Cloud computing has been around for some time, however its true potential has been realized in recent years. Though the concept was derived ages ago, its application is more pertinent in today’s technologically advanced business world.
With this being said, many members of the business community continue to operate without cloud-based principles. Transitioning to cloud-based computing solutions is a formality to keep up with the ever-evolving scope of modern business requirements.
Otherwise digital disruptors pose a genuine competitive threat to established powerhouses, as they capitalize on the cloud-computing trend to work in a more efficient and productive fashion. In this sense they’re positioned to increase overall profit margins, while more effectively meeting customer requirements.
As the industry appears to be moving in the direction of the cloud, now is the time to embrace cloud computing. The business world has become entwined with the digital 21st century, where storing vital information on in-house computer servers is becoming obsolete.
So what exactly is cloud computing? Let’s begin with a baseline definition before looking at how you can benefit from it.
What is Cloud Computing?
Explained simply, cloud computing involves leveraging computing services over the internet, including networking, storage, servers, databases, analytics and intelligence.
By delivering hosted services over the internet, companies can take advantage of faster innovation, more flexible resources and economies of scale.
How Does it Work?
With cloud computing users can access the files and features needed to fulfill important business functions, without having to physically store them on their own computers. In reality many users are already using cloud computing services without acknowledgement, for example Facebook, Instagram, Google Drive and Gmail run off of these principles.
So how exactly does the cloud work? Well, users send personal data to a cloud-hosted server which stores the information for convenient access at any time. This is a valuable proposition for any business that needs to access lots of data online, via a secure connection.
To give you a practical example of the cloud in action, let’s assess Salesforce, a cloud-based CRM software. Here employees can access considerable customer information from the luxury of any device, whether it be a smartphone, home computer or tablet. This affords users the flexibility to access data remotely, while being able to quickly share information with invested parties across the globe.
Though the cloud offers fantastic potential, many organizations remain hesitant about adopting these solutions. The likelihood is they don’t appreciate the myriad of benefits associated with the move.
But what exactly are the benefits of cloud computing?
Why Should You Move to the Cloud?
Here are some great incentives for moving to the cloud:
The biggest question on the minds of those considering a transition to the cloud, is how will my data be protected if it isn’t held in a secure location onsite?
Security concerns can hold people back, particularly the prospect of cybercriminals accessing your data remotely. In reality every cloud host carefully monitors security, because ultimately it’s their job to do so. In many cases your cloud host will be better equipped to safeguard your information, especially since this is one of only a few core responsibilities. Research conducted by RapidScale suggests that 94% of businesses observed security improvements after switching to the cloud.
Encryption is used to propel security to new heights, providing added reassurance for users since information is less accessible for those not authorized to access your data. In addition to these security layers, the cloud removes the potential for internal data theft, something that’s more common than you’d think.
Many organizations are deterred by the costs associated with implementing cloud computing. But the initial outlay shouldn’t put people off because it’s merely a teardrop in the ocean.
It’s important to consider the cloud from a long-term perspective, where easier access to company data will ultimately save time and money. It might seem expensive initially, but in the long run you’ll easier recover your ROI, and even save money!
Most cloud computing services operate on a pay as you go basis, where you only spend money on what you use. This prevents users paying for features they’re either not interested in or don’t end up using. This principle also applies to data storage, where because you’re not charged for the space you need, what’s unused won’t cost you.
Only paying for the services you use significantly reduces your operating costs, enabling you to run your business smoothly and efficiently.
Teamwork is critical for success, meaning it’s essential to prioritize collaboration. The ability to work as a team is facilitated by cloud computing, which makes collaboration fairly simple. Employees can benefit from the ability to easily and securely share information via the cloud.
Collaborative social tools like Slack can be leveraged to connect employees, enabling effortless sharing of files via a central platform with segmented access for workers. This dramatically increases interest and engagement, where cloud-computing makes collaboration as effective as possible.
Cloud computing aligns with today’s mobile trends, where smartphone use is at an all-time high. It is a great way to keep everyone up-to-date with recent developments, especially those who spend significant time away from the corporate office.
The ability to keep employees in the loop in a mobile manner is one of the biggest reasons why the cloud has become so popular. When information can be accessed remotely, staff can benefit from greater flexibility and convenience, while being able to strike up a better work-life balance.
This has a positive effect on employee satisfaction, a factor which correlates with increased productivity.