Cloud computing for a growing business

Telegraph

Many business leaders have read about the benefits of the cloud, but are either too busy to research the technology fully or are sceptical that the advantages of hosting data off-site outweigh the potential security breaches. But consider an alternative scenario and the benefits become clearer. Loss of data – perhaps through fire, flood or break-in – could be severely detrimental to a business, and could even put some out of operation.

East Anglia-based car dealership Thurlow Nunn is one of a growing number of technologically savvy businesses embracing the cloud as a practical way of guarding against loss of data.

As a growing business with complex IT requirements, it sought advice from technology partner PC World Business and struck a deal to back up its data regularly and to store information in a secure data centre that is remote from Thurlow’s premises.

“PC World Business helps us with a range of IT requirements and we have worked happily with them for some years,” says Jonathan Knight, the business’s IT manager.

“So when they recommended a virtual storage solution for our data, we agreed it was a good idea.

“We found it very valuable because if something goes wrong, the cloud option gives us a way of quickly and easily retrieving the data we need to keep the business up and running. We have our own servers of course, but it’s always good to have a fresh copy in the cloud.”

The car dealership is part of Thurlow Nunn Group, incorporating the supply of agricultural machinery and a business specialising in the design, fabrication and erection of steel-framed buildings for agricultural and industrial markets. Thurlow Nunn employs more than 550 people and operates from 20 sites throughout East Anglia. It has a turnover topping £150 million.

Mr Knight joined Thurlow Nunn four years ago and is currently responsible for keeping the business technologically primed and secure. In this time the firm has embarked on a consistent growth curve, requiring significant investment in its IT infrastructure.

“We’re an ambitious business,” says Mr Knight. “We have a two-storey showcase dealership opening up in Milton Keynes early in 2014 and a new call centre, and despite difficult economic conditions we are growing strongly. It’s why we had to outsource our IT, because the needs of the business are so great.

He adds: “We needed an IT partner that is quick and reliable. PC World Business gives us the option of next-day delivery, even when we put in complex orders, and its advice has proven extremely useful to our business.”

With the business expanding quickly in a tough marketplace, Mr Knight feels it is likely that when the UK economy finally does recover, Thurlow Nunn will be well placed to take a bigger chunk of the market.

He believes the flexibility and security offered by the cloud storage solution gives the business leeway to focus on its core priorities.

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