In a nutshell, cloud computing is simply computing based on the internet. Where in the past, we would run applications or programmes from software downloaded on a physical computer or server in our offices, cloud computing allows us access to the same types of applications through the internet.

When we update our LinkedIn pages, we are using cloud computing. Checking our bank balance on our phone? We are in the cloud again. Small businesses as much as large ones rely on cloud computing, whether it is sending emails on the move or using a bunch of apps to help us manage our workload. Businesses are seeing the benefits of using the cloud for more and more processes.

In short, cloud is fast becoming the new norm. It is no wonder that’s the case since the cloud increases efficiency, helps improve cash flow and offers many other benefits.

David attended a seminar on the cloud given by 8×8 at the IoD in London. In this video, David and other delegates talk about their thoughts on the cloud.


Nine specific benefits of moving to the cloud:

1. Flexibility

Cloud-based services are ideal for businesses with growing or fluctuating demands for computing services. If our needs increase it’s easy to scale up our cloud capacity, drawing on the service’s remote servers. This level of agility can give businesses using cloud computing a real advantage over competitors.

2. Disaster recovery

Businesses of all sizes should be investing in robust disaster recovery, but for smaller businesses that lack the required cash and expertise, this is often more an ideal than the reality. Cloud is now helping more organisations as the cloud is off-site by definition. It also means that the back-up recovery is not an additional cost.

3. Automatic software updates

The beauty of cloud computing is that the servers are off-site and providers roll out regular software updates – including security updates – so we don’t have to worry about maintaining the system ourselves.

4. Lower capital-expenditure

Cloud computing cuts out the high cost of hardware. We simply pay as we go and have a subscription-based model that’s better for cash flow. The ease of setup and management gives it another plus.

5. Increased collaboration

When our teams can access, edit and share documents anytime, from anywhere, they are able to do more together, and do it better. Cloud-based workflow and file sharing apps help us make updates in real time and gives us full visibility of our collaborations.

6. Work from anywhere

With cloud computing, if we’ve got an internet connection we can be at work. And with most cloud services offering mobile apps, we’re not restricted by which device we’ve got to hand.

This allows businesses to offer more flexible working to employees so they can better enjoy the work-life balance that suits them – without productivity suffering. It also allows staff to work in any location, not just home or office but anywhere with an internet connection. It cuts down on travelling. Offsite workers who don’t need an office space save c£6,500 per desk saved. Studies continually show that between a quarter and a half of workers would swap some of their pay for the ability to operate remotely. On average they are willing to take a 6% pay cut.

7. Document control

The more employees and partners collaborate on documents, the greater the need for watertight document control. Before the cloud, workers had to send files back and forth as email attachments to be worked on by one user at a time. Sooner or later there is confusion about document versions.

And as even the smallest companies become more global, the scope for complication rises. About 75% of ‘knowledge workers’ collaborate with people in different time zones and regions at least monthly.

When we make the move to cloud computing, all files are stored centrally and everyone sees the latest version. Greater visibility means improved collaboration.

8. Security

Lost laptops are a major issue. Potentially greater though than the loss of an expensive piece of kit is the loss of the sensitive data inside it. Cloud computing gives greater security when this happens. Because our data is stored in the cloud, we can access it no matter what happens to our machine. And we can even remotely wipe data from lost laptops so it doesn’t get into the wrong hands.

9. Competitiveness

Moving to the cloud gives access to world-class technology. It also allows smaller businesses to benefit from the best programmes and so gives a competitive edge. Pay-as-you-go service and cloud business applications mean small firms can disrupt the market, while remaining lean and nimble.

In short, the cloud helps companies get their employees, customers and applications talking. This makes people more connected and productive no matter where they are in the world. The cloud provides solutions across the globe by reducing complexity and cost, improving individual and team efficiency and performance and enhancing overall customer experiences. It is another no brainer!

8×8 brings together communications, apps and data to empower people. This short video sows a vision for the future where business communications and collaboration is transformed by the cloud.