The cloud has proved to be a revolutionary innovation that has changed the way we use the internet, work and store important documents. It is now possible for us to store vast quantities of data cheaply and efficiently and we are able to access this information from anywhere, as long as an internet connection is available.

In the most basic terms, the cloud is an external storage network that allows users to access documents, use software and communicate with co-workers by logging-on via a unique username and password.

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The benefits are numerous, which is why more and more businesses are switching in-house systems to the cloud. Take a look at some of the ways in which it can streamline your business processes:

File storage and sending

In these days of paperless systems it is highly likely that your business will need to keep hold of large documents and sensitive information online. This is why it is not only essential to have a vast data capacity, but also a system that is protected. If a hacker were to infiltrate your system and steal customer details such as bank account information or passport number, this could cause you major financial and reputational damage.

The cloud offers mass storage for a fraction of the cost of internal hardware, and documents are stored off-site, so any damage to the business premises such as a fire or flood will have no effect on the documents.

Furthermore, the cloud offers a simple way to transfer large documents. Many email services will put a limit on the document size you are allowed to send via email – this often leads to employees attempting to find a way around this issue. In many cases, this can lead to a loss or theft of data, as websites that offer mass sending services may have suspicious rather than truly professional backgrounds.

However, used alongside a comprehensive online security system, the cloud enables you to send large documents securely over the internet.

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Moving your business email accounts to the cloud can be hugely beneficial. With the huge number of messages that get sent between you, your clients, your staff and your customers everyday, most conventional email programmes, or even the device itself, can’t handle the masses of memory required.

Therefore, moving your email to the cloud gives you an essentially bottomless inbox, meaning you won’t have to go through and delete emails that might prove to be valuable in the future.

For comprehensive email archiving and backup Mimecast’s cloud email could be the answer, allowing you to access every email you’ve ever sent or received, without incurring huge data buildup. The cloud might present some risks for data theft and other online attacks, but this can be easily prevented through the use of an email security system that works seamlessly with your cloud-based inbox. 

Remote working

Of course, having a cloud-based email system also enables the practice of remote working.

With only a username and password needed to access a company inbox, employees can keep in touch with the office when working from home, and carry out important business when travelling to a meeting on the train, for example, by using a relevant device and a local internet connection.

Furthermore, staff can access useful software and management using the cloud without having to install bulky programmes on their computer.

According to a study by research and analytics company Gallup, remote working helps increase worker productivity, morale and happiness, due to the flexibility it provides.

Remember though, businesses embracing remote working or bring-your-own-device (BYOD) must warn their staff about the potential dangers of using local internet networks for important work activity, and an effective security must be put in place to protect these employees and their devices.