The number of businesses adopting cloud technology solutions has increased significantly in recent times. For companies large and small, the benefits of migrating to the cloud are starting to become hard to ignore. According to EU research, the UK has seen an 18% increase in cloud adoption since 2014 – 42% of companies using cloud-based solutions, compared to the European average of 26%.

But what do we mean by the cloud in a business capacity, and how does it work? To put it simply, it allows businesses to use services, platforms or software from a provider via an internet connection. Where data and programs used to be stored locally on a computer or on an internal network, these are now stored externally. Even top-level government organisations are migrating to the cloud too.

Lower costs

One attractive reason to migrate your business onto the cloud is the cost efficiencies you can make. Instead of investing time and money in expensive and complex IT systems and processes, the cloud-based solutions that businesses are turning to operate on a pay-as-you-go basis. It’s also possible to get cloud services tailored to your exact business needs, so financial wastage is kept to a minimum.

Increased collaboration

Using cloud-based programs promotes greater communication and collaboration between workers, no matter what device is being used or where people are located. An internet connection is all that you need – whether it’s using a video conferencing application or editing a shared document using Google Drive. It can be done in real-time and by multiple users, driving up productivity.

Space and processing requirements

The ease at which cloud-based solutions can be scaled up (or down) means that businesses can be much more agile with their storage requirements and managed network services. Companies – as the end-user of these solutions – can take advantage of on-demand scalability instead of having to predict storage capacity and data backup requirements.

Data analysis/management

Cloud-based services have eased the process of storing data, but also how it’s accessed – and used to produce better business results. With massive storage and processing capacity, the providers of cloud solutions can allow your business to delve into all the data you collect. This can help enhance your customer experience through better segmentation and understanding of your buyers’ needs.

From Gmail to Dropbox, your business is probably already using cloud-based solutions – even if you didn’t realise it. But, for the opportunities such solutions offer, is it time for you to go ‘Cloud First’?