These days, working in the cloud is increasingly the norm. More and more companies are choosing to have computing services – servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics and more – delivered via the internet and are reaping the benefits.

For many, the decision to ditch that tiresome server and move to a cloud-based IT solution is what sets them on the road to achieving their growth ambitions. In our experience, businesses will make a considerable effort to work around a server that is no longer fit for purpose – up to a point. Then, the crunch comes and they realise the extent to which an outdated server-led system is holding them back.

Major decision

Once a firm decides that enough is enough, it is ready to invest in agile technology. It can be a big decision, especially for small and medium-sized business that don’t have IT expertise in-house, but don’t be put off.

Like payroll services provider ProPaye, you’ll soon find that cloud computing delivers greater flexibility, added security, improved mobility and cost savings, all of which add up to enhanced business performance.

ProPaye takes the pain out of payroll, offering a suite of fully compliant payroll services to the UK’s temporary recruitment market. After careful consideration, the firm made the decision to move to working in the cloud and hasn’t looked back.

Like most successful businesses, ProPaye had reached a point in its development where it had simply outgrown its original IT set-up. The company’s early IT incarnation consisted of a series of PCs with a shared internet connection. There were no shared services to speak of and the whole situation had evolved organically without any future planning.

A constraint

It quickly became apparent that the IT system was frustrating day-to-day operations. The business was being denied access to the opportunities that go hand-in-hand with modern work practices and the associated cost savings. Meanwhile, employees were tied to a specific location, unable to enjoy the flexibility that remote working offers, both in terms of productivity and work/life balance.

ProPaye’s staff and management saw the IT system as a constraint on any attempts to move to agile working. In fact, it was becoming a burden. Quite simply, ProPaye found itself in the unenviable position of being unable to fully leverage the potential of IT to grow its business.

In taking the decision to modernise its IT infrastructure, ProPaye’s management team chose to outsource every element of development and operational support. Of course, there were important considerations. As an established outsourcing company, ProPaye offers 24/7 manned service and support across almost all industry sectors and is fully compliant with, and aligned to, HM Revenue & Customs best practices. Careful assessment of the company’s obligations in respect of data retention and security was therefore essential.

New hosted solution

Ultimately, ProPaye opted for a completely hosted solution, involving a switch to the cloud including Veeam backup and recovery. The company chose Microsoft 365, a Software as a Service (SaaS) platform, which is the most flexible cloud computing model and allows for the automated deployment of servers, processing power, storage and networking. It boasts uptime of 99.999% and no less than five layers of security with built-in privacy and compliance tools to safeguard the business from external threats.

ProPaye’s team use their devices to access the company’s IT infrastructure (hosted and managed in MSV Consultancy’s data centre) and are benefitting from lots of easy to use tools that make it easier to collaborate. Business performance has improved because employees have the flexibility to work from any location where there is a reliable internet connection.

Irrespective of whether they are in the office or working remotely from home or in the field, all staff can access a communal workspace with built-in Office 365 apps like Word, Excel, PowerPoint and SharePoint, and simultaneously edit and share documents in real time. It means faster outcomes and issue resolution, whilst repetitive tasks such as data re-entry are minimised. With the Microsoft Teams group chat software as part of the package messaging is easy and staff and customers can keep up in touch via online messaging, meetings and web conferences.

‘Pay as you grow’

As part of a comprehensive outsourced IT solution, the move to the cloud has enabled ProPaye to take control of its IT and data in a way that is sustainable financially over the long term.

From a technology perspective the cloud is inherently flexible and always up to date. The beauty is that it is also scalable, a ‘pay as you grow’ solution that meets changing needs as your business expands.

Services are typically deployed on a consumption basis so, like water or electricity, you only pay for what you use. Indeed, ProPaye treats its new hosted IT system as if it were a utility. They use it, and it works.

If you don’t have an in-house IT resource, you will find it easiest to switch to the cloud with the support of a managed service provider. It’s their job to ensure that, like ProPaye, your business can tap into technological innovation and reap the benefits of a quality IT set-up built to satisfy your specific needs.