The cloud, however, offers many advantages and benefits. Your data is backed up, your applications can be accessed securely from anywhere with an internet connection, you minimise capital expenditure in favour of operating costs, it is scalable and will grow with your business, and there are usually plenty of options to upgrade or switch services.
Much of the talk about this release has focussed on the reinstatement of the start menu, which was much missed by desktop users of Windows 8. Why has this been such a big issue for users?
In my first blog post for this website I provided an overview of cloud computing entitled ‘Moving your business to the cloud’. In this post I’ll expand on the potential risks of cloud computing for small businesses. I’ll discuss external and internal risks, and how to mitigate them, and I’ll urge you to consider carefully your business’s responsibilities and appetite for risk before you ‘make the move’.
CARE, run by father and daughter partnership Bob and Beverly Clarke, is an electrical appliances repair company which was keen to expand its business after a decade of trading, but needed to update the existing limited IT systems first.
The company was one of the first businesses in Devon to benefit from the fully-funded support on offer from the Superfast Business service, which is working to help companies make better use of new digital technologies and boost growth.
If, like me, you run a small business then you probably don’t have a dedicated IT department or racks of computer hardware in multiple data centres around the globe. But, even without vast resources, human or capital, you can still make use of IT systems and services on a par with those used by large organisations, and all you need is a decent internet connection and some run-of-the-mill devices to connect to them. This is possible thanks to cloud computing, which is fast becoming the de facto standard method for delivering and receiving IT services. But what is cloud computing?
The cloud offers the potential of IT being treated as a utility, like electricity, which is a running cost rather than a physical asset.
When it comes to thinking about how we account for spending on IT, there are two types of spending: capital expenditure (capex, for long-life physical assets); and operational expenditure (opex, for day-to-day running costs).
This made sense when IT assets were expensive pieces of equipment to acquire, but the emergence of the cloud, where the use of rented IT assets is extremely cheap, makes capex effectively redundant.