In our increasingly digital society, the collection and transfer of electronic information have become an integral part of business operations—even for those organizations that have not traditionally been information based. For many firms, cloud computing provides an innovative solution to a vast array of data management challenges. By enabling companies to store their documents and applications in a single, centralized, universally accessible space, cloud solutions are removing many modern boundaries to business development and mobility. From revealing new cost efficiency opportunities in IT to revolutionizing the way individual employees work, cloud computing presents numerous possibilities for businesses seeking to optimize their operations.
1. Financial Savings
Cloud computing can help businesses reduce their operating costs in multiple ways. Because cloud service providers oversee all server maintenance, transitioning to cloud platforms can allow companies to decrease their investment in onsite IT support. Without the need for in-house equipment and frequent hardware upgrades, companies can cut back on technology spending for server setup and upkeep.
A shift from in-house servers and software to a strategy requiring only personal devices and an Internet connection can help reduce IT budgets by as much as 80 percent. With a lessened workload, IT departments can shift their focus to more strategic, innovative initiatives. Cloud computing can also be an effective way for companies to reduce their carbon footprint, thus generating energy savings of up to 90 percent.
2. Flexible Scaling
As businesses grow, the amounts of data they need to store build as well. In the past, increasing bandwidth to accommodate business growth required firms to expend time and money to upgrade their servers. Today, organizations can simply contact their cloud service providers to upgrade their storage without significant cost or downtime. The ability to quickly expand or decrease IT resources via the cloud can make it more feasible for companies to innovate processes, test new products or services or branch into new markets without the need for major IT infrastructure overhauls.
3. Globalization and Mobility
The real beauty of cloud business solutions lies in its ubiquitous accessibility, which can significantly improve business mobility on both an individual and an organizational level. Research indicates that companies could see productivity rise by an incredible 400 percent after adopting cloud technologies, and for firms with field workers, the decision to equip personnel with cloud-enabled mobile devices can save each employee around 1.5 hours of time each work day.
With cloud computing, companies can easily share information and integrate operations across various global locations. Cloud platforms afford employees the ability to access files and projects from anywhere, while at the same time enabling and encouraging remote collaboration. In this way, cloud computing can help bring about more streamlined, unified operations, even as companies become more geographically diverse.
4. Easier Updates
Regular software updates are a necessity for the vast majority of organizations. Successfully rolling out a company-wide update can prove a daunting task for massive corporations and can often impact productivity at small and mid-sized enterprises as well. However, in the cloud services sector, the responsibility for software updates falls upon the service providers. These firms implement updates and patches across the cloud as needed, thereby making software updates a virtually automatic process for their business clients.
5. Heightened Security
Although the intangibility of cloud platforms may generate initial data-security concerns, cloud computing is more secure than many other types of storage systems. This is largely because cloud platforms are virtually immune to physical theft, as data is stored not on the physical device itself, but on an online platform. Many cloud service providers are operating at the forefront of digital security, utilizing measures such as password encryption to ensure that unauthorized individuals cannot access company's sensitive data. In many cases, cloud users can even remotely terminate a device's access to cloud platforms if it is lost or stolen.
6. Immediate, Affordable Disaster Response
For firms with entirely in-house data storage systems, events such as fires, floods, or theft could wipe out the very basis of business operations if sufficient backups and redundancies are not in place. However, these data security measures often pose a considerable cost, especially for small businesses operating on limited IT budgets. For this reason, companies may face the decision to either incur unsustainable technology costs or leave themselves vulnerable to large-scale data loss. Cloud systems can eliminate this catch-twenty-two by ensuring business continuity following a data loss incident. Data recovery systems present a relatively small overhead expenditure for cloud service providers, and they are a common element of most cloud service packages.
7. Enhanced Management Capabilities
The ability to access all information, projects and processes via the cloud can greatly improve business leaders’ efficiency. Cloud computing can offer managers a streamlined view of multiple concurrent projects, allowing them to assess changes in real time and monitor individual contributions.
The universal cache of company information often provided by cloud business solutions can also help speed up decision making and strengthen compliance efforts. In one survey conducted by QuoteColo, 91 percent of companies reported that cloud solutions made it easier to ensure regulatory compliance.
Cloud business solutions keep important files secure while also allowing them to be readily accessible to employees on the go. With benefits ranging from cost savings to convenience, cloud computing is an effective solution that can be customized to fit the needs of any company.