The internet is ubiquitous. The American worker can find it in their homes and workplaces, in coffee shops and restaurants, or through cellular-based hotspots. This, in turn, has made the concept of an office, and the work performed there, equally ubiquitous via cloud computing.
A cloud based infrastructure, such as Microsoft’s Office 365, allows the modern business owner or IT professionaltocreate a more connected and productive workplace. It is a modern tool for a modern workforce, integrating the traditional office setting with digital tools that can be accessed anywhere or anytime, creating a truly mobile office. Here are four reasons to invest in a cloud based infrastructure:
Simplification of IT Services
IT is a cornerstone in any office, large or small, because it deals with major facets of any business. Creating and managing documents, e-mail, phone and (or) video calls are all part of daily life. Computers sit on every desk, ready to facilitate these tasks, with applications such as Microsoft Office Suite, access to the internet and an e-mail client. Many companies also make use of inter-office instant messaging systems and Voice over IP services. With so much dependent on the computer, companies invest a lot to keep these systems running. It can be a complicated and expensive endeavor. Many business that do tackle it using on-premises dedicated servers running Active Directory and other Microsoft products such as Exchange, SharePoint and Skype for Business.
A cloud infrastructure can replace all of those systems. Office 365, for example, provides desktop and online versions of Office Suite, Outlook for e-mail, cloud storage and Skype for Business that create and manage your office’s digital world. All of the services are paid for through one subscription, and Microsoft offers 24/7 support. A cloud system can even work with existing on-premises solutions, helping simplify IT headaches no matter your current set-up.
With everything cloud systems can offer, it can be tempting dismiss it as an overabundant tool with too many features that will never be used. But, cloud infrastructures are scalable, both to your needs and your budget. Perhaps you only need the most basic tools such as online storage for documents, an e-mail provider and the ability to video conference. A cloud infrastructure can be just that, but it can also be retooled as your company, and needs, grow. Imagine, for instance, you wanted to have part of your workforce telecommute;tools such as online collaboration and a more sophisticated VoIP that could handle large conference calls would keep those employees connected to the home office. Or, let’s say you’ve expanded your business into a realm where client data became more sensitive. You would need to integrate rights management into your file sharing, a solution that is easily applied and managed in a cloud infrastructure. Eventually, you could very well need the top tier of services that a product like Office 365 E5 has to offer: intranet, advanced virus protection, eDiscovery, data loss prevention and PSTN conferencing. No matter what your needs are, a cloud infrastructure can provide the right solution at the right price.
Security & Redundancy
Cloud based storage is safer than on-site servers for two reasons. First, because the data is stored on remote servers, it will be unaffected by disasters in your office such as floods and fires. This makes cloud storage a convenient disaster recovery solution, as digital loss will be minimal, and recovery will be much quicker and easier. Second, the provider of the storage, such as Microsoft, will be responsible for data security and hardware redundancy. This assures you information will be safe, and your service will be uninterrupted, even if one of your provider’s servers fails. With a cloud infrastructure in place at your company, you can have peace of mind knowing your data is safe and recoverable.
A cloud infrastructure truly lets your employees work anywhere. With cloud-based storage, applications and e-mail, your employees can access their work as long as they have internet. Office 365 offers web-based versions of the Office Suite so employees can make changes on devices that don’t have the desktop version. It also allows for online collaboration. This means employees can view and edit a document together, in real-time, versus having to send it back and forth via e-mail. They can be a desk away or a continent away and still work together easily, and they can video conference while they do it. Companies with multiple offices will find these features especially rewarding, as it reduces the hassles in inter-office communication and cooperation. In addition, the cloud makes it easier for employees that work remotely or travel often to stay productive by lessening the importance of being in the traditional office setting, saving everyone time and money.
Investing in a cloud infrastructure like Microsoft 365 is a big step, but a crucial one in today’s internet-based world. The good news is that doing so is cheaper and easier than ever before, so a business of any size can take full advantage of the benefits the internet and cloud computing offer. If you want to learn more about how Microsoft 365 can fit your business or how Office 365 Consultingcan help you integrate it and manage it, please contact us. We’d love to hear from you.