Flexible working via cloud at IT consultancy

Aside from the obvious benefits of cloud computing; cost savings; improved uptime; and the advantage of operating on the latest infrastructure platforms, as winter rears its ugly head one key benefit shifts to the forefront of the list – flexible working.

A cloud system is always available.

Snowy days and icy conditions can cause havoc on our roads and understandably many employees are unable to make it into their place of work.  An issue which can severely affect business activity.

If employees are unable to get in to the office their job function cannot be fulfilled, which for you could cause serious business disruption.

In this situation the ability to access business information from anywhere, at any time is essential. Cloud computing makes it possible for employees to work outside of the office and helps maintain “business as usual”.

By putting a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) policy in place, even employees who are usually office based can be set up to work remotely. Many households will own a device of some description and so employees can work from their own device such as home desktop PC’s, laptops and tablets.  They simply require setting up in advance.

Cloud computing limits the impact of shutting down on a snowy day.  However it is not just the cruel winter that makes it worthwhile.

As and when required the system can scale proportionately with your business, so for example if you are a seasonal business and perhaps take on extra staff during the summer months you can simply add users and remove them when they are no longer required.  You purely pay for the users you require and once they are no longer required, you no longer need pay for them.

Despite its increasing popularity, cloud can still be a scary unknown for those with a limited understanding of the service.

In brief, the benefits of cloud include:

  • Offers value for money
  • Ready for any business
  • Makes your business truly mobile
  • Efficient and reliable
  • Scales to grow with your needs
  • Works with your existing IT
  • Highly secure

When working from the office is not an option, be it due to weather conditions, road closures, power outage or natural disaster, the cloud is invaluable to ensure business operates as closely to normal as possible.

The disruption a large number of businesses experienced during the UK’s most recent adverse weather conditions is merely a reminder of how viable cloud computing is for so many businesses.

Contact eSpida today for more information on cloud services.

Infrastructure business man on aeroplane

London-based Hillgate Travel, has opted to work with Technical Consultancy, eSpida, to design, architect and deliver a highly available, scalable and secure technical platform, to support the organisation’s double digit growth.

Hillgate Travel is the largest privately owned travel management company offering a global, full service portfolio from passport and visa management, through to group and individual VIP management. With over 175 employees and processing over 400,000 transactions a year, the company has seen rapid growth in demand for its services.

With a traditional data centre model in place, Hillgate Travel was supporting an ever-growing, onerous hardware footprint which was increasingly at odds with its three guiding principles: security, availability and scalability. Antoine Boatwright, Chief Technical Officer for Hillgate Travel comments, “We knew that our model had to change to deliver against the demands of the business as it was becoming harder to manage the current environment. I wanted to create a consolidated solution that would cope with the reality of today and the anticipated growth of the next five years.”

After ruling out public cloud options, the company was approached by Birmingham-based IT consultancy, eSpida, which, after two days of on-site discovery, formulated a proposal for change. The eSpida team quickly grasped the scope of the project within the context of Hillgate’s overall business strategy; it delivered a vision of a new architecture and challenged some of the more traditional, Microsoft-centric policies employed in the company.

eSpida proposed taking Hillgate from a physical to a virtual environment to minimise footprint. Introducing Linux into the hardware portfolio has not only improved performance and availability but drastically reduced the cost basis for the entire solution. “eSpida understood the commercial parameters of our project and made its recommendations based on what we needed and not what it wanted to sell us. That was refreshing. The lead consultant, Paul Hanson, also worked within context; he understood the relevance of our design beyond the scope of the project, to ensure that we were future-proofing our investment.”

Hillgate is half way through the implementation of this project with eSpida, but is already seeing the benefits of the change in cost and end user experience. However, most notable is the change in attitude within the Hillgate technical team which is thinking more creatively about other technical projects. “eSpida is a trusted, strategic business partner to Hillgate; the team is innovative and strategic but incredibly easy to work with. Our engagement has been honest, thorough and has really opened our eyes to new ideas.”