The terms ‘cloud computing’ and ‘cloud service’ refer to the delivery of computer services via the internet. These services are leveraged through either the public cloud or a private cloud, or via a combination of both (known as hybrid cloud services).

Around 98% of UK organisations are currently utilising the cloud in one form or another. If you think you are one of the 2% who aren’t, just stop and take a moment to think. If your organisation is using DropBox, Google Analytics, Web Ex, Twitter, LinkedIn, Salesforce or Microsoft 365 then you are in fact one of the 98% using cloud services.

As the adoption of cloud-based IT and communications continues to gather momentum, organisations of all types, shapes and sizes are looking to exploit the flexibility, scalability and security benefits provided by the adoption of cloud infrastructure at predictable and manageable costs.

Cloud computing services

Types of cloud services

Cloud computing services are categorised as being either:

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

IaaS services can be utilised by an organisation on a pay-as-you-go basis, allowing the client to effectively ‘rent’ cloud infrastructure as and when required. The cloud provider is responsible for managing servers, hard drives and networking whilst the client retains responsibility for managing applications, runtime and data storage.

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS services provide a platform for the sharing and creation of hardware and software tools via the internet. Cloud providers are responsible for managing and maintaining all aspects of the infrastructure.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS services are typically subscription based and enable the delivery of software via the internet without any requirement for installation or download. Services, which are fully managed by the cloud provider, are accessed via web browser with no managing or maintenance responsibilities on the clients behalf.

Class Networks cloud services

For some organisations it makes sense to exploit the advantages of the hybrid model, for others public cloud services are sufficient, and in some cases private clouds (also known as enterprise clouds) are the only solution.

Your Class Networks Account Manager will work closely with you and your organisation in order to understand your specific requirements before advising on the most suitable product(s) and services.

If you have already invested in on premise hardware we will work with you to help you maximise the potential of your current investment before migrating to the cloud.

Class Network cloud solutions include:

  • Hosted servers
  • Hosted desktop/Cloud computing
  • Hosted voice
  • Web hosting
  • Cyber security – anti-malware
  • Data storage and backup
  • Unified communications – multiple connectivity options – smartphones – call management – call centre
  • Video collaboration

Cloud adoption offers significant benefits to any organisation that is looking to improve the scalability, flexibility and availability of its core IT and communication services. Without large infrastructure or hardware costs it represents always available, on-demand computing power at predictable, utility-based prices.

Cloud migration considerations

What do you want to achieve?

Before you make the decision to migrate any (or all) of your core IT and communications services to the cloud, consider how your organisation operates and exactly what you are hoping to achieve as a result of the transition.

  • Do you need to stay agile as an organisation?
  • Do you need to avoid capital expenditure?
  • Do you, or will you, have remote workers?
  • Do you, or will you need to, manage sensitive data or need to avoid risk?

If you have answered yes to any of these questions then chances are that your organisation will benefit considerably from the transition to cloud computing.

What benefits can moving to the cloud mean for your business?

Predictable low cost expenditure model

One of the most appealing aspects of cloud based or hosted solutions is the predictable and low-operational costs. Additionally there is no requirement for the up front investment into expensive and quickly depreciating hardware which also requires physical premises in which to be stored and costly ongoing maintenance.

With cloud services there is no requirement for on-site data centres nor dedicated IT teams, and the responsibility for the maintenance of infrastructure is often assumed by cloud service providers. All of these factors help to make your organisation more nimble, efficient and cost–effective.

Improving efficiency

Improving efficiency and driving down cost is a constant business challenge. We are all starting to understand the strategic role communications technology plays in developing and enhancing core business functions. However, the difficulties many organisations face are in deciding and understanding what the current business needs are, and implementing systems that can grow with your changing business needs.

At Class Networks we have many years of expertise working with businesses and over a thousand voluntary organisations. We are used to solving problems and finding the best solutions for our clients.

Cloud services enable instant access to services for workers from any location with a secure internet connection, as well as providing the platform for simple and effective collaboration.

Enhanced security

Cloud services make it easy to keep your organisation’s data safe by establishing rules for where sensitive material may be stored and who it can be accessed by. It’s simple to define automated retention periods in order to comply with data protection regulations and implement enhanced security features such as two-step verification. With cloud services it’s possible to manage threat monitoring and antivirus/anti-malware applications easily – enhancing the overall security and compliance of your organisation.

Why choose Class Networks?

Class Networks has nearly thirty years experience working with organisations of all sizes from a wide range of sectors. We can help you to find the balance between operational benefits and return on investment. We are committed to ensuring that your network and communications infrastructure is deployed effectively with careful implementation and minimal disruption to your day-to-day operations.