The drawbacks of Cloud – Things they don’t tell you!

Cloud Computing - NetshieldCloud computing refers to storing and accessing your data and applications via the internet and not running it from the devices or the business server. It can provide a number of benefits for businesses like flexibility, control costs and mobility but, there are drawbacks too.

Network Connection Reliance

Internet services down? Cloud services will be down too. Slow upload and download connection speeds will also affect how efficiently the cloud service runs. Even if precautions are made to ensure maximum uptime and speeds, there is always a risk.

Costs

Preliminary assessment on cloud applications may appear to be more cost-effective than buying software outright but, detailed comparisons must be made like does the cloud version have the same features and would any missing features concern you? Calculation of the total cost of ownership is necessary, make sure there are cost savings involved both for the short and long-term.

Lack of Support

Cloud-based service providers can be situated anywhere making it difficult sometimes to receive prompt support. So, always check the SLA’s within the contract and check whether their support desk operates during your office hours.

Security ConcernsData Security

All resources and data is access through the internet benefiting flexible workers because they can access all the corporate data that reside in a central location. However, if there are concerns about data being sent across the internet or the organisation need to follow strict data rules then, cloud might not be suitable.

Predicting Costs

This can be positive or negative depending on different variables. For a SME adopting cloud services it turns CapEx into OpEx because it allows companies to pay for software or services on a pay monthly, per user basis rather than buying it outright. However, if the business grows rapidly the monthly incremental costs also increases and eventually may result in the business paying more for cloud services than building a private network. So, always review and evaluate on a regular basis.

Privacy and Data Ownership

We’ve all heard the stories about certain governments requesting access to data from service providers – if this is a concern always best to encrypt your data before moving it to the cloud.

There are also issues surrounding data ownership, the question of whether the data belongs to the individual(s) or company that created and uploaded it or does it belong to the storage provider? Because of this you will often find ‘Terms and Conditions’ and ‘Service Level Agreements’ will vary amongst cloud service providers. Before signing on the dotted line always read and compare in detail, keeping an eye on the ‘Privacy and Data’ ownership information.

Suitability

Cloud computing is not something that will suit every business and as mentioned earlier, it can be more costly than traditional computing, as the bigger the company the bigger the IT requirements are, and the less likely cloud will provide financial advantages. Larger companies may benefit more from building their own private cloud than using a service providers.

It’s not for everyone!!

Cloud will not be the future of all computing, there is still room for a server room and private networks. It is however, great for Startups and SMEs because it flexible and help spread the costs. There are disadvantages that the salesman might not tell you but, it is about weighing up the different options and measuring them against your business IT needs.

For more information on cloud or managed IT services please contact us today.

10 Reasons Why Cloud is Good for Business

In today’s world, everyone is captivated with their laptops, tablets and mobile devices, we are so captivated on average individuals have access to 3 different devices. We have the ability to be always connected and access the information we want and need within a few clicks, which leads to the idea of Cloud Computing revolutionising the workplace.

What is Cloud Computing?

It is the delivery of computing as a service comparatively than a product. Your business information, software and information is transferred to computers and other devices as a service over a network. A Cloud services has 3 main attributes that makes it slightly different from traditional hosted services;

  • It is sold on demand
  • It is elastic and scalable
  • It is fully managed

Why would Cloud Benefit your Business?

  1. Automatic software updates– The Cloud Service Provider (CSP) carries out the maintenance for all the software, which includes security updates, helping you free time for other tasks in your business.
  2. Flexibility – Any Cloud based service can immediately meet any frequency low or high so, it can adapt to your business as it grows.
  3. Controlling Costs– Save money by having a scalable solution for a monthly fee and if you choose to use a CSP your business will require less networking hardware on site.
  4. New Business Ventures – Due to the flexibility and the speed of deployment of cloud resources businesses are able to try new ideas without extreme investments in systems quickly and efficiently.
  5. Stability– A lot of businesses suffer from downtime due to crisis management, hardware upgrades or other problems, CSP continuously monitors and maintain the systems which provides dependable uptime.
  6. Work from anywhere– With an internet connection employees in your business can work anytime, anywhere which can help increase the workers’ productivity and job satisfaction.
  7. Build, expand and use new operations– Cloud computing enables you to build quickly, deploy and manage applications which can be built in any framework, tools and languages. So, setting up remote offices will be easy as 1, 2, 3!
  8. Security– By using Cloud everything is stored in a central location, so your business data can still be accessed no matter what happens to the device.
  9. Environmentally friendly– It helps decrease the carbon footprint of your business as you’re only using the resources you require.
  10. Competitiveness– The cloud grants SME’s access to business class technology at a set monthly cost. It can allow smaller companies to act faster than substantial well-established opponents with complex networks.

Cloud for business is advantageous, although the requirement of an internet connection is a disadvantage, with our addiction to mobile devices and access to information – the internet has become a common commodity. Find out what the cloud can do for your business by contacting us today 0845 603 5552.

Managed IT Services Provider adds VoIP to their Service Portfolio

September 2014, Managed IT Services provider Netshield has expanded their portfolio to include Hosted Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) Telephony service; which will help SMEs benefit from cost-savings and simplified administration compared to traditional telephone systems.

Building on the years of experience in providing Datacentre and Hosting services to businesses throughout Europe, Netshield will now be able to provide Hosted Voice services as well. The Hosted VoIP service will enable users to transmit voice traffic over an internet connection rather than over traditional wires. This will offer companies flexibility and help reduce costs without compromising on functionality.

The service will include features such as secure instant messaging, presence functionality, video calling, collaboration tools, simple administration and integration of office and mobile services.

Richard Carty, Commercial Director at Netshield commented ‘VoIP is ideal for SMEs and remote workers because it has minimal capital expense, easy to manage, user friendly and it is scalable. With traditional systems companies have to deal with a number of suppliers for the upkeep, with VoIP it consolidates which saves a considerable amount of time.’

‘With the movement towards cloud technology, adding VoIP services will be complementary to our range of Hosted and Managed IT services’ added Richard Carty.

Right to Request Flexible Working

‘Flexible working is a way of working that suits an employee’s needs like working flexitime, homeworking, job sharing, shift work etc.’

From June 30th 2014, employees are entitled to request flexible working if they have completed 26 weeks of service within a company. Prior to this change it only applied to parents of under 16s and carers.

The Steady Rise of Homeworking

According to Trade Union and the Office for National Statistics there has been a steady increase from 1.3 million homeworkers in 1998 to 4.2 million in 2014, with many spending at least half of their work time working from home.

With most job roles requiring technology or access to the corporate IT network it is becoming necessary for organisations to allow users to remote into the network anytime, anywhere. Within the marketplace there are a number of products that can help like Microsoft Remote Desktop App, Citrix XenApp, VMware Horizon etc.

Homeworking has a number of benefits for both the employer and employees:-

Employer

Employees

  • Increase productivity
  • Help lower overheads
  • Reputation of flexibility = help attract and retain staff
  • Lower carbon footprint (less commuting)
  • Flexibility
  • Savings on travel costs
  • Improved work-life balance
  • Personalised work space
  • Improved job satisfaction

Although there are benefits of homeworking, it is not suited to all job roles and organisations i.e. workers who require particular industrial machinery to carry out their job or a sales consultant at a retail premises – so, job role suitability is factor when considering employees application for homeworking.

Another thing to keep in mind is security – always ensure the technology and methods used by homeworkers to access business data is secure, to help lower the risk of data breaches. This may mean initial investment into the IT infrastructure to make it suitable for homeworking. So, assess whether the advantages outweighs the disadvantages and the costs against the benefits.

For more information is planning, deploying and managing remote IT technology please contact us today.