6 benefits of cloud computing you need to know
What is cloud computing?
First things first, what exactly is the ‘cloud’? Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services – such as storage, databases, networking, software and analytics – over the internet.
When you take a picture on your smartphone, it is stored on your phone’s internal memory drive. However, when you upload the photos to Instagram, you are uploading it to the cloud.
Companies using the cloud grow 19.3% faster than their competitors. The adoption of the cloud in your business could be more beneficial than you previously thought.
Check out the six benefits of the cloud which you could make the most of.
1. Instant availability
Cloud-based applications and data are accessible from virtually any internet-connected device. So, as long as you’ve got internet, you’re good to go. Cloud apps for storage (such as Dropbox), for document sharing (such as Google Docs), for team collaboration (such as Slack) or CRM systems (such as Salesforce) mean that it’s easier than ever for your employees to work from anywhere in the world.
Businesses can provide employees with a work-life balance which suits them and doesn’t impede productivity.
You may be worried that this quantity of data in the cloud may make it slower. If you use the right solution, it will not be affected.
Big names such as Coca-Cola started giving out mobile phones to their employees, pre-loaded with Salesforce cloud applications. It’s a trend which is catching on with businesses everywhere.
2. Very cost effective
The cloud cuts out the cost of buying in-house hardware. For a growing company, this can mean significant savings are made, as new hardware can be an incredible expense. Your company will only have to pay for the cloud service, which is usually subscription-based. ‘Software as a Service’ (or SaaS) refers to users logging in to a remote hub to access their software, which runs in the data centre rather than on your own hardware. Instead of buying software, you effectively rent it instead for a monthly fee. This makes costs much more manageable, especially for small and start-up businesses.
A study shows that 44% of businesses invest in the cloud for the benefit of overall cost reduction.
Making the move to the cloud could mean saving precious money which could be used elsewhere.
3. Greater business flexibility
Employees can simultaneously share and use files, which promotes productivity. The flexibility of the cloud can either be turned up or turned down. This means that if there is a project which is popular, capacity can be added for a duration, and then this can be reduced – showing once again the cost-effectiveness of the cloud.
This operational agility from the cloud can give you a competitive edge over other companies.
The flexibility of the cloud means it makes your business scalable. The infrastructure of the cloud scales on demand to support fluctuating workloads – your business can easily upscale or downscale your IT requirements. It’s always nice to have options. You can customise and shape the cloud to suit your business.
If you were to grow your business, then most cloud service providers will allow you to increase your existing structure to accommodate the upscale. This is both inexpensive and supportive.
4. Automatic software updates
The servers are located far, far away from your business, so any updates are taken care of without causing any disruption to your working day. System and software updates are rolled out to all users, making the transition seamless.
Using cloud-based software means that your business will have access to the latest software as and when it’s made available, cutting down the workload of your IT department.
You can also hand-pick which software updates or features you need for your business. It is the easy way to stay updated.
5. Faster disaster recovery
Disaster recovery is an area of IT which no business should ignore. In case of a disaster (e.g. the server goes offline), the information is usually spread across multiple locations, so you can retain access to important data. On the other hand, if your business is affected by a natural disaster, you may lose your local hardware but the cloud will remain safe.
Backup is the second most widely-used function of cloud computing. With cloud services, full-blown disaster recovery solutions are easier to manage.
Don’t forget, when your disaster recovery plan is in place, regular tests should be carried out in case any issues arise.
You may be concerned about the security of the cloud and protection of your data. Data centres are serious about their reputations, therefore they prioritise security above anything else.
6. Kinder to the environment
Today, more and more businesses consider how their decisions may impact the environment.
The cloud is a sustainable solution with minimal environmental impact. A considerable amount of energy is used when a company stores its own data onsite using own hardware. When the cloud fluctuates, it’s only using as much or little energy as you need, meaning less energy used overall. In fact, it reduces energy consumption by a whopping 95%.
So the cloud benefits your business and the environment.
We recommend that you get your (business)-head up in the cloud.