The cloud… What is it?

By Luke Watts // 12th April 2017

By 2020, 70% or more of Small Businesses in the UK will run the majority of their IT operations from cloud-based solutions. This article has been written to try and shed a bit more light in an easy to read format of cloud service, how and why they could benefit your business.

The cloud, everyone is always talking about it – but what is it?

The cloud is a huge thing and is only going to get bigger and bigger. It’s in the news most days, cloud this, cloud that. When things are cloud hosted it simply means they’re hosted elsewhere offsite in the UK, Europe or wherever you choose. You don’t have to spend money on energy, storage space, cabling, maintenance etc – it’s all done for you. Usually, a monthly or annual fee to host your services.

How can it actually benefit YOU?

It will most likely cut your costs, minimise downtime, keep you more secure and keep you bang up to date. Software updates are usually provided with a cloud-based solution so you’re always on the latest and greatest version. Usually, the cost cutting is with energy, storage space and maintenance – this is generally done by the cloud provider themselves (people like us!)

A few years ago companies would have different physical servers for different roles. For example, a server to run a piece of recruitment software, a file server, a print server etc. Moving to the cloud can reduce the need for many physical bulky servers. If a piece of hardware fails in a cloud-based solution, it’s not your problem as it’ll get replaced and you won’t even notice anything has failed.

Can I have some examples of what can be run from the Cloud?

The big one is Microsoft Office 365 that’s purely cloud based. No Email servers, no SharePoint servers, no file servers onsite. All you need is a decent broadband connection and you’re good to go. Quickbooks Online is cloud-based, again no need to install Quickbooks on a Desktop/Server and remotely connect from home back into the office. Just open up a web browser and enjoy sifting through all your businesses accounts at any time of the day.

Hosted Desktop Solutions are another useful one for small businesses. Ever wanted to take your Desktop with you? Theoretically speaking you can with a Cloud-Based Desktop Solution. You’d log into your work desktop from wherever you are, from any device. Gone are the days of synchronising files to and from USB sticks.

I like to see what I am paying for

A very valid point, it’s very difficult parting with your hard earned money if you can’t actually see the product you’re paying for, it almost feels like a waste of money. Short term moving to the Cloud can be a little pricey but over the longer term physical vs cloud in a price war, the cloud solution would almost always win. Once your physical server is out of warranty, you’d have to start paying for parts yourself out of your own pocket. With cloud solutions parts and repair costs are almost abolished.

In summary, moving to the cloud can save you money. If you are interested in moving some or all services to the cloud, talk to us. Despite cloud solutions being good they may not always be the correct answer. There’s still situations and requirements for good old physical servers sat in your server rooms.

Think you’re ready for a Cloud-based venture? Let’s see how we can make that happen – call us on 0333 344 4645 or email We’ll be glad to help you and your business out.

RoundWorks IT

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