Cloud Computing – Understanding The Jargon Around Cloud Technology 

In our last article we introduced the cloud and explored some of the myths that business owners have had about cloud computing. Much of the apprehension around it is misplaced, but we also stressed that choosing a dedicated provider that offers genuine post-sale support is important, as not all providers are serving equally, even if they offer the same service.  

In this piece we clear up some of the jargon that professionals use when they are referring to the cloud. After reading this, you will be savvy with cloud language, enabling you to navigate cloud solutions and to understand the value they can offer to your business.  

Explaining Cloud Terminology 

Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) 

Your applications are running on an underlying infrastructure that stores, computes and allocates resources to them, whether it is on-premises, cloud-based, or a mixture of the two.  

Infrastructure-as-a-Service is a type of cloud computing framework which provides computer resources over the internet. Upon contracting an IaaS provider, they will supply and manage the infrastructure where your software will be hosted on a subscription basis; enabling a scalable, flexible and precise infrastructure solution for your apps.  

Infrastructure as a service is a complex service. Depending on your technical literacy, it is often best to involve a team of IT professionals to help you to plan, implement and maintain the infrastructure so that it runs like clockwork for your business. With expert help, you can smoothly leverage cloud infrastructure to deliver enhanced value and scale securely.  

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) 

Software as a Service delivers software services and data over an internet connection and web browser. Your provider will take full management and responsibility of both the security and back-up of your data, all within your agreed price.  

SaaS is certainly the most popular choice of Cloud service – some of the most popular SaaS offerings  include Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, and Xero Accounting amongst thousands of others. These services are also becoming more integrable, enabling more customised and streamlined workflows for businesses.  

SaaS takes the stress and arduous process of managing your software and hardware out of your hands, leaving it in the capable hands of your provider’s expert team. For non-technical business leaders seeking to leverage technology and gain a competitive edge, SaaS is something of a godsend, as it takes the complexity out of managing and maintaining software away from the service user.   

Cloud applications 

A Cloud Application is a software that you can access from any device that is connected to the internet, instead of installing it on each computer individually.  

Cloud storage 

Compared to saving data on a physical hard drive on your computer, cloud storage is when you save your data to the cloud, where it is stored on remote servers and can be accessed directly from there. This essentially means that you store the data physically elsewhere in a secure data warehouse, but you no longer need to manage the physical infrastructure (I.e. on-premises servers) for doing so.  

This takes us back to the point we made at the start of our first article, remote working is made possible with the cloud and cloud storage. Both your office and remote teams have seamless access to all the data that they need to fulfil their roles more efficiently and seamlessly.  


This is the process of creating a virtual representation, or virtual replica, of a physical resource, such as a server, storage device, or network. These are called virtual machines.  

Virtual machines behave like the physical resources they are based on; except they can now run multiple operating systems and applications at once. Imagine a computer being able to be broken down into mini virtual versions of itself and being able to operate across multiple physical computers (or in this case, servers) at once. This unlocks a great deal of flexibility and scalability for businesses, as virtualisation enables the consolidation and optimisation of hardware resources via cloud infrastructure.  

For the final part of this article, we’ll highlight some of the benefits of using cloud technology in your business.  

The benefits of the Cloud to your Business 


The cloud enables the ability for businesses to work flexibly with remote working capabilities. This ability allows teams to work together across different distances and times coherently and seamlessly. The cloud has unlocked the ability for businesses to tap into talent across the globe and to form teams from a range of geographic locations.  

Operationally, teams can work on documents in real time, see version histories, including who is responsible for changes, as well as easily communicate via calls, video chats and messaging functionality. For developers and a business’s application infrastructure, the cloud liberates more scalable capacity for developing, deploying and hosting apps.  

In all, the cloud achieves the kind of collaboration that can be found in the office, with some additional benefits too such as the potential for enhanced focus. This said, the cloud is not a granted collaboration paradise; it also takes an organised and responsible approach to get the best from cloud collaboration technology.  

Backup and Business continuity 

As much as we try to avoid them, disasters do happen, and they can be business defining. You need to have an efficient way of accessing all of your vital business data rapidly should the worst happen, and the cloud offers exactly that. The cloud allows you to continue with business-as-usual even in unusual circumstances. If a business experiences a disaster or emergency, such as a gas leak, flood, or fire for instance, they would be able to continue working from other locations with an internet connection, access the cloud, and resume operations.  


A chief benefit to cloud computing is how flexible and scalable cloud solutions are, which often offer greater cost-efficiency as well. Whether a business is hosting its applications or servers in the cloud, or leverages SaaS solutions in its workflows, or uses VoIP technology, these can all be scaled easily and seamlessly to meet demand as the business scales up or down.  

Reduced cost  

Compared to traditional forms of IT, the initial capital investment into cloud computing is far lower than it was in the past. Businesses using cloud solutions get much closer to paying only for what they are using, as cloud resources are scalable, precise and flexible in their nature. For businesses seeking to get more value at a relatively lower cost, cloud technology is a great leverage point to invest in.   

We Are 4TC Managed IT Services 

4TC can support you with all the services you need to run your business effectively, from email and domain hosting to fully managing your whole IT infrastructure. 

Setting up a great IT infrastructure is just the first step.  Keeping it up to date, safe and performing at its peak requires consistent attention. 

We can act as either your IT department or to supplement an existing IT department. We pride ourselves in developing long term relationships that add value to your business with high quality managed support, expert strategic advice, and professional project management. 

Cloud Technology – What Is It and What Can It Do for Your Business?  

Tech is transforming the planet at an increasingly swift rate, allowing teams around the world to achieve degrees of collaboration, communication, and productivity that were hard to imagine even as little as ten years ago. In the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, many businesses turned towards cloud technology to enable them to work from home, using solutions such as Microsoft 365.  

The Cloud is the element that makes remote working possible. When businesses consider adopting cloud technologies, they are aware of the potential benefits but can be daunted by the uncertainty or lack of knowledge about how it works and therefore how it could impact their business.  

In the first of two articles, we will walk you through cloud computing and the myths that surround its use that often discourage its adoption. In our next piece, we will simplify some of the key technical jargon that professionals use when referring to it, and elucidate the benefits that businesses can reap from their cloud technology, enabling you to understand cloud computing and how it can be implemented to benefit your business.  

What is the Cloud? 

Cloud computing is a series of platforms, services and infrastructure that enable digital services to be delivered via the internet, via data centres that host and process their information securely. A key potential of cloud computing is that it allows businesses to outsource IT functions, such as server capacity, to other providers without losing easy access to the data and services it’s hosting.  

In the past, businesses had to manage their IT resources as a solo enterprise, where they would purchase, support and manage their own IT hardware and software platforms on their premises. This could lead to downtimes, inefficiencies and an oftentimes complicated and fragmented IT infrastructure that disempowered businesses from streamlining and optimising their workflows and systems to create more value and growth. This could be an expensive, frustrating and time-consuming set up to operate from, but with the cloud, many of these problems are surmountable. 

By outsourcing servers and data storage to an outside provider specialising in offering this service, businesses save time and money on acquiring and maintaining hardware and pay for what they are using with the cloud server provider and scale it rapidly. In terms of applications, these can also be migrated securely to the cloud, and many software services are now offered via the cloud as Software as a Service (SaaS). With an internet connection, businesses can increasingly plug-in and play to the cloud to deliver their services, whilst outsourcing technical complexities in a highly cost-efficient way.  

So what myths about the cloud are discouraging its adoption by those who could benefit from it?  

Cloud myths – Debunked 

“Value isn’t guaranteed when using Cloud Computing, so why would I bother?” 

This myth could be true, insofar as the options and benefits have been examined in detail and have been left wanting.  

There are many providers out there that will helpfully get you onboard and be supportive in that process, who then lose interest when it comes to providing genuine ongoing support into the future. This is wrong, it is unfair to sell a solution to someone who cannot see its full-value potential, so the provider should make it clear where that potential for value is, how it can be realised, and give an estimate of the scope of quantifiable benefits on offer.  

A widely embraced cloud-based solution that offers clear value to many organisations, is the Microsoft 365 platform. It offers a range of familiar tools to businesses, with extended features such as live document collaboration, intelligent AI suggestions that speed up and enhance task completion, and an integrated interface that enables seamless switching between different tasks.  

The saved time, improved quality of work and collaboration, and smart-searching features, alongside its flexible and fast scalability, offers a clear enough case for many businesses to adopt it. The principle is clear though, your IT partner should take their time to give a tailored assessment for your organisation, outline the benefits clearly, answer your questions, and then make a smooth implementation plan and provide onboarding and ongoing support. With this process, deriving profitable value from the cloud is assured.  

“Is it important to back-up my data if we work in the Cloud?” 

Yes, but with the caveat that regardless of your technology solution, having backups and contingencies is important. In the cloud’s case, creating and accessing backups is made much easier, though we would stress having multiple regular backups elsewhere offers the only assured backup solution. Overall though, storing, backing up and recovering data is typically easier with cloud services providers.   

Cloud computing providers tend to provide protective measures as standard, such as robust data encryption and real time updating documents with recoverable version histories. There is not a particular reason to fear for your backups on the cloud, but it’s important to take fail-proof backup measures regardless of the platforms you are using to store your data.  

“My data is missing, and I don’t know where it has gone” 

It is very important to know where your data is being stored and thus to have control and oversight of it, as there can be legal, reputational and financial consequences to not protecting your data.  

Cloud hosting providers are well aware of this crucial requirement and are also subject to it themselves. Alongside providers implementing measures to keep their cloud platforms secure, you can ask also them where they are storing your data if you are in doubt or can’t seem to find it, and they should be able to find it for you.  

But, as we said earlier, not all Cloud providers are as they seem. Some aren’t interested in the value they can offer to you; they want your money and don’t care about your success. So it is important to ask about ongoing maintenance and support with potential providers, and to ensure these needs are enshrined in a contract to ensure peace of mind.  

Therefore, it is essential that you read your contract carefully, as some have clauses that allow your provider to scan your data and carry out all sorts of other actions, so it is best to be careful rather than sorry. 

We Are 4TC Managed IT Services 

4TC can support you with all the services you need to run your business effectively, from email and domain hosting to fully managing your whole IT infrastructure. 

Setting up a great IT infrastructure is just the first step. Keeping it up to date, safe and performing at its peak requires consistent attention. 

We can act as either your IT department or to supplement an existing IT department. We pride ourselves in developing long term relationships that add value to your business with high quality managed support, expert strategic advice, and professional project management. 

AI scaremongering is rife, but creatives should fear not

You’ve all seen it. The media is awash with articles and commentary about how AI is going to take all of our jobs and leave only a small fraction of the population with hope of remaining in the careers they know and enjoy.

More research emerged recently which predicts that advertising agencies will replace 7.5% of existing jobs with AI by 2030, but it made a particularly interesting distinction: creative problem-solving roles will thrive.

This brings me on to something that’s been present in my mind for some time now, which is that there’s currently a race to the bottom in agency land. It’s a tough economic climate in general at the moment and, in pursuit of cutting costs, many bosses are exploring automating human roles – focusing on the immediate cost savings – without regard for possible future ramifications.

In particular, those naïvely believing they can lay off their team of copywriters and produce adequate work using ChatGPT are in for a nasty surprise. Of course, businesses should be thinking about how they can utilise emerging technologies, but let’s not get carried away.

AI is a creative companion

It is not a creative replacement.

Another important thing to consider is that while generative artificial intelligence is likely to affect clerical, process-oriented roles, its rise will also pave the way for other opportunities which don’t yet exist. By educating ourselves on the topic and understanding not just where its strengths lie, but its limitations too, we can put ourselves in a strong position as more advancements are made.

Using what we do at WOAW for example — as a personal branding agency it would be impossible to deliver the level of personalisation in our client work as we do, without human control. The intricacies of the tone of voice, emotional understanding and the nuances that make each individual different are only fully understood and effectively applied by people.

That said, we’re thinking about where we can use AI, and it’s proven extremely effective in some key areas. Gathering basic information quickly, organising chronologically, building on existing ideas/concepts and making quick tweaks to things like the length of copy have all been great examples of its effectiveness.

It’s worth adding that even if you aren’t working in a role that’s considered ‘creative’, you aren’t necessarily doomed, either. Around 5 years ago, an AI researcher claimed that “We should stop training radiologists, because in 5 years, AI will have replaced the need for them.” Current demands for radiologists are off the charts and we can’t find enough of them. So, the overall point remains:

Yes, progress is moving very rapidly, but it’s the development of a tool; not a march towards extinction.

Source: AI scaremongering is rife, but creatives should fear not – Business Leader News

ChatGPT And Generative AI: What To Do With All The Productivity?

A recent study by the National Bureau of Economic Research found that generative AI like ChatGPT can increase workforce productivity by an average of 14%. Some companies are already reporting productivity increases of up to 400% as a result of generative AI. And Mckinsey says that Generative AI could add up to $4.4 trillion worth of output annually.

As a C-level manager or board director, you want your company to take advantage of this potential. But how? Where are the biggest opportunities to do more with less, reduce costs, and boost profit?

In other words—What should you do with all that productivity?

Here’s how you can take advantage of the productivity benefits of AI now, without a multi-year project and tens of millions of dollars of investment:

Artificial Intelligence is Already Displacing Human Jobs

According to Goldman Sachs research, two of every three American occupations are exposed to some degree of automation by AI. Worldwide, 300 million jobs may be eligible for replacement in part or in whole by automation, potentially saving employers trillions of dollars.

That is not something that will come years down the road. A recent Challenger job report revealed that 3,900 jobs were eliminated by artificial intelligence in May, 2023. IBM froze hiring in the same period for 7,800 jobs it said could be replaced in AI in the coming years. And British Telecom announced that more than 10% of its team would be replaced by AI before 2030. (See “Using AI For Layoffs: 5 Benefits For Decision Making”)

While the productivity advantages differ for every organization, there are four key areas in most large companies where you can expect to see immediate disruption:

1. Customer operations:

McKinsey predicts that generative AI has the potential to increase productivity in customer care by as much as 45%. Much of that gain comes from the ability of AI to understand customer intent and sentiment, and give personnel—even new trainees—the information they need to resolve problems quickly. It can also offload low-level customer service demands to chatbots that are far more functional and human-like than ever before. That not only translates into better service provision, it also results in teams who feel less overwhelmed and therefore more cheerful and loyal. Some of the players leading the charge here are, and Intercom.

2. Sales & Marketing:

Generative AI can analyze prospect behavior so that sales and marketing teams can optimize their strategic approach far more efficiently than ever before. But because of the specialized abilities of the technology, generative AI can also help create customized emails, social media posts, advertising artwork, product descriptions, landing pages, and so much more. Even small marketing and sales operations can now easily customize and personalize their efforts. Shortly after ChatGPT went live, Microsoft and Salesforce respectively introduced Viva Sales and Einstein GPT which put generative AI to work in sales. PhraseePersado, and Albert are just a few of the many solutions that are putting generative AI to work in digital marketing.

3. Software Development:

88% of software coders report increased productivity when using generative AI. The technology can execute repetitive tasks like inserting boilerplate code snippets. It can review human-generated code for bugs and security flaws. And it can create software documentation, eliminating the need for a human coder to spend time on what is considered a low-level task. GitHub CopilotTabnine, and Snyk are just a few of the many solutions that have emerged to increase productivity in software development

4. Research & Development:

A list of ways that generative AI can help in the wide-ranging field of R&D would consume the entirety of this article. From drug discovery in the pharmaceutical industry to information analysis in virtually any research field, to industrial design in manufacturing, generative AI is a true game changer.

Here’s how you can boost your productivity with generative AI

hat just scratches the surface of how AI is already changing the productivity game in business. But from a business management point of view, how can you align your organization to get moving?

1. Adopt and adapt—now:

Assume that your competitors are using generative AI right now. You need to get on board before they are so far ahead that you can’t catch up. (See The AI Threat: Winner Takes All.) Assume that your own team is experimenting with generative AI as well, whether it is part of your formal strategy or not. When human beings see a way to get their jobs done more easily, with less work—they take advantage of it. So you need to lean in and decide where, how, and when you want to implement this technology. Rapid adoption and adaptation is the name of the game.

2. Keep a human in the loop:

While it may be tempting to believe that you can simply offload work to generative AI, given the technology’s impressive performance, that would be a mistake. While integrating this technology, you should always retain “adult supervision” to make sure that the output meets the quality standards and brand image of your organization. Whether it is marketing content, product design, or software code, output needs to have a human review to ensure accuracy, avoid bias and other ethical issues, and spot other problems that only humans can understand today.

3. Engage with your team:

In response to the productivity boost afforded by generative AI, you may choose to let people go or make fewer new hires. However, you may also discover that your customers expect more from you than ever before, and that you need every available body to help increase output. Either way, you must take a hard look at your organizational chart and immediately engage with your team on this subject. Instead of having people worry about losing their jobs, help them to adapt. Some roles will be eliminated, others will expand, while still others will remain unaffected. Communicate with your team, let them know what is expected of them, support them with retraining and change management. And make sure that old and new teams alike are ready to embrace generative AI as a copilot.

4. Lead from the top

The CEO, the senior executive team, and the board of directors can not be on the trailing end of this change. The changes that generative AI is driving within your organization and industry will make the last decade of digital transformation look positively quaint. You need to lead your organization’s internal AI revolution. That does not mean that every senior executive needs to become an expert in AI themselves. However, they do need to champion its use and become very adept at implementing it throughout the organization.

If you care about how AI is determining the winners and losers in business, how you can leverage AI for the benefit of your organization, and how you can manage AI risk, I encourage you to stay tuned. I write (almost) exclusively about how senior executives, board members, and other business leaders can use AI effectively.

Source: ChatGPT And Generative AI: What To Do With All The Productivity? (

How new AI tools like ChatGPT can transform human productivity in the enterprise

Artificial intelligence (AI) has emerged as a revolutionary force, reshaping industries and unlocking unprecedented opportunities for business growth. In today’s fiercely competitive landscape, enterprise decision-makers must recognize and harness the power of AI to enhance human productivity and achieve sustainable success.

By effectively using AI technologies, businesses can streamline operations, optimize workflows and empower their workforce with actionable insights. This article dives deeper into how business leaders can use the transformative potential of AI to revolutionize human productivity, providing insightful examples and statistics that demonstrate the technology’s profound impact.

Leveraging generative AI and ChatGPT

AI tools like generative AI models and conversational agents such as ChatGPT have expanded the benefits of AI in transforming human productivity. For example, a case study showed that implementing generative AI for content creation resulted in a 40% reduction in time spent on writing product descriptions, allowing employees to focus on strategic tasks. Additionally, a recent survey found that businesses utilizing conversational agents like ChatGPT experienced a 30% decrease in customer support response times, leading to improved customer satisfaction. These evolving AI tools enable businesses to optimize workflows, enhance collaboration, and deliver unique customer experiences, unlocking untapped growth potential in the digital landscape

Automating repetitive tasks

One of the most profound advantages of AI lies in its ability to automate mundane and time-consuming tasks. By delegating repetitive activities to AI-powered systems, employees can redirect their focus towards high-value, strategic work. For instance, employing AI-based chatbots for customer support significantly reduces response times, enhances customer satisfaction, and liberates human agents to handle more complex queries.

One of the most profound advantages of AI lies in its ability to automate mundane and time-consuming tasks. By delegating repetitive activities to AI-powered systems, employees can redirect their focus towards high-value, strategic work. For instance, employing AI-based chatbots for customer support significantly reduces response times, enhances customer satisfaction, and liberates human agents to handle more complex queries.

Intelligent data analysis

Data serves as the lifeblood of modern enterprises, yet extracting meaningful insights from vast amounts of data can be a daunting task. Here, AI technologies such as machine learning and natural language processing come into play, enabling the analysis of data at scale, uncovering valuable patterns and providing actionable insights. For example, AI-powered analytics platforms can process customer data to identify trends, preferences and purchasing patterns, allowing businesses to deliver personalized experiences.

McKinsey reports that AI-driven data analysis can improve productivity by up to 40% in certain industries. Furthermore, a study conducted by Forrester Consulting found that organizations leveraging AI for data analysis experienced a 15% reduction in decision-making time, enabling them to respond faster to market changes and gain a competitive advantage.

Augmenting decision-making

AI has the potential to augment human decision-making by offering real-time, data-driven recommendations. Business leaders can use AI-powered predictive analytics models to forecast market trends, optimize inventory management and enhance supply chain efficiency.

By incorporating AI into their decision-making processes, organizations can mitigate risks, make well-informed choices and drive better business outcomes. A survey conducted by Deloitte revealed that 82% of early AI adopters experienced a positive impact on their decision-making processes. Moreover, a report by Accenture states that AI can improve decision-making accuracy by 75%, resulting in better resource allocation and higher profitability.

Enhancing employee collaboration

AI technologies play a vital role in facilitating seamless collaboration and knowledge sharing among employees, transcending geographical boundaries. For instance, AI-powered virtual assistants can schedule meetings, transcribe conversations and facilitate information retrieval, thereby enhancing teamwork and productivity. A study by Salesforce found that 72% of high-performing sales teams utilize AI to prioritize leads, enabling sales representatives to focus on high-value opportunities. Additionally, research by McKinsey indicates that companies that prioritize AI-driven collaboration tools achieve a 30-40% improvement in employee productivity, highlighting the tangible benefits of AI in fostering efficient collaboration.

Personalized learning and skill development

AI empowers employees with personalized learning experiences, fostering skill development and enhancing productivity. Adaptive learning platforms, driven by AI algorithms, can tailor training content based on individual needs, learning styles and progress. This approach ensures that employees receive targeted knowledge and efficiently upskill, driving overall productivity and performance.

A study conducted by Towards Data Science indicates that personalized AI-driven learning experiences can improve knowledge retention by up to 30%. Moreover, a survey by LinkedIn found that 94% of employees would stay longer at a company that invests in their career development, emphasizing the importance of personalized learning experiences powered by AI.

The power of AI to transform human productivity in the enterprise is undeniable. By embracing AI technologies, business leaders can automate repetitive tasks, leverage intelligent data analysis, augment decision-making, enhance employee collaboration and personalize learning experiences. These capabilities enable organizations to optimize operations, drive innovation and gain a competitive edge in today’s digital era.

As AI continues to evolve, it is imperative for enterprise decision-makers to embrace this transformative technology and unleash its full potential to unlock new levels of productivity and success. By embracing AI as a strategic enabler, businesses can propel themselves forward, redefining the possibilities of human productivity in the enterprise realm. The time to harness the power of AI is now.

Source:Gaming is an unconventional new medical resource (