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The way businesses store information is changing. As businesses leap into the digital age they are confronted with technological change that can often be daunting. Businesses frequently find themselves having to learn how to adapt to the digital world in order to remain competitive. Adapting to change might take time but the benefits are certain to last longer. Cloud computing is one such technological evolution that businesses are beginning to adapt to on a global level. Technologies that harness cloud storage are growing at a rapid rate and the benefits of using the cloud are indiscriminate. Any business, no matter what size or sector it belongs to, is likely to see an increase in productivity, efficiency and scalability as a result of cloud computing. LawBite is certainly an example of the legal industry adapting to this evolution, by using the cloud to deliver affordable, accessible law for the UK's SMEs. 5 Advantages of Cloud Computing 1)      Easy to Switch You can change to cloud services almost instantaneously with the help of IT professionals. It will take no time at all for your old servers to be assimilated with an upgraded cloud server and users can be added immediately. Many of your employees are likely to be familiar with the cloud without even knowing it and probably use it on a regular basis (think Gmail, Dropbox and Spotify). Many people would probably be surprised at how quickly employees learn to use cloud-based interfaces and get the best from them.   2)      Improved Security No business can afford to be a victim of data theft, especially a business that has recently entered the market. A cloud sever can automatically update system security software, saving your business unnecessary hassle. Information stored on the cloud is far less vulnerable to data loss than information stored solely on an expensive device. RAID backup servers ensure two copies of data are simultaneously stored and updated on separate hard drives. If a technical fault or disaster were to strike, cloud applications would be able to facilitate business continuity and reduce any downtime you might otherwise experience.   3)      Flexibility Over time your business will grow and you don’t want redundant IT equipment holding you back.  Fortunately, the cloud applications often allow incremental upgrades as your business needs grow, which enables you to continuously expand your information processes in the most cost-effective manner. You will also find you can increase your organisation’s storage space and add users or edit their permissions at short notice. With the helping of hand of the cloud your business can advance an evolving IT infrastructure without worrying about off-putting upfront costs.   4)      Facilitates Collaboration Put simply, if you have access to the Internet then you have access to the cloud. Cloud applications and storage enable you to collaborate with colleagues remotely and on-the-go using devices such as a smartphones and tablets. Employees are becoming increasingly comfortable with this type of technology. In fact, a recent survey showed that over 1/3 of office workers would stop using the computers provided by their employers if they were told they could not use their own personal mobile devices for work.   5)      Cost Effective With cloud computing your business no longer needs to worry about excess expenditure on new software and with some server providers offering pay-as-you-go schemes you can chose a flexible payment plan to suit your company’s budget. Maintaining your IT infrastructure can be costly but by outsourcing this responsibility you can alleviate the costs associated with updating your server.   The cloud is transforming the way the world does business and it is only expected to continue growing. It is predicted that by 2020 over 11,000 TB of data will be stored in the cloud. Demand is fuelling innovation as service providers continue to update and expand their operations. Rather than resisting the unknown get ahead of your competitors and familiarise yourself with the future. The shift to cloud technology is inevitable; the only question is how effectively businesses will adapt.   This article was written by the London-based archive storage company, Secure Data Management.

In closing

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