I’m proud to say that a little bit of snow last month didn’t affect business for Atlas Cloud’s clients. Staff could work safely from home with the tools to get the job done, and customers felt confident that their needs would be met.
But while US businesses are flocking to the cloud – with productivity, flexibility and mobility in mind – UK businesses are more cautious, which is perhaps reflected in the fact that Britain’s productivity output is 22 per cent lower in comparison.
So why is this the case? In my experience as CEO of a trusted cloud partner to clients across the UK and Ireland, there’s a misconception that it’s a long and winding road to convert to cloud-based IT solutions and will involve the complete upheaval of current IT infrastructure for a prolonged period. This isn’t the case.
The process is personalised and non-intrusive, with the result being ‘invisible IT’ that enables organisations to focus on core business operations, without poor technical experiences such as slow performing machines.
These benefits of cloud computing are influencing the prediction that global spending on cloud infrastructure will increase 51 per cent by 2020. Many businesses will shift to become completely cloud-hosted all at once, while others will follow a common three-step progression towards operational efficiency, GDPR compliance and reduced IT spend for years to come.
Step 1: Cloud-hosted secure file sharing
In a world where agility is key to project success, people need to easily collaborate, which is why secure file sharing via the cloud tends to be a small step with huge benefits.
Atlas Cloud’s preferred software, Citrix ShareFile, facilitates this; providing a secure, online platform where staff and clients can share files and simultaneously work on documents. Often businesses take Microsoft Office 365 into this online environment so that their people can access up-to-date versions of Microsoft programs and applications from any location using secure cloud delivery – hugely increasing business efficiency.
Step 2: Cloud-hosted applications
In addition to effortless collaboration and global accessibility, the benefits of cloud-hosted applications include the assurance that a business’s core and critical systems are complying with data protection laws, such as GDPR.
For example, the hosting of Sage apps on behalf of our clients has simplified their financial processes. They can access their business’s accounting processes and HR systems from a single view platform and rest assured that all vital data is securely managed and EU law compliant – one of the many underlying positives of working with a certified cloud solutions partner such as Atlas Cloud.
Step 3: Cloud-hosted desktops
Imagine having the entirety of your business’s tools and data in one centralised, single view – accessible to all staff, working across the world, at any time – without the poor experience attached to remote access solutions that dial into PCs and file servers.
Atlas Cloud has helped many businesses thrive with Desktop as a Service (DaaS), also known as virtual desktop hosting. As a partner of Citrix, we also promise a ‘secure digital perimeter’; meaning that we keep organisations safe by completely securing the expanding virtual workspace around a business – that’s the user, the data, the device, and the network – which is necessary in this digital age.
There really is no doubt that cloud computing can be the route to business success, with our own client Ecus recently reporting a 20 per cent rise in productivity by converting. But before you set off on your journey, make sure you have a clear roadmap that aligns with your short-term and long-term business goals, plus a solid cloud solutions partner to support you along the way.