Cloud computing is gaining popularity in the business world as the new norm. It simply refers to using computing services over the internet. Cloud services can be especially useful for small and medium sized organizations because it reduces the need for internal IT resources. No more time wasted, trying to fix and manage technical problems. Organizations can now take advantage of cloud computing’s flexibility, security, and reliability. People have been using personal servers, softwares and hard drives for running their businesses and storing important data. All of this is now easily available online, through cloud computing.
Cloud computing services belong to the band of three groups.
- Infrastructure As A Service (IAAS)
- Platform As A Service (PAAS)
- Server As A Service (SAAS)
Cloud computing has become an extremely important tool for every organization regardless of its market size, annual revenue or niche. When one decides to switch its business over to run on the cloud computing services, it is called ‘moving to the cloud’.
Factors that influence a business to move to the cloud
There are many factors that influence a business to move to the cloud. Some of these factors are:
- Your existing server is nearing the end of its life. This means your local server is getting too old and this is affecting the productivity of work. This also means your data is on the verge of being lost, if your server decides to crash.
- Rapid growth of your company. This may sound like good news, but it requires expanding the existing IT infrastructure. This may also require hiring additional employees for handling extra work.
- Your company might do better with some additional cash flow. Who doesn’t need some extra cash flow? Extra cash can be used in promoting and expanding the business.
- Your office is getting re-located. A change is good when it is for the betterment. Moving to a better location is always a good and beneficial option for a developing business.
- Remotely working staff. There are businesses that require their staff to work from remote locations. Or, your business might be expanded to multiple places.
All these factors require a business operator to think of a solution that may ensure the increased productivity, cost cuts and security for the business. Cloud computing is fortunately the answer to all these problems.
Reasons for a company to switch to cloud computing
There are unlimited advantages of cloud computing. With the digital era upon us, it is best to move to cloud and make the most out of your business. Some advantages of cloud computing are discussed below.
- It increases efficiency
- Makes you client focused. Cloud computing enables you to be extremely client focused as you do not have to waste your precious time and energy maintaining manual records of things. For example, imagine you are running a business of ladies’ clothing. There are certain items that are more popular than others. The data analytics will identify the trend and you can easily stock up on the popular items. It will also enable you to maintain your inventory and this will result in improved sales. For a successful business, solid data is required for decision making. Cloud computing will give you an insight to customer preferences and this will increase your business efficiency.
- Gives greater flexibility. Cloud computing gives your business flexibility as it gets connected to the latest apps and provides on spot system support. This promises an increase in business efficiency. Also, many businesses have fluctuating demands of bandwidth. With cloud computing it is easy to scale up or scale down your bandwidth as and when needed.
- Automatic software update. With cloud computing, the softwares are updated automatically. With cloud computing, you can leave all the hassle to the cloud and use your energy to focus on your business.
- Speedy disaster recovery. A study shows that companies that rely on cloud computing resolve their data disasters in 2.1 hours and those who do not use cloud computing take up to 8 hours to solve the issue. Sometimes a company may have to cease its operation due to unforeseen circumstances. The cloud allows you to be back in action very quickly hence efficiency is not affected.
- Easy accessibility of data. With tablets and smartphones becoming a common commodity, data mobilization has reached a new level of convenience. The need to transfer data from server-end to user-end is not necessary. All you need is a working Internet connection with a compatible device. You can easily access and data stored at the cloud.
- Greater productivity. Cloud computing allows data storage to be automatically stored and regulated. Unlike local hosting servers, cloud computing allows bigger data storage and faster performance. This results in increased productivity.
- Wide-spread integration. Most of the businesses do not rely on a single platform or supplier for all their business needs. Every business wants to implement the best solution for their business. This means getting connected to a number of different resources. For this, compatibility between the platforms is very necessary. Cloud computing ensures best solutions for data integration.
- Location is not a barrier
- Better communication and collaboration. Cloud computing enables all the employees to communicate and collaborate in a better way. Since all the data is stored on a server, which is easily accessible by anyone, anytime, anywhere, it becomes easier for everyone to work on the same project at the same time; regardless of their current location.
- Take your office wherever you go. With cloud computing, the employees can work comfortably from anywhere. All that is required is an internet connection and a compatible device. This gives employees the flexibility to work from anywhere and has proven a 42% increase in the productivity.
- Worldwide clientele. Cloud computing allows the spread of business to every part of the world that has access to the internet. Since all the data can easily be stored and accessed, this gives business transactions uniformity.
- Financial Benefits
- Low power cost. Cloud computing reduces the power costs to great extent. If you have been using hardware solutions in the past, you may be well aware of the power costs incurred by those servers. Cloud computing takes away all these hassles.
- Lower staffing cost. In any business, staffing budget is usually the biggest expense. Technical expertise comes with a hefty cost. When a business moves to the cloud, the need for these people decreases and thus this saves on the staffing cost.
- No capital cost. If you are required to store your data on your local servers, you will need a large amount of capital to buy those servers. Cloud computing again comes to the rescue. All you are required to pay is for the services provided to you. These costs are nominal as compared to the capital required in acquiring and hosting local servers. This also saves money which one had to spend in keeping extra hardware which might come in handy in case of an emergency.
- Document control. People working in an organisation have to send and receive documents required to work on a particular project. This required sending of attachments containing sensitive information through emails can be easily hacked. Cloud computing has made this easier as now all documents are saved safely under one roof and anyone can have access once approved by the business manager.
- Security of data. Imagine a laptop containing sensitive information is lost or stolen. What is the greater tragedy out of the two? The loss of a laptop or the loss of sensitive information? Cloud computing now promises that information is completely secured and only accessible by the authoritative persons.
- Environment friendly. Cloud computing reduces 30% on the energy consumption and carbon emission as compared to local servers. This makes it an environment-friendly solution.
Cloud computing has many obvious advantages over local server hosting. This is the reason for the boom in the cloud computing industry. It is recommended to adapt this positive change quickly for better productivity and increased efficiency.