Although the cloud has been around for awhile now, it has only recently become commonplace in smaller businesses seeking ways to promote flexibility and reduce their costs. Nowadays, distributed computing is very much the norm in New York, with high-end desktops and on-premises servers becoming relegated to a small and specialist niche.

Providing on-demand delivery of computing resources accessed over the internet, companies can take advantage of pay-as-you-go pricing instead of investing in and maintaining expensive hardware by themselves. As such, many cloud solutions pay for themselves very quickly to such an extent that they’ve become essential services in the modern workplace.

1. Office 365

Recent developments have seen the world’s most popular desktop productivity suite shift to the cloud as well. In addition to the standard desktop applications such as Word and Excel, Office 365 now provides cloud-based versions and a multitude of other hosted tools to provide an unprecedented level of accessibility and flexibility.

Now, multiple employees can work on the same documents, access the same calendars, and reach the same contacts simultaneously. Using the included SharePoint, it’s even possible to implement an entire web-based platform for collaboration.

2. Amazon Web Services

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has become one the of the biggest names in cloud computing owing to the huge range of services it offers, including cloud storage, computing power and content delivery.

For example, AWS’s Elastic Cloud Compute (EC2) allows users to effectively rent high-end virtual servers to handle computing workloads of pretty much any size on an on-demand basis. Since the computing work is carried out in Amazon’s own data centers, you don’t need to invest in any powerful and expensive on-premises hardware.

3. Data Backup

While there will always be a case for keeping a copy of your important data backed up on-site, no business should ever rely on that alone. After all, if disaster strikes your office, there’s a good chance it could take your backups with it too.

Every company should use a cloud backup service to keep a copy of their data safely off-site, rather than putting all their eggs in one basket. Better still, cloud backups are accessible anywhere, so you’ll still be able to access your data and applications even if your office is completely unserviceable.

4. File Sync

Most business leaders already understand the importance of backing up data in the cloud, but there’s more to implementing a disaster recovery strategy than that. You also need to think about mitigating the risk of human error, and that’s why cloud file synchronization should also be incorporated as a crucial component of your strategy.

Automatic file synchronization negates the risk of human error by ensuring that all copies of a file are kept current, which is also useful for situations where you need to have multiple users being able to access the data simultaneously.

5. Microsoft Azure

Another of the world’s leading cloud computing platforms, Azure provides the benefit of close integration with Microsoft’s other tools, such as SharePoint and Office 365. If you’re looking for a seamless and fully integrated service package, and you’re used to Microsoft’s software, then migrating to Azure will quickly pay for itself many times over.

Azure also provides a welcome mixture of tools, including the ability to develop and implement custom web apps and create and access high-end virtual servers. It’s easy to deploy and operate while still offering unparalleled scalability.

Red Key Solutions provides the tools and services you need to take your business into the 21st century. Call us today to learn more about how the cloud can help you.

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