Six months into the global pandemic and businesses in Ireland are showing no signs of returning to the office. Remote working looks set to stay for some time and in fact it could herald the beginning of a new approach to doing business.
Whilst remote working has been a growing trend since circa 2017, prior to the Covid-19 crisis only 14% of the Irish workforce worked remotely. The pandemic has forced thousands of businesses to shift to a remote working model en masse and many of them were not and are still not properly equipped with the right IT to enable staff to work productively and securely from home.
Businesses that had already invested in Cloud services before Covid hit were in a strong position to move to a distributed working model. Those that hadn’t made do with 3rd party cloud apps as a short term fix. But as time goes on they are realising that these are not enough to keep their staff productive and their business competitive. Investing in the cloud will not only be of benefit now but in the long term by improving agility, accelerating innovation and lowering IT costs.
WHAT IS THE CLOUD
Everyone has heard of ‘the cloud’. Some businesses may already have some IT services in the cloud. But many are still grappling with what exactly the cloud entails. So here it is made simple.
Cloud Computing is defined as the delivery of services and applications through the Internet. Before the emergence of cloud computing all files and software apps had to be stored in the same physical location as the computers that were accessing them – in most cases on a server in the office! Cloud services enable users to access a network, files and software from anywhere because they are stored in a virtual environment and not on a physical server.
WHY USE THE CLOUD
Cloud Computing has a host of benefits for businesses small and large. It is not the reserve of the larger businesses. It is flexible and scalable allowing small to medium businesses to use what they need making it a more cost-efficient method of managing IT.
Here are the main high-level benefits:
- Security – With cloud computing you avail of enterprise level security no matter what size your business is. Your data and systems are stored in an enterprise data center which are protected with the latest security solutions.
- Flexibility – Your workforce can access what they need when they need it from wherever they are. This not only facilitates home workers but those on the move, travelling, out on site, visiting customers, having meetings with prospects etc..
- Recovery – Cloud backup delivers reliable business continuity in times of failure due to breaches or events (like fire or flood). You can quickly restore what’s needed to keep your business operational.
LONG TERM BENEFITS
The pandemic may eventually be no longer with us but remote working looks set to stay. Research is showing that most workers want to remain working remotely after Covid. Many big names are leading the charge in making changes to their working style. Indeed has announced hybrid working policies and Google pulled out of new office talks in Dublin City Centre.
Any investment in Cloud now is not only a short-term fix just to get through the pandemic. It will deliver longer-term benefits that will transform your business making it more agile, more secure and more cost efficient. Your staff will be more productive from anywhere, your IT costs will be reduced and you will be able to serve your customers better.
MIGRATE TO THE CLOUD
Cloud providers such as Azure, AWS and Google offer self service tools to help migrate your data and systems to cloud. However we recommend engaging with an experienced cloud migration company who will firstly help determine which cloud solution is right for your business and deliver a bespoke service that will handle the migration while minimising disruption and downtime.
We have helped many businesses of differing sizes move to the cloud. We don’t operate a ‘lift and shift’ strategy, we consider your objectives for moving to the cloud and how you want to do business once the migration is complete. We then deliver a detailed cloud migration strategy and plan that works to your budget and timescales.