12 Cloud-Based Computing Benefits
Even though cloud computing has existed for more than two decades, many businesses continue to run without it despite its business efficiencies, cost benefits, and competitive advantages. In a study conducted by International Data Group, 69% of businesses already use cloud-computing technology, and 18% plan to do so in the near future. According to Dell, companies that invest in big data, cloud, mobility, and security enjoy up to 53% faster revenue growth. Cloud computing’s benefits are increasingly being recognized by tech-savvy businesses and industry leaders, as this data shows. The technology helps them run their organizations more efficiently, serve their customers better, and increase profits dramatically.
All this seems to indicate that given the apparent direction in which the industry is moving, there’s never been a better time to get your head in the cloud.
Over the last few years, cloud computing has become increasingly popular. In the 21st century, as data use has increased exponentially, it has become increasingly difficult for individuals and organizations to keep all of their vital information, programs, and systems up and running on their own computers. There has been a solution to this problem for nearly as long as the internet but has only recently gained widespread acceptance among businesses.
It works similarly to web-based email clients, allowing users to access all of the features and files of the system without having to keep a copy of it on their computer. A variety of cloud computing services are already used by most people without them even being aware of it. There are many cloud-based applications, including Gmail, Google Drive, TurboTax, and even Facebook and Instagram. All of these services store and retrieve user data on a cloud-hosted server. For businesses that need to access large amounts of data over a secure, online network connection, these applications are even more valuable than for personal use.
Still, there are those leaders that are remaining hesitant about committing to cloud-computing solutions for their organizations. So, we’d like to take a few minutes and share 12 business advantages of cloud computing.
Table of Contents for Cloud-Based Computing Benefits
80% of organizations are concerned about the initial cost of implementing a cloud-based server if they are worried about the price tag that comes with switching to cloud computing. When weighing the pros and cons of using the cloud, users should consider more than just the initial price, they should also consider the return on investment.
Accessing your company’s data easily once you’re on the cloud will save you time and money in the early stages of your project. And, for those who are worried that they’ll end up paying for features that they neither need nor want, most cloud-computing services are pay-as-you-go. This means that if you don’t take advantage of what the cloud has to offer, then at least you won’t have to be dropping money on it.
Many organizations have security concerns when it comes to adopting a cloud-computing solution. After all, when files, programs, and other data aren’t kept securely onsite, how can you know that they are being protected? If you can remotely access your data, then what’s stopping a cybercriminal from doing the same thing? Well, quite a bit, actually.
For one thing, a cloud host’s full-time job is to carefully monitor security, which is significantly more efficient than a conventional in-house system, where an organization must divide its efforts between a myriad of IT concerns, with security being only one of them. And while most businesses don’t like to openly consider the possibility of internal data theft, the truth is that a staggeringly high percentage of data thefts occur internally and are perpetrated by employees. When this is the case, it can actually be much safer to keep sensitive information offsite. Of course, this is all very abstract, so let’s consider some solid statistics.
Your business has only a finite amount of focus to divide between all of its responsibilities. If your current IT solutions are forcing you to commit too much of your attention to computer and data-storage issues, then you aren’t going to be able to concentrate on reaching business goals and satisfying customers. On the other hand, by relying on an outside organization to take care of all IT hosting and infrastructure, you’ll have more time to devote to the aspects of your business that directly affect your bottom line.
When compared to hosting on a local server, the cloud offers businesses more flexibility. You do not have to undergo a complex (and expensive) update to your IT infrastructure if you need extra bandwidth. An organization’s overall efficiency can be improved significantly by this increased freedom and flexibility.
As over 2.6 billion smartphones are used globally today, cloud computing is a great way to ensure that no one is left out of the loop when it comes to corporate data. With this feature, employees with busy schedules or who live far away from the corporate office can stay in touch with clients and colleagues.
With the advent of the digital age, the old adage “knowledge is power” has taken on a new meaning: “data is money.” Hidden within the millions of bits of data that surround your customer transactions and business process are nuggets of invaluable, actionable information just waiting to be identified and acted upon. Of Of course, finding these kernels can be a challenge without access to the right cloud-computing solution.
If you have two or more employees, you should put collaboration at the top of your priority list. A team that cannot work as a team doesn’t serve much purpose. Collaboration is made simple with cloud computing. The cloud-based platform enables team members to share and view information easily and securely. Cloud-based services can even connect your company’s employees through collaborative social spaces, thus increasing interest and engagement. Even without a cloud-computing solution, collaboration may be possible, but it will be harder and less effective.
There are a few things as detrimental to the success of a business as poor quality and inconsistent reporting. In a cloud-based system, all documents are stored in one place and in a single format. With everyone accessing the same information, you can maintain consistency in data, avoid human error, and have a clear record of any revisions or updates. Conversely, managing information in silos can lead to employees accidentally saving different versions of documents, which leads to confusion and diluted data
One of the factors that contribute to the success of a business is control. Unfortunately, no matter how in control your organization maybe when it comes to its own processes, there will always be things that are completely out of your control, and in today’s market, even a small amount of unproductive downtime can have a resoundingly negative effect. Downtime in your services leads to lost productivity, revenue, and brand reputation.
If your organization isn’t investing in a cloud-computing solution, then all of your valuable data is inseparably tied to the office computers it resides in. This may not seem like a problem, but the reality is that if your local hardware experiences a problem, you might end up permanently losing your data. This is a more common problem than you might realize computers can malfunction for many reasons, from viral infections to age-related hardware deterioration, to simple user error. Or, despite the best of intentions, they can be misplaced or stolen (over 10,000 laptops are reported lost every week at major airports).
Automatic Software Updates:
For those who have a lot to get done, there isn’t anything more irritating than having to wait for system updates to be installed. Cloud-based applications automatically refresh and update themselves, instead of forcing an IT department to perform a manual organization-wide update. This saves valuable IT staff time and money spent on outside IT consultation. PCWorld lists that 50% of cloud adopters cited requiring fewer internal IT resources as a cloud benefit.
While cloud computing is increasing in popularity, there are still those who prefer to keep everything local. That’s their choice, but doing so places them at a distinct disadvantage when competing with those who have the benefits of the cloud at their fingertips. If you implement a cloud-based solution before your competitors, you’ll be further along the learning curve by the time they catch up.
Given the current state of the environment, it isn’t enough for companies to place a recycling bin in the breakroom and claim they are helping the environment. In order to achieve true sustainability, businesses must address wastefulness at all levels. Cloud hosting is more environmentally friendly and leaves a smaller carbon footprint.
Cloud infrastructures support environmental proactivity, powering virtual services rather than physical products and hardware, cutting down on paper waste, improving energy efficiency, and (given that it allows employees access from anywhere with an internet connection) reducing computer-related emissions. A Pike Research report predicted data center energy consumption will drop by 31% from 2010 to 2020 based on the adoption of cloud computing and other virtual data options.
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