What is cloud computing?

Simply put, cloud computing is using the Internet to access resources that would have traditionally been stored and run using local computers and servers. If you use Web-based email services like GMail or Hotmail, this is a straightforward example of a cloud-based service, since the data is stored by a third party on your behalf and accessible anywhere.

Is using the cloud right for my organization?

There is no single answer to this question. For many small businesses, cloud services and infrastructure may provide access to enterprise-grade products that would be too costly to purchase and maintain using their own network and resources. Most cloud services are subscription-based, meaning there is a consistent, scalable monthly or yearly fee that replaces periodic capital outlays for new hardware and software. Some businesses may have legacy or specialized software that cannot be supported using a cloud approach, or may have specific legal or audit requirements to store files in a physically accessible location. In those situations, a blended approach is possible where cloud resources are integrated with local servers and storage.

Transitioning to Microsoft Office 365

Office 365 is a collection of cloud-based software and services that allows users to use traditional Office applications like Word and Excel, while accessing collaboration tools and shared storage. For some small businesses, Office 365 may provide an effective user management platform and email service that would once have been limited to large businesses. IT Designs can help you decide if Office 365 is well-suited to your needs and if it is, get your business up and running seamlessly.

Implementing a virtual computing approach

Virtual computing allows you to create tailored cloud-delivered computing services for your business. In some cases, this means deploying virtual servers that take the place of a traditional physical server located on site. This helps provide the stability of a datacentre-grade solution that can be scaled up (or down) quickly as your needs change.

Virtual desktops can be created so that end users can access their own desktop (including software applications, settings and data) from any Internet-enabled device. This reduces requirements for local desktop computers, which may make inexpensive thin clients feasible where a full-fledged desktop computer was previously used. Let IT Designs help you integrate virtual computing into your technology plan.