The implementation of the Government’s ‘Plan B’ to cope with the spread of the omicron variant means that businesses are, once again, having to ask employees to work from home. As we don’t know how long this will last or whether it might happen again, companies need a solution that will quickly enable them to switch seamlessly between on-site and remote working. Here we explain why the cloud is the best solution and the benefits of using it for remote working.
Why cloud is the best solution
Quite simply, when you run applications in the cloud, they are available online. This means that employees can access business systems, software, files, data and communications from wherever they have an internet connection – in the office or at home. Here are the main benefits of using the cloud for remote working.
1. Work from anywhere at any time
Cloud doesn’t just enable people to work from home, it enables anyone within your organisation to work from anywhere with an internet connection. While the current requirement to work from home might be the main priority at present, further down the line, it opens up new opportunities. Businesses can recruit staff who live further afield, they can offer more flexible working conditions and employees on the road, such as sales teams, can access systems where ever they are. What’s more, in the cloud, applications can run 24/7, enabling greater access and flexibility.
2. Staying productive
One potential downside of remote working is that it can be hard to make business decisions because not being in the office makes it difficult to arrive at a consensus. The benefit of the cloud is that its built-in connectivity enables teams to access the resources they need to make those decisions. Data is available in real-time, accessible by all who need it and discussions can take place using a growing range of online communications channels, including video conferencing. This enables people to make consensual decisions and keeps the business productive.
3. Data access
When data is stored in the cloud, remote employees can access it from wherever they are, ensuring that they have all the up-to-date information they need to carry out their jobs, including real-time data, where applicable. With files stored centrally, everyone can access the latest synced version.
Equally important, is that this prevents issues that can arise when data is stored in departmental silos or on individual devices. And with admins able to implement logistical access control policies, companies can be confident that access permissions are only granted to those employees who need them.
4. Continuing collaboration
Businesses concerned that remote working could hinder collaboration now have a range of cloud technologies at their fingertips to ensure this does not happen. Indeed, in many respects, the cloud can improve collaboration.
Teams working remotely can make use of cloud storage and collaboration tools to work together on projects wherever they are. They can, for example, work together to create and edit documents, with everyone able to see the input of others and the latest version. They can communicate in various ways too, via a wide range of text, voice and video channels.
5. Business continuity
Downtime is a difficult enough challenge when everyone is in the office. When it happens and employees are working remotely, the chaos can be even greater. The great thing about the cloud is that the potential for downtime is massively reduced. Cloud servers offer 100% uptime, with service providers having backup servers that can be brought into operation if there is a hardware failure. What’s more, with automated, encrypted and integrity-checked remote backups being available in the cloud, businesses can be assured that if they lose their data due to human error, ransomware attack or other reasons, they will be able to recover from such a disaster swiftly to ensure business continuity.
Regardless of whether remote working is something you intend to maintain or just endure for as long as directed, migrating to the cloud provides your business with levels of scalability that cannot be achieved with an on-site data centre. To deliver scalability on-site requires the purchase of servers that are kept redundant most of the time just so they can provide additional resources whenever they might be needed. It is an expensive solution for coping with peaks in demand or additional processing capacity.
In the cloud, there is no need to purchase additional servers or even a bigger cloud package. Additional resources can be accessed on-demand at the click of a mouse. Companies can scale up or down, having all the resources they need for as long as they need them and only paying for those they use. As such, coping with busy periods or carrying out a resource-hungry process is always achievable and affordable.
Companies looking for a solution that enables them to cope with the volatility of remote working directives and which provides a range of long-term benefits, even if they return permanently to on-site working, should consider the cloud as an option for the future. For more information, visit our cloud hosting or enterprise solutions pages.