Cloud computing helps multiple-site SMEs
For SMEs with multiple sites, IT systems are often a cause of headaches and unneeded stress. The tools and systems used to help grow a business in the early years from a single site have now been upgraded to support multiple sites and more users.
In most instances, the lack of IT knowledge at each location and the lack of pro-active system monitoring and management results in SMEs using second-rate systems that simply don't work as well as they should.
The challenge for SMEs with multiple sites is not felt day to day when systems are up and available, even if they are running slowly. It's the helpless sinking feeling owners have when a system stops, or is unavailable, and has an undesired impact on the business.
So what can be done?
Most SMEs can't afford to continually upgrade or pay for full-time IT staff at each site. For these reasons, cloud computing is very advantageous. It can:
1. Reduce IT issues by 70%
2. Reduce IT and telecom cost
3. Remove the headache of IT
4. Deliver fixed pricing based on 'service'
How is this achieved?
Essentially with a cloud computing service, like The Nimbus CS service, the main elements; routers, VPNs and servers, don't exist. These elements are where the majority of issues are, so removing them massively reduces issues.
Rather than having an on-site server, users have a virtual computer, known as a thin client. All that's needed is to connect a monitor, keyboard, mouse and a network cable (ethernet) and that's it. The entire operating system (Microsoft Windows) and all the business applications (including Microsoft Office, Sage etc) and all the data files are run from the cloud server, as a service.
So now, rather than buying, owning and running IT systems and applications, businesses subscribe to a cloud service which handles all the file storage, emails, back-ups and the business applications and of course, security. It's easy to see why cloud computing is so popular. Providers like Nimbus CS are gaining momentum and delivering significant benefits.
Gareth McAlister is managing director of Belfast-based company Nimbus CS