The 5 Most Commonly Asked Questions About Cloud Solutions

We believe there are many reasons to migrate your organisation’s applications to the cloud, not least of which are cost savings, streamlined operations, redeployment of resources, reskilling of your internal teams and talent retention.  

In this blog, I answer the five most common questions I get asked about moving applications to the cloud, so you can make an informed decision about whether it’s the right thing for your organisation.  

1. Is it secure and where is my data? 

“Is it secure?”  is one of the most commonly asked questions about the cloud. But as the cloud has become universal in organisations, the nature of the question has changed. 

Every year, major cloud providers like Amazon and Microsoft spend billions to make their cloud services stable, robust and secure. Security measures and compliance certifications are available for all to see, and Microsoft’s cloud offering is as secure as it gets in terms of compliance, governance and physical security.  

The result? Today, almost everyone accepts that the cloud is secure. The conversation now is less around how secure it is and more around data control. It’s essential that organisations understand where their data lives, where it may go and who can access it in order to feel comfortable with moving to the cloud. 

A lack of understanding around how the cloud works is a barrier to adoption for many organisations. In the UK, law firms are amongst some of the most cautious adopters of cloud solutions, largely because of questions about where confidential client data will reside and who can access it.  

There needs to be an understanding that, by its very nature, the cloud exists in multiple locations – and your data can too. Azure, for example, for resilience can have multiple copies of data in multiple locations. And this conversation isn’t always an IT-led discussion; it needs the business to decide in which country their data should be reside, and whether they are comfortable with it potentially leaving UK soil. The cloud gives customers choice here, different services having different options about where data is stored, but it’s important that well informed decisions are made in this regard. 

Organisations need to know what they are letting themselves in for and understand how data will be stored and accessed which needs a complex, but not impossible, discussion about trust and understanding. In our experience, anyone who truly understands the options and how the cloud works has been confident in making an informed decision based on facts not fear.  

2.  Will all my IT staff be out of work/redundant? 

Generally, there isn’t a direct correlation between adopting cloud services and IT staff being let go.  We prefer to see this as freeing up IT staff to focus on more strategic tasks. 

Whether they’re in retail, manufacturing, healthcare or any other sector, businesses are trying to be ‘the best’ and provide the best service to their customers. IT should enable them to do that. It should be a supporter and enabler for a business to do its job and operate at its highest level. And for organisations that are held back by inefficient, outdated IT systems, embracing the cloud is one way to make improvements. 

Few organisations today choose to use physical servers; they are costly, require office space and need people to maintain and manage them. Solutions like O365 and Exchange Online are making delivery of common IT services easier, better and lower cost, and like it or not, the requirement for on-premise skills will reduce as cloud adoption becomes the new norm. As IT evolves, the skillset of IT teams needs to evolve with it, or face being left behind.  – Read more

Choosing The Right Domain Name Ending

My Post (13)Whenever you’re creating a website, there are lots of different things you will need to consider to ensure that everything is exactly as you’d hoped. It is fair to say that one of the most important things you should think about is your domain name and choosing the right name is absolutely essential. Many people are unaware that when picking and buying a domain name, you also have control over the domain name extension/ending too.

Without even realising, many people will automatically assume that all domain names end in the most common options, such as .com or .uk but, this isn’t actually the case. There are many different alternatives available and it is important to choose the correct ending for your individual web address. If you’re looking to buy a domain name and you’d like some assistance choosing the right domain name extension/ending, keep reading today.

Different types of domain name endings

 

As mentioned above, lots of people are unaware that there are more than just as a handful of domain name endings to choose from. Whilst in the early days of the internet you may have only been able to choose from common endings, such as .com, nowadays, you have much more versatility in this regard.

It is beneficial to be aware of the other types of endings you can choose from when buying a domain name as they may be a great choice for you. All of the endings available fall into different categories and this is the best way to distinguish between the available options. Below are the three main categories everyone should be aware of;

  • TLD (Top Level Domains) – These are the most common endings and they include things like .com, .net and .org.
  • ccTLD (Country Code Top Level Domains) – These are specific to a certain country, for example, .fr for France.
  • gTLD (Generic Top Level Domains) – These are also fairly common but include endings like .info, .gov and .biz too.

These days, there are dozens of different options that fall into these categories but, knowing about TLD will definitely help when you’re buying a domain name.

Choosing the right ending for your domain 

Whilst it may seem daunting, having such a vast selection of domain name endings to choose from gives you more opportunity to create a meaningful and also memorable domain name. When deciding which domain ending to choose, consider these 5 things;

  • Branding – You should ensure that you buy a domain name ending that is in line with your branding. The website address is usually the first thing that people see so, you want to ensure it gives off the best possible first impression.
  • Fit for purpose – As well as being on brand, ensure that the domain name ending is fit for your purpose of being online. For example, you wouldn’t want to choose .fr if you work in the UK or .me if you’re a business.
  • Availability – Of course, you can’t have the same domain as someone else so, if the domain name you like is taken, consider other ending options that might work. Sometimes there is a better solution available that allows you to keep the name.
  • Memorability – It is so important that your domain name is memorable, after all, you want people to frequently visit your site. Think about whether a specific domain name ending makes the overall domain more memorable.
  • Multiple domains – You are actually able to buy and register more than one domain so it may be worth considering whether you should choose more than one ending. For example, if you can get .com and .biz with the same domain name, register both.

The decision you make will be specific to your website, so take some time to think about your options. It is important to note that your domain name ending won’t affect your search presence or SEO. In the eyes of search engines, all TLDs are equal so don’t worry in this regard. – Read more

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How COVID-19 has created an unprecedented demand for cloud hosting providers.

My Post (13).pngThe unprecedented lockdowns caused by the coronavirus pandemic have led to huge changes in the traditional workplace environment and in the way that businesses are being run.

Every sector and industry in the UK has been affected in some way as companies adapt to new working environments. For most companies, that means joining in with the work from home revolution, even if they never planned to in the past.

For the IT sector, a shift to online working has created a huge surge in demand for dedicated cloud hosting platforms, as companies have quickly looked to increase their security and storage capabilities.

In this article, we take a look at how cloud hosting has been affected by COVID-19, and how cloud hosting providers have coped marvellously well with the surge in popularity!

What is cloud hosting and why is it in demand?

COVID-19 has demonstrated the need for cloud-based hosting and the upsurge in demand has been felt by hosting services across the country as they deal with the ever-expanding move towards more cloud-based systems and applications.

But to understand why cloud hosting is currently in demand due to COVID-19, we need to take a look at what cloud hosting actually is.

In the not so distant past, companies or websites would host their data on a single server. This server would have a location, usually within a data centre, somewhere in the world. That server could host just one website’s data or it could host the data for several different companies all at once.

But in recent years, there’s been a fundamental shift in data hosting. Instead of using a single server, there’s been a move towards hosting data on multiple servers, giving better redundancy and scalability. This has become known as cloud hosting, the idea being that the data you need storing is stored simultaneously across a ‘cloud’ of different servers. – Read more

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