Cloud computing has been around for about twenty years and despite the data that indicates the business efficiency, cost benefits and competitive advantages it has over the old way of working, a large part of the business continues to work the old way.
According to a study by the International Data Group, 69 percent of companies already use cloud technology in one or other capacity and 18 percent say cloud software solutions at any time to implement. As this data demonstrates, an increasing number of technically educated companies and market leaders recognize the many benefits of the cloud software trend.
All of this seems to indicate that given the apparent direction the industry is moving, there has never been a better time to get your head in the cloud.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is a concept that has been widely used in recent years. With the exponential increase in data usage that accompanied the transition from society to the digital 21st century, it is becoming increasingly difficult for individuals and organizations to keep all their vital information, programs, and systems up and running on internal computer servers. The solution to this problem has been around for almost as long as on the internet, but it has only recently been widely used for companies.
Cloud computing works on a similar principle as web-based email clients, allowing users to access all the functions and files of the system without having to keep most of that system on their computers. Most people already use different cloud computing services without even realizing that Gmail, Google Drive, TurboTax, and even Facebook and Instagram are all cloud-based applications. And just as useful as these applications are for personal use, they are even more valuable for companies that need access to large amounts of data through a secure online network connection.
For example, employees can come via cloud-based CRM software such as Salesforce from their smartphone or tablet at home or on the road to their customers or tablet and quickly share that information with other authorized parties worldwide.
Yet there are still leaders who are reluctant to commit to cloud software solutions for their organizations. So we would like to take a few minutes and share 12 business benefits of cloud computing.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
If you are concerned about the price tag that would come if you switched to cloud computing, you are not the only one; 20 percent of organizations are concerned about the initial costs of implementing a cloud-based server. But those who try to weigh the pros and cons of using the cloud must take into account more factors than just the initial price; they must consider ROI.
Once you are in the cloud, you save easy access to company data to save time and money when starting up projects. And for those who are afraid that they will eventually pay for features they don’t need or want, most cloud computing services are affordable. This means that if you do not use what the cloud has to offer, you do not have to spend any money on it.
A major challenge that many organizations have when it comes to adopting a cloud computing solution is the security issue. After all, if files, programs, and other data are not stored securely on-site, how can you know that they are being protected? If you have remote access to your data, what is preventing cybercriminals from doing the same? Well, quite a bit.
In the first place, it is a full-time job for a cloud host to carefully monitor security, which is considerably more efficient than a conventional internal system, requiring an organization to spread its efforts across a large number of IT issues, with security just one out of many of them. And although most companies do not like to consider the possibility of internal data theft, the truth is that a stunningly high percentage of data theft occurs internally and is committed by employees.
The key to this enhanced security is the encryption of data that is sent over networks and stored in databases. By using encryption, information is less accessible to hackers or persons who are not authorized to view your data. As an additional security measure, with most cloud-based services, different security settings can be set based on the user.
Although 20% of cloud users claim disaster recovery in 4 hours or less, only 9% of cloud users could claim the same.
Your company only has a finite amount of focus to share all its responsibilities. If your current IT solutions force you to pay too much attention to the problem of the computer and data storage, then you will not be able to focus on achieving business goals and satisfying customers. On the other hand, by relying on an external organization that takes care of all IT hosting and infrastructure, you have more time to focus on the aspects of your business that directly affect your operating result.
The cloud offers companies more flexibility compared to hosting on a local server. And if you need extra bandwidth, a cloud-based service can directly meet that demand, instead of undergoing a complex (and expensive) update to your IT infrastructure. This improved freedom and flexibility can make a big difference in the overall efficiency of your organization. A 65% majority of respondents to an InformationWeek survey said that “the ability to meet business requirements quickly” was one of the main reasons why a company had to move to a cloud environment.
Cloud computing makes mobile access to business data possible through smartphones and devices, which is an excellent way to ensure that no one is ever excluded from the chain, given that more than 2.6 billion smartphones are used worldwide. Employees with busy schedules or who live far from the main office can use this feature to stay up-to-date with customers and colleagues immediately.
Through the cloud, you can offer easily accessible information to travel salesmen, freelance employees or external employees, for a better balance between work and private life. It is therefore not surprising to see that employee satisfaction organizations are listed as a priority, up to 24 percent more likely to expand cloud use.
As we move further and further into the digital age, it becomes increasingly clear that the adage “Knowledge is power” has taken on the more modern and accurate form: “Data is money.” Hidden in the millions of pieces of data surrounding your customer transactions and business processes are nuggets of invaluable, useful information just waiting to be identified and treated. It can be very difficult to dig through that data to find these kernels unless you have access to the right cloud computing solutions.
Many cloud-based storage solutions offer integrated cloud analyzes for a bird’s eye view of your data. With your information stored in the cloud, you can easily implement tracking mechanisms and create custom reports to analyze the organization-wide information. Based on these insights, you can increase efficiency and draw up action plans to achieve organizational objectives. For example, the beverage company Sunny Delight was able to increase profits by around $ 2 million a year and save $ 195,000 in personnel costs through cloud-based business insights.
If your company has two or more employees, you must make collaboration a top priority. After all, it makes little sense to have a team if it is unable to work as a team. Cloud computing makes collaboration a simple process. Team members can view and share information easily and securely via a cloud platform. Some cloud services even offer shared social spaces to connect employees throughout your organization, increasing interest, and engagement. Collaboration can be possible without a cloud computing solution, but it will never be that easy and not as effective.
Few things harm the success of a business like poor, inconsistent reporting. In a cloud-based system, all documents are stored in one place and one format. With anyone using the same information, you can maintain data consistency, avoid human error, and have a clear overview of any revisions or updates. Conversely, managing information in silos can cause employees to accidentally save different versions of documents, leading to confusion and diluted data.
Unfortunately, no matter how in control your organization is when it comes to its processes, there will always be things that you have no control over and in today’s market, even a small amount of unproductive downtime can have a huge negative effect.
While there may be no way for you to prevent or even anticipate disasters that could potentially harm your organization, there is something you can do to speed up your recovery. Cloud-based services provide rapid data recovery for a variety of emergency scenarios from natural disasters to power outages. In a recent survey, 43 percent of IT managers said they plan to invest in or improve solutions for cloud-based disaster recovery solutions.
If your organization does not invest in a cloud computing solution, all your valuable data is inextricably linked to the office computers in which it is located. This may not seem like a problem, but the reality is that if your local hardware is experiencing a problem, you may lose your data permanently. Despite the best of intentions, they may be misplaced or stolen (more than 10,000 laptops are lost every week at major airports). If you are not in the cloud, you risk losing all the information that you have stored locally. Automatic software updates
For those who still have a lot to do, there is nothing more annoying than having to wait for the system update to be installed. Cloud-based applications are automatically renewed and updated, instead of forcing an IT department to perform a manual update for the entire organization. This saves valuable IT staff time and money spent on external IT consultation. PCWorld indicates that 50 percent of cloud users quoted who needed fewer internal IT resources as an advantage for the cloud.
While cloud computing is becoming increasingly popular, there are still people who prefer to keep everything local. That is their choice, but it places them at a clear disadvantage when competing with those who have the benefits of the cloud within reach. If you implement a cloud-based solution for your competitors, you will be further in the learning curve by the time they fall behind. A recent Verizon study found that 77 percent of companies believe that cloud technology gives them a competitive advantage, and 16 percent believe that this benefit is “significant.”
Given the current state of the environment, it is no longer enough for organizations to put a waste bin in the break and claim that they are doing their bit to help the planet. Real sustainability requires solutions that tackle waste at every level of a company. Hosting on the cloud is more environmentally friendly and results in a lower CO2 footprint.
Cloud infrastructures support proactivity in the environment by offering virtual services instead of physical products and hardware, combating waste of paper, improving energy efficiency and (given that employees can use the internet anywhere) reducing home emissions work traffic. A Pike Research report predicted the energy consumption of data centers will fall by 31 percent from 2010 to 2020 based on the application of cloud computing and other virtual data options.