Connectivity holds the key to cloud computing success

Companies may need to upgrade their internet connections to get the best from the cloud.

Cloud computing has the potential to be a major game-changer for business of all sizes - from the smallest enterprises to the largest corporations.

But only if they have the infrastructure - and required grade of connectivity - in place to support hosted services and cope with high-bandwidth applications.

Cloud services offer so much flexibility and choice to end-users, in terms of the services and tools available. It is cost effective, saving companies money on storage and hardware on premise. What's more, it is scalable as the amount of infrastructure as a service required can be upgraded on demand. Additionally, the wider range of data that firms can get hold of through the cloud can be increased dramatically, which will improve business analytics considerably. But companies have to make sure their computer fleet is up to the job.

Firms which persist with decade-old desktop PCs and a dial-up internet connection are just not in any sort of position to benefit, with the cloud reliant on the speedy transfer of data and off-premise hosting.

As such, businesses need to appreciate the value of a strong, reliable broadband or Ethernet connection, enabling them to take advantage of fast upload and download speeds.

With investment in UK networks continuing apace - and fibre coverage increasing in the UK - the majority of firms now have access to high-speed or super-fast broadband.

However rural areas in the UK, in particular, may have to wait some time before they receive access to superfast broadband. The government has pushed its target back for rolling out superfast broadband, although it says 1.4 million more homes will receive the service by 2017. Nevertheless, there are alternatives for businesses who cannot yet receive a superfast broadband connection.

Even if you cannot access a fibre connection, faster and more stable ADSL, mobile, wireless and satellite broadband is widely available.

It is up to businesses to ensure they have the required connectivity, allowing end-users to access files, documents, data and software solutions online, where they can be used to maximum effect.