The Key Advantages of Cloud Computing: Cost Savings & Reliability
Updated: Oct 27
Although their reasons may be different, businesses and companies of all sizes and in all industries, including start-ups, are switching to or using cloud data services. About a third of companies are completely sold on cloud services, while a majority of them allocate part of their IT budget to cloud computing. Regular requests from end-users include more cloud applications with collaboration and file sharing, social media, communication, and content sharing at the top of the list.
Technology savvy companies recognize the many benefits of cloud computing. They also recognize the advantages of using this technology to run their businesses more efficiently, serve their customers better, and increase their profit margins. Companies that invest in cloud services often see faster revenue growth than their competitors.
What Are the Benefits of Cloud Computing?
Although cloud computing has been around for about twenty years, it is the transition into the digital 21st century that has sparked the adoption of this technology. And as more businesses see the efficiencies, cost-savings, and competitive edge it offers, the use of cloud services has mushroomed.
Below are the key advantages of cloud computing for businesses.
Although the initial switch to cloud computing may come with a price tag, in the end, your return on investment and future savings make it cost-effective. East access to your data will save you time, and not having to maintain a physical server will save you money. And since cloud computing is a pay-for-what-you-need system, you get just what you need and don't pay for features or space that you don't need.
Collaboration is often a top priority for businesses of all sizes. Teams need to be able to work together. Cloud computing makes collaboration easier. Team members can easily and securely review and share information on a cloud-based platform. Cloud computing also allows groups of people to meet virtually, no matter their location, and easily share information in real-time. This can improve product development, reduce time-to-market, and improve customer service.
Flexibility, Mobility, and Scalability
You have a finite amount of attention and resources to divide between all your business responsibilities. If your current IT situation is taking up too much of your time as you handle data storage and other issues, then the business won't be able to reach its goals. A cloud-computing solution can give you more time to focus on areas of your business that impact your bottom line.
Cloud computing offers flexibility on all fronts. Because it is accessible anywhere there is an Internet connection, employees can access data from home, on their commute, or anywhere off-site. It gives you and your employees mobile access through smartphones, tablets, and other devices. Employees with packed schedules or who live far away from the office can stay up to date with co-workers and clients. You can easily incorporate remote or freelance employees and offer them a better work-life balance.
If your in-house IT department suffers from slow-turnaround times and has difficulty meeting your business needs, it could be due to a lack of server space or capacity. Alternatively, if your business is seasonal, you may find yourself paying for space you don't use year-round.
If your business needs extra bandwidth or has more than it needs, cloud computing services can give you the flexibility to increase or decrease as needed. Not only does this allow businesses to plan better, but it also lets them make last-minute adjustments without disrupting productivity. Businesses quickly make and execute crucial decisions without worrying about how they will affect their IT infrastructure.
Automatic Software Updates
Most people hate manual software updates, and some hate them so much they rarely do them. This can be dangerous since they often include security updates. Not to mention that the software update alert often arrives when you are in the middle of a time-sensitive project or just as the day ends. Cloud services handle this issue, so employees don't have to. They can concentrate on their work thanks to automated software updates and upgrades.
The digital age is all about data, and so is your business. Lurking in the millions of pieces of data about your business processes and customer transactions are bits of invaluable, actionable information just waiting to be discovered and put to use. Of course, sorting through all that information to find these important tidbits can be challenging and time-consuming. A cloud-based solution can provide data analytics to give you insight into your business data.
With cloud storage, you can implement tracking and create customized reports to analyze data and provide insights about your business. Those insights can help you increase efficiencies and action plans to better meet organizational business goals.
Inconsistent, inaccurate, and poor-quality reporting can kill your business. A cloud-based system stores all documents in one easily accessible place. When everyone accesses the same information, your data is consistent, you avoid incidences of human error, and there is a clear record of updates or revisions. Keeping information in silos often leads to employees accidentally using different versions of documents, which then leads to diluted data and confusion.
Business Continuity Planning & Disaster Recovery
Your business can't function if its systems are down. While there are many things you can control to keep your business going, there will always be some things that you can't. Fires, floods, extreme weather, and other events are out of your control. In today's competitive business market, even a short amount of downtime can negatively affect your business, causing lost revenue, productivity, revenue, and, the hardest to repair, brand reputation.
Protecting your systems and your data is a key element of business continuity planning and disaster recovery. If you experience a power failure, natural disaster, or other events, storing your data in the cloud will ensure that it is securely backed up and protected. And since you will be able to quickly access your data once business resumes, you reduce downtime and lost productivity.
Data Protection and Security
Worrying about data security keeps many business owners up at night, but cloud computing can help relieve that stress. If you and your employees have remote access to business data, what stops a cybercriminal from accessing it?
Monitoring security is pretty much a cloud host's full-time job. And although you may not like to think about it, internal data theft happens regularly. Sensitive information and business data are much safer in the cloud.
Gives Businesses a Competitive Edge
There's no doubt that cloud computing and cloud services are becoming increasingly popular. However, there are still some businesses that prefer to keep everything on-site. This puts them at a clear disadvantage when competing with companies that benefit from cloud services. If you transition to the cloud before your competition, they will need to race to catch up with you.
It is no longer enough for a business to put a recycling receptacle in the lunchroom or breakroom and say they are doing their part to mitigate global warming or climate change. True sustainability is achieved with solutions that curb wastefulness at all business levels.
With fewer physical data centers and improved efficiency, moving to the cloud is environmentally friendly and lowers a business's carbon footprint. Cloud infrastructures are virtual instead of physical, do they reduce paper waste, cut down on equipment and space, and improve energy efficiency. And since employees can access them from anywhere, they reduce computer-related emissions.