What is cloud computing?
If you're looking to grow your company, expand your services, and manage costs, cloud computing could be an asset that helps your business scale effectively without additional overheads.
Cloud computing offers many benefits according to technology studies.
Research by Statistica found that nearly half (48%) of businesses using these services reported increased efficiency, while the UK Parliament Post found that 89% of larger firms use at least one cloud-based service.
However, smaller businesses can lag when it comes to adopting this technology.
According to research by Close Brothers, 58% of small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) do not use cloud-based computing.
Trust is the biggest challenge, with over one-third of SMEs worried that about security issues.
What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing uses remote, networked servers to host, process, and manage data over the Internet.
This can range from email and document storage to accessing boosted computing power to on demand rather than buying capital equipment.
Cloud computing services can be accessed with a broadband connection on devices such as desktops, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.
The three most popular offerings are SaaS (Software as a Service), IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), and PaaS (Platform as a service):
- SaaS – This provides users with on-demand access to cloud applications or software over the Internet, meaning no hardware management or complex software is needed. A popular example of this is Microsoft 365, which allows users to access word processing, spreadsheet, and presentation tools without installing software on a local device.
- IaaS – This is on-demand access to the "back end" infrastructure of cloud computing, such as Amazon Web Services, which gives customers access to cloud-hosting servers, storage, and networking to run business-intensive services such as hosting their website and streaming video.
- PaaS – This is on-demand access to fully-functional and ready-to-go cloud platforms to run and manage applications, such as delivering interactive eLearning courses to customers, using a PaaS service such as Microsoft Azure.
Businesses may use a combination of services, such as paying an annual fee for employees to access Office 365, renting cloud storage for company documents, or hosting a website.
Leasing cloud computing can be cheaper than, for example, buying and running a server on your work premises.
The benefits of cloud computing
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Reference to any organisation, business and event on this page does not constitute an endorsement or recommendation from the British Business Bank or the UK Government. Whilst we make reasonable efforts to keep the information on this page up to date, we do not guarantee or warrant (implied or otherwise) that it is current, accurate or complete. The information is intended for general information purposes only and does not take into account your personal situation, nor does it constitute legal, financial, tax or other professional advice. You should always consider whether the information is applicable to your particular circumstances and, where appropriate, seek professional or specialist advice or support.
Investing in technology
Improving efficiency, adapting to changing market conditions, and scaling your business are all great reasons for your business to invest in new technology.
But funding growth in your business can be hard when you’re unsure what the future holds.
With tips on everything from cloud-based services to Smart meters, our Guide to Building Business Resilience could help your business prepare for the future.