There is no doubt that cloud computing has had a huge impact on IT, and that is set to continue with Gartner forecasting that cloud spending will increase to over 14% of total IT spending in 2021.
But while the term ‘cloud’ has become incredibly widespread, it’s really just a metaphor for using the internet to access something; in fact, the term originated from the way complex or external network connections are often represented in diagrams as a cloud.
Enormous services, like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Azure from Microsoft, and Google Cloud, account for about two thirds of the ‘public cloud’ market (that is, the cloud services run on a shared infrastructure and available to anyone). In 2013 then Microsoft CEO, Steve Ballmer, estimated that Microsoft had over 1 million servers in their datacentres. Today? Probably at least three times that.
What this means to you
Microsoft announced, also in 2013, that the Outlook.com cloud email platform had 400 million active accounts, but while using cloud services for things like email is now quite normal in our personal and business lives, it isn’t used as extensively or completely for data storage or data backup.
Services like Microsoft 365, though, include fantastic and integrated features for data storage: OneDrive is secure (supporting AES 256 and TLS encryption, two factor authentication, and remote wiping of a lost or stolen device), synchronises files across multiple devices, and has a 30 day file recovery process for anything deleted accidentally.
Why we are good
We’ve supported lots of clients with the adoption of cloud storage and cloud backup, so as well as understanding the technology, we understand the process too.
For some clients, there are concerns about the cost of cloud solutions for things like storage. After all, true cloud models are based on consumption; the more you use, the more you pay. With data volumes growing, this can sound like a problem, and that’s why we’re keen to work with you to make sure it’s the right decision.
What we can do
We’ll work with you to understand your data volumes, now and in the future (and we’ll do some forecasting to estimate what this will be), and work out what level of charges are likely. In some cases, solutions like Microsoft 365 include enough storage by default so there might not be any additional charges. We’ll also help you reflect the likely charges against the costs (capital and operational, visible and hidden) of other options for storage and backup, to help you make a fully informed decision.
Of course, we’ll then get it set up for you, and provide ongoing support to make sure everything works as it should.