The debate about whether you should use cloud services for business is over. Now the discussion is how to use cloud computing in the best possible way and how to utilize cloud computing resources available to you to the maximum. Various industry reports show that 70% of businesses worldwide are already using cloud technology. Most of the other 30% are planning to implement at least one cloud technology.
Major advantages of cloud computing stem from cloud platforms. It is because they are easier to implement and having close to zero maintenance costs for end-customers. Other benefits of cloud computing for business include increased flexibility and scalability, easier collaboration, data loss prevention, disaster recovery, and better security through automated patches and updates.
Many entrepreneurs and company managers still do not know how to achieve these cloud benefits for business. In spite of the fact, cloud computing is a viable technology for more than two decades now.
How Cloud Computing Works?
To put it the simplest way, cloud computing services run on one or more remote servers instead of on hardware that you have on your premises. You still need a computing device to access and run a cloud service, but this device is just a workstation. Also, all the core features run in the cloud.
A cloud platform resides and runs on a cluster of servers. They are also redundant. It means that one server takes over another if it is overloaded or fails, and thus, you will have an uninterrupted service. You cannot experience software crashes with a business cloud platform. You can only lose your connection to it if your internet service provider is unable to deliver connectivity services.
Software performance, known as enterprise-grade software performance, is all about computing power. If you want all your business apps to run in-house, you need to buy the hardware that provides that computing power, build a networking infrastructure, and place servers to store your corporate files and data. And then, you need to maintain that complex infrastructure, secure it, and back up business-critical data. Such an infrastructure is expensive for small or medium-sized business. Moreover, it is even more costly as you need IT the talent to design, install, secure, and maintain it.
With a cloud business platform, you have all this and more are running on someone else’s hardware and networking infrastructure. Are you still wondering what the benefits of cloud computing are?
Broad Benefits Of Cloud Computing
We have already mentioned the broadest benefits of cloud computing for business; cost savings. The cost benefits of cloud computing, however, extend far beyond your investment in hardware and software and the ensuing IT support and maintenance.
Cloud computing advantages include your ability to access a cloud service from anywhere and anytime, in an increasingly secure manner. You can use a VPN to connect to business apps and corporate databases running on your company servers. However, you still need a system administrator and IT support staff to configure and maintain these connected systems. The advantage of cloud computing is that you only need a secure connection. Furthermore, a complex business app can run in your browser’s window.
Business costs and profitability, along with flexibility and mobility, are the decisive factors in determining the success of a business in our global and fast-paced economic environment. Besides, the cost benefits of cloud computing are derived also from your ability to do business from anywhere and not having a brick-and-mortar office at all. The availability of cloud-based apps and platforms for any business enable companies to fully run their business remotely.
Now, let’s move to the more specific advantages of cloud computing for your business.
Top Benefits Of Cloud Computing For Business
If you are not in the cloud computing bandwagon already, you will be interested to know that companies like Alibaba, Amazon, Cisco, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and Oracle are all involved in cloud computing in one capacity or another. All of them are building or have already built their business around cloud computing services, offering cloud infrastructure as a service as well.
We are not discussing subscription price models here as opposed to a one-time purchase of software. We are strictly speaking benefits of cloud computing for business regardless of one pricing model or another. So, take your time and take a look at selected benefits of cloud computing for your business.
Cost Benefits Of Cloud Computing
Cloud-based platforms and apps have a cost to implement, just like you have costs to adopt stand-alone software solutions. The cost savings, associated with cloud solutions, come from reduced costs for running and updating complex hardware and software infrastructure as well as the pay-as-you-go pricing model.
Most cloud services allow business users to select a pricing plan or features that best reflect their specific needs. You need not pay for services or features that you do not need. The same applies to cloud data storage services where you can select exactly the amount of storage that you need.
Cyber Security Cloud Advantages
We all know that the number of cyber threats online is rising as the number of hacking attacks against businesses is increasing day by day. The average business has no resources and IT talent to fight sophisticated and targeted cyber-attacks. However, maintaining even a minimal corporate network is getting increasingly challenging.
Cloud apps run on servers where your data is protected by cutting edge technology and professional IT staff. Also, you do not take care of patching and updating your software as your cloud software vendor maintains it for you.
Cloud Solutions Are Highly Scalable
You can host a scalable application on your servers, paying for each team member or taking advantage of a similar pricing approach. However, you still have to purchase, configure, secure, maintain, and update both your servers and software by yourself. The cost of storing file records and databases internally increases over time, as they demand more and more storage and computing resources.
Cost benefits of cloud computing refer also to the cloud services’ unparalleled scalability. Your company can buy as little or as much data storage as your corporate databases require or you can add and remove users as your business scales up and down. A cloud-based platform can meet your demands in times of recession and in periods of economic boom, which is an advantage of cloud computing.
Cloud Means Mobility
Cloud computing benefits for business extend to the very way you are doing business. Moreover, cloud solutions enable your company to employ completely mobile workers and also enables closing deals on the field.
There are cloud services that enable businesses to move entirely in the cloud. Also, they make deals on the go having only a virtual office and online contacts. We are speaking of functionality to not only access your business apps and databases remotely but also take advantage of apps that run entirely in the cloud while enabling real people to make real reals by using a mobile POS terminal, for instance. This is a whole new dimension of doing business by leveraging the power of cloud-based solutions.
Unlimited Collaboration In The Cloud
Better collaboration is another advantage of cloud computing. You can work on the same document from anywhere and collaborate on projects using built-in messaging and project management features.
When your communications are based in the cloud, you also get more streamlined and reliable collaboration service. The reason is you are not dependent on local hardware or software failures. We should add that most cloud platforms now feature built-in collaboration tools. Moreover, dedicated cloud-based collaboration tools are extremely scalable.
Cloud Prevents Data Loss
Witnessing a local hard drive crass while wiping all the records about your customers or transaction stored there is not an improbable scenario. Such an event can cost your business in the range of tens of thousands of dollars, depending on your available backup solution and data loss prevention policies.
Storing business and corporate data in the cloud solves future data loss issues at almost 100%, especially if you adopt a two-layered backup solution where copies of your data are stored in at least two digital storages.
Loss of data due to hardware failures, software crashes, or ransomware attacks is one of the worst scenarios for businesses of any size. However, cloud storage services are becoming safe and secure.
Business Continuity And Disaster Recovery
Business continuity is a top priority for any forward-looking company owner or manager. Benefits of cloud computing for business include disaster recovery models. They restore your business services within a few hours even in the case of natural disasters and other emergencies.
There are force majeure situations in which no business can protect its IT infrastructure or office equipment. Cloud backups, cloud data storage, and cloud platforms as a whole can help you get back to business in hours even when your local hardware infrastructure is badly hit.
Benefits Of Having Up-To-Date Software
Cloud benefits for business include having always up to date and patched software. Tracking all available app updates and installing the required patches on numerous local machines is the nightmare of the system administrator.
The cloud eliminates the need to be on constant watch for available software updates. Besides, all updates and your cloud service vendor automatically distribute security patches. Furthermore, the cloud provider is also responsible for securing their servers or data center.
Strategic Advantages Of Cloud Computing
Another cloud computing benefit for your business is that you get a competitive advantage by having access to the most innovative technology available, and have it immediately. Cloud technologies are highly compatible. However, unlike many standalone business apps, they are interoperable.
Thus, you can implement emerging new technologies and methods as they hit the market. Moreover, you can also have your business software updated to incorporate any new business tools available.
Business Control And Versatility
The cloud is not only about using software that runs remotely. Software-as-a-service (SaaS) is the most widespread form of using the cloud for business purposes. However, your business can take advantage of cloud services like platform-as-a-service (PaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS).
With IaaS, you can have cloud-based servers, including virtual ones, and utilize their computing resources for whatever purposes you want. On the other hand, PaaS solution enables businesses to utilize a platform to produce certain service or product, without having the necessary software tools in-house. The options are limitless.
What Cloud Developments To Expect
As you can see, the benefits of cloud computing for your business cover the whole spectrum of components to make a successful business and contribute to its growth.
Cloud computing has not reached its peak yet. It is because the technology is developing to find new applications of the cloud computing principles and incorporate emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT). Edge computing, for instance, is a technology that combines cloud and IoT methods to produce a new type of business-friendly cloud solutions where computing power and data storage capacity is moving to the edge of the network, to the end-devices, and the end-consumers.
There are other cloud computing technologies still in development. We are yet to uncover their benefits for businesses as they mature. In any case, cloud computing brings major benefits for businesses of all sizes and across every industry vertical.