cloud computing

3 Reasons Small Businesses Should Consider Moving to the Cloud

3 Reasons Small Businesses Should Consider Moving to the Cloud

The cloud has been quickly adopted by a number of large companies in order to streamline their operations, save money and generally make them more competitive. Several major corporations have moved entire IT infrastructures onto cloud platforms, offering services via this cutting-edge technology and generating serious revenues from it, in spite of its relatively short time on the market. Two notable examples are Manchester Airport, who have moved their web hosting to a fully managed cloud-based hosting platform, and Businesswise Solutions, who replaced their entire telephone system with a hosted cloud telephony (VoIP) system. However, it is sometimes assumed that companies at the other end of the scale, the small businesses, will be unable to take advantage of cloud computing solutions, pu... »

True Costs and Efficiency Gains of the Cloud

True Costs and Efficiency Gains of the Cloud

Every experienced business owner knows that one of the hardest things to predict is sales. Inevitably turnover forecasts made in rookie business plans turn out to be wildly over-optimistic triggered by a need to attract backers and by a natural sense of optimism for the new venture. Costs, however, are a lot more predictable. At least in theory. Admittedly, certain costs can be volatile (think of fuel, raw materials, certain labour expenses etc), but surely one of the most straightforward to predict is what the business needs to spend on its IT? The answer, I’m afraid, is more complicated. Any new venture just starting out will no doubt have budgeted for the obvious IT costs, such as PCs, laptops, servers, tablets, printers connectivity etc. But on top of equipment bills, you must also add... »

Government Pumps 40M into Cloud Computing

A Government-backed fund to support UK cloud computing businesses has attracted £40 million of investment for British firms with high-growth potential. Notion Capital Fund Two is the largest of 11 Enterprise Capital Funds (ECFs) set up by the Government to pump a mixture of public and private cash into UK business sectors where there is a lack of equity funding. The Notion Capital Fund, which is also supported by the European Investment Fund, has a total value of more than £63 million, £40 million of which will be spent supporting emerging UK companies in the cloud computing and ‘software-as-a-service’ (SaaS) markets. Announcing the size of the fund at the end of the first ECF funding round, business and enterprise minister Mark Prisk said: “It’s a... »

When is it Best to Change IT Systems?

When is it Best to Change IT Systems?

If your firm’s more than a few years old, there’s a good chance you’re already using a mixture of old and new PCs, laptops and even tablets. You’ll also most likely have some older and newer versions of Windows, running various different versions of common Microsoft Office programmes. In short, your IT is a bit of a hotchpotch. After a while, an IT hotchpotch turns into a bit of a mess, and is unstable, inefficient and regularly a frustration to you and your employees. Even so, it won’t be an easy decision to ditch it all and start from fresh. A big deterrent of a major IT refresh is the cost of replacing it and starting again. An even bigger one is the thought of the major disruption to your business. Potentially you could be looking at lost production and perhaps even the interruption of... »

Enterprise Mobility Takes Off

In 2011 enterprise mobility is truly taking off. Powerful smart-phones are becoming the norm, while more-powerful tablet PCs such as the Apple iPad, Android-based Samsung Galaxy Tab and, from the company behind Blackberry, the Research In Motion (RIM) PlayBook are set to make major inroads into the corporate market over the next 12 months. Better, more powerful devices that allow mobility, plus increased bandwidth, have created a platform for mobile business applications. The companies that will succeed in tomorrow’s economy will be the ones who embrace mobility. Organisational leaders will be able to provide their employees with the resources to work at any time, from any location and from any device. Enterprise mobility gives employees flexibility, which makes for a happier, more product... »

Grasping the Cloud’s Business Impact

Software vendors must help their customers understand the cloud-driven business transformation taking in enterprises today in order to help them realise the full potential of cloud computing. For technologically tuned-in senior executives, the potential benefits that can be gained by making the move to cloud computing may appear to be nothing short of spectacular. After all, there is a lot of hype around the promise of benefits such as fast time to implementation, cheap infrastructure in a pay-as-you go model, substantially reduced electricity and overall IT costs, and plenty more. But when CEOs and CIOs take the time to talk to their IT departments, they are surprised at the number of new complexities introduced by cloud computing. Software and cloud service vendors must understand the re... »

Cloud Computing – Benefits and Best Practices

Cloud computing, or virtualisation as it is sometimes called, is one of the hottest trends in information technology. This innovative new way of doing business allows companies to store their vital information and frequently used applications offsite using the internet for access. So how does cloud computing benefit business? For most companies, cloud computing is a great way to reduce IT costs and equipment requirements by storing the bulk of the company’s electronic data and computing applications offsite and accessing it through the internet. Rather than having copies of the software installed on each computer or on a centralized server, cloud computing uses the process of virtualisation to provide access to that same software through the company’s internet connection. Virtualisation si... »

Cloud Computing: the Wave of the Future

We are in the full throes of the Information Age now. A company without an adequate information technology infrastructure will almost certainly be left behind, as speed, efficiency and communication are the building blocks of business success. Information technology is here defined as hardware, software, networks and connections that allow communication, financial, marketing and other such tasks to take place faster than ever before. IT is, effectively, the superconductive glue that holds modern business together. It allows for a new field of business known as knowledge management, which, like a synthetic brain ensures that the right information, or "knowledge," gets to the right people in the right places at the right times, with few delays. The advent of cloud computing is a fu... »

UK SMBs Reach for the Clouds

Can cloud computing work for your business? Listen to today’s podcast with Tanya Shirlow, Head of SMB Marketing at Microsoft. Uncertain economic conditions have brought about new business models which have fundamentally transformed the way that we do business, for employees and customers alike. With a heightened focus on speed and flexibility to perform everyday business tasks and swiftly meet customer demand, technology is uniquely positioned to help small businesses adapt. Agile and unrestricted unlike many larger players, Small and Medium-sized Businesses (SMBs) have much to gain from technology, particularly cloud computing. The cloud has enormous potential for SMBs in terms of economics, management, productivity and business flexibility. By having the applications at your finger... »

Cloud Computing: Avoid the Pitfalls of Moving to the Cloud

By Craig Beddis, SVP Rest of World Region, UC4 Software As the hype curve around cloud computing continues north, it’s increasingly easy to get lost in the pressure – perceived or real – coming from all sides to quickly formulate a strategy to leverage today’s IT super trend.  The promise of benefits such as fast time to implementation, cheap infrastructure in a pay-as-you go model, substantially reduced electricity and overall IT costs, and a host of other tantalising would-be benefits can seem overwhelming. But as the old adage goes, cooler heads will prevail. After listening and providing counsel to dozens of IT execs (and those deeper in the trenches) at various stages of cloud implementation, we have identified a set of key considerations among those successfully incorporating cloud i... »

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