What does Cloud mean?

The term “Cloud” is new for some, but the basic concept is not. “Cloud” can roughly be defined as “happening on the internet instead of on your server”. Most businesses had been using “Cloud-based” services for years before the term came along: your emails have almost certainly been hosted online from the off (in the Cloud), and you might back up your files online (in the Cloud) with a service like Google Drive.

What’s the difference?

The fundamental difference between Cloud-based IT and a more traditional setup is the location of your server.

With a traditional IT setup, you use capital expenditure to buy a server, and it sits in your office – perhaps in the basement – working away. Just like any other hardware, it eventually fails and needs to be replaced, using up another chunk of your capital. Until Cloud services came along, that was essentially your only option.

With Cloud computing, you can use operating expenditure to pay per user, per month to keep your data and run your software on someone else’s server. Your data is stored on your provider’s servers, not on your site, and it’s their responsibility to keep the servers maintained and running smoothly. Your provider buys the server, and you rent the space and the power you use straight from them. You can still stay informed about where your data is: Riverbank client data is stored at our data centre in Newbury.

A huge attraction of the Cloud for businesses is the prospect of never having to buy or maintain a server again.

  • Cloud Services
    Cloud Services
    Explore the possibilities of the Cloud for your business, from file-sync to software.
  • Fully-managed IT Support
    Fully-managed IT Support
    Discover the benefits of fully-managed IT support: we’ll take care of everything.

A solution that works for you

Riverbank have selected the best products and services, the ones we use everyday,and packaged them especially for you. Here’s a quick overview of the options available.


As technology moves on, many companies are migrating to the Cloud. With Riverbank Cloud - Essentials you can choose the services you need from a menu of options. With Microsoft Office 365 and Riverbank Cloud File Sync, we have all you need to keep your business connected.


All the functions of a traditional network in the Cloud. You can run all your usual applications, without the need to buy specialised equipment. And it’s flexible. You can add more server space whenever you need it. All stored in UK data centres managed by Riverbank and monitored 24/7.

  • Only pay for what you use
  • Hosted servers
  • UK data centres


Your own personal, protected IT system. Dedicated equipment gives you all your traditional computing power. Everything is stored in highly-secure UK data centres. It’s proactively managed with 24/7 monitoring, detecting and resolving problems before they impact your business.

  • Your hardware
  • In our data centres
  • Managed by Cloud specialists

What are the benefits?

  • The big one again: you never have to buy or maintain a server ever again.
  • It’s scalable. You won’t reach a certain threshold and then have to shell out thousands on a new server. You pay a set amount per user, per month, adding or removing users as and when you need to.
  • It’s flexible. Cloud services are great for seasonal businesses with user bases that grow and shrink often. If you find that your users need more space across the board, you can upgrade dynamically too.

Why not work in the Cloud?

In graphics-intensive applications such as animation, auto-CAD, graphic design and video editing, Cloud-based software is not always the best choice. This is because the speed at which Cloud-based software can work relies on the available internet capacity at any given time. Cloud-based graphics-intensive software creates a lot of network traffic, and on a slower internet connection, this could prove to be very frustrating. However, Cloud-based backup would still be hugely useful for these applications.

How can Riverbank help?

We can assess your current systems, business needs and desired outcomes in detail, to help you decide on the best course of action. If moving part or all of your IT setup to the Cloud is the obvious choice for you, we can help you to plan what needs to be done, take care of the transition, and support you and your team as you get used to business life in the Cloud.

If you’re ready to take your business into the Cloud, or you’d like to learn more, call and speak to an expert: 01235 426700 or email enquiries@riverbank.co.uk