaster (nuclear or otherwise)
Oskarsham is the world’s largest nuclear plant. It’s in Sweden. Last year, despite exhausting every conceivable disaster scenario, they had to shut down a 1400 megawatt reactor. Turns out, nobody figured a freak wave of jellyfish would clogged up the cooling pipes, potentially causing the biggest nuclear disaster of our time. No-one can predict the future. Backups fail, power outages could zap your servers, basements can get flooded or go on fire. The IT guy who was supposed to be putting your tapes offsite might actually hosting a game of Doom on your network instead. Because data is replicated across sites, hosting in the cloud with a reputable provider means that no matter what happens, your files are safe, your site is live,  and your business is open round the clock.

2. Set up shop or office anywhere
We’re Irish have a connection to the land; to the earth beneath our feet. We like to own things and see them and touch them. It’s a mentality that perhaps underpins the fact that European businesses have been slower to evolve than US-based counterparts who have been quicker to embrace the freedom that the cloud provides. There’s also the not insignificant fact that it’s taken us a lot longer to finally get high-quality, reliable broadband. Either way, the cloud allows you to set up office anywhere you can connect to the internet, with access to your entire network and phone system if its you use VOIP in the cloud. With deadlines looming on a Friday night, you can now work just as well from a nice warm bath at home as in that freezing cold, lonely office. One provider even has a smartphone app and pc phone app meaning you take your office number anywhere in world and because it uses the internet, calls between staff and other branch offices are free.

3. Manage your costs
Like every entrepreneur, you’ve started off small, but have dreams to be the next Donald Trump. If your business does take off, how do you deal with demand? Buy more equipment? Upgrade the stuff you have? What if you’ve overestimated and tied up your capital in a Babylon-sized infrastructure that needs a full-time IT staff just to keep it ticking along? Whether you are expanding or contracting, using cloud services of voice, broadband or hosting it means that you can scale quickly and efficiently, not just for major changes, but even on a daily basis. Some operators allow you to plan your services on a 24 hour clock, so you only pay for what you use. If your business runs 9-5, you don’t need full throttle at 3am.

4. Data times infinity
Big data – everyone’s talking about it. 90% of the world’s information was created in the past two years, apparently. At the last count, 572 businesses went online every minute of the day. All of information is useful, if you know the right questions to ask. When you live in the cloud, your data is infinitely more accessible and there are a couple of countless service providers dying to help you learn from it. Knowing why your online shoe store sales peaks at 3pm on Tuesday afternoon might help you make it peak on Wednesday afternoon too.

5. Share the wealth
Bosco taught us that sharing is caring, but it’s not always easy. If you’ve got multiple teams working on a project, you want everyone working off the same page. Working in the cloud means that everyone can work on the same documents in real-time, without having to peer over each others’ shoulders and invade personal space. The calls of ‘can you please close out of the sales spreadsheet’ are silent and you won’t have 16 revisions of the same pitch document flying about your email servers, driving everyone bananas.

6. The power of now is in your hands
There are few things that raise the thermometer more than an ill-timed system update. It’s as if the IT guys are literally shadowing your every movement, Truman Show style, picking the precise moment of utmost importance to schedule a 15 minute reboot of everything electrical in sight. It pains us to admit it, but those updates are a necessary evil: improving security, adding features, maintaining stability of the network. Because your office phone system, data and web hosting network is in the cloud, these updates happen automatically in the background, when and if you desire, finally wrestling the power of now back into your hands. Aaand… breathe out.

Sponsored Article

Production of this article was supported by Magnet. You can find out what Magnet can do for your business by visiting www.magnet.ie


Jonathan McCrea 18:02 Thursday 2 October 2014

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