Cloud computing services have become an everyday part of life for the majority of individuals.
There are millions of people using Apple’s iCloud, Google Drive and Amazon Cloud Drive on a daily basis. Well know companies such as DropBox and Netflix have been formed due to the emergence of cloud technologies.
However, it is not just individuals who can benefit. There are also great opportunities for businesses who move to the cloud.
Flexibility is seen as one of the most important benefits of cloud computing for businesses. 65% of respondents to an InformationWeek survey said ‘the ability to quickly meet business demands’ was an important reason to move to cloud computing.
You no longer have to base your requirements around set packages or hardware. You can simply
add or remove cloud applications based on your business needs. Cloud service providers will allow you to increase your existing resources to accommodate increased business needs or changes without the need to invest in expensive resources. Certain businesses may be subject to seasonal fluctuations which affect their employee base or storage demands. The cloud can enable these businesses to adapt quickly when these changes hit.
When using a cloud computing solutions, business data is stored and backed up frequently in the cloud as opposed to having it reside on-site in physical servers. Many providers offer geo-redundant backup, meaning your data is saved in multiple centres across multiple locations, to improve security. This solution provides businesses with the peace of mind that errors are no longer left to chance by human error. Humans make mistakes, computers don’t. Even something that may currently be as critical as a lost computer is far less compromising when your data is stored in the cloud.
Cloud service providers will also have a dedicated and experienced team of IT professionals to help businesses if problems occur. These teams will likely resolve issues faster than a business with only limited IT resources.
Cloud-based applications can be used at any time on the majority of devices with an internet connection. Data is no longer confined to a hard drive on a single user’s computer or even the company’s internal network. The workplace is quickly evolving to anywhere with an internet connection. With the software and hardware now available via the cloud, employees are no longer confined to their desktop or office.
The cloud also allows for improved collaboration between employees. Remote and on-site employees can easily connect with each other through the use of instant messaging, audio, video and/or web conferences. Employees also have the opportunity to work on the same documents via document sharing applications.
Cloud computing helps you reduce the costs of capital investment in servers and storage devices as well as reduce the need for advanced hardware. You don’t need the fastest computer with the most memory, because the cloud system takes care of those needs for you. Rather than buying technology and product licences outright, cloud users simply rent them. Businesses pay for IT services on a scalable subscription basis, benefitting from the provider's economy of scale.
Additionally, you can save money on IT support. The staffing budget usually makes up a significant proportion of a business’s computing costs. Why? Good IT staff are expensive. When a business moves to the cloud they transfer this expense to the service provider.
Cloud computing now allows small and medium businesses access to enterprise level technologies. These technologies would have previously only been available to larger corporations. The cloud is levelling out the playing field and enabling SME’s to compete where they once could not.
Last but not least and an often overlooked advantage of switching to the cloud is the environmental impact. On-site servers are no longer required resulting in an average of 30% less energy consumption and carbon emissions. A study conducted by Accenture also found that the environmental benefits can be much greater for small businesses, resulting in more than 90% reduction in energy use and emissions.
If you are interested in talking to Enclave about our cloud computing services please contact us here.