Cloud computing has existed for nearly two decades. Despite the fact that it offers many benefits, including cost-benefits and competitive advantages, large numbers of businesses continue to use it without any realizing them. A study by International Data Group found that 69% of businesses already use cloud technology in some capacity, while 18% plan to adopt cloud computing solutions at some point. According to Dell, companies that invest heavily in big data, cloud and mobility enjoy a 53% higher rate of revenue growth than their competition.
This data shows that a growing number of tech-savvy companies and industry leaders are realizing the many benefits of cloud computing. They are also using the technology to improve their businesses, serve customers better, and increase their overall profit margins.
This all seems to suggest that, given the direction the industry is heading in, it’s never been more important to get your head in cloud.
Cloud computing has been gaining popularity in recent years. It is becoming increasingly difficult for individuals and companies to keep their important programs and data up-to-date on their own computers, due to the rapid increase in data usage that has accompanied the transition into the digital 21st Century. This problem has been solved for almost as long as the internet. However, it has just recently become widely used by businesses.
Cloud computing works on the same principle as web-based email client. Users can access all the features and files without needing to store the majority of the system on their computers. Many people use cloud computing services, even though they don’t realize it. Gmail, Google Drive and TurboTax are all cloud-based apps.
Users send their personal data to the cloud-hosted server, which stores it for later access. These applications are useful for personal use but even more so for businesses who need to be able access large quantities of data via an online connection.
Employees can, for example, access customer information using cloud-based CRM software such Salesforce via their smartphone or tablet at work or on the road. They can also share this information quickly with authorized parties around the globe.
There are still leaders who are hesitant to commit to cloud computing solutions for their companies. We’d like to share 12 benefits of cloud computing with you in a few moments.
- Cost Savings
- Greater Collaboration
- Quality Control
- Disaster Recovery
- Loss Prevention
- Automatic Software Updates
- Cost savings: If you’re worried about the cost of switching to cloud computing, don’t be. 20% of companies are worried about the initial costs of setting up a cloud-based server. However, when weighing the benefits and drawbacks of cloud computing, it is important to look beyond the initial cost. They also need to consider the ROI. Cloud computing will allow you to save time and money on project startup by allowing you easy access your company’s data. Cloud-computing services can be paid as you go, so it’s not a concern that they will end up paying for features they don’t need or want. If you don’t use the cloud’s features, you won’t be spending money.
Pay-as-you go also applies to data storage space required to service your clients and stakeholders. This means you will get the exact amount you need and you won’t be charged extra for space you don’t use. These factors combine to bring lower costs and better returns. Bitglass surveyed half of the CIOs and IT leaders who reported that cloud-based applications resulted in cost savings for 2015.
- Security: Many organizations are concerned about security when adopting cloud computing solutions. How can you be sure that files, programs and other data are protected if they’re not kept securely on-site? What’s to stop a cybercriminal accessing your data remotely? Actually, quite a lot.
One, cloud hosts are responsible for security monitoring. This is a significantly better option than an in-house system where the organization has to split its efforts among a multitude of IT issues. While most businesses aren’t open to the possibility of data theft within their organization, a shockingly large percentage of data thefts happen internally and are committed by employees. It can be safer to keep sensitive information off-site when this is true. This is obviously abstract. Let’s look at some solid statistics.
RapidScale claims that 94% of businesses experienced an increase in security following switching to the cloud. 91% also claimed that the cloud makes compliance easier for them. This increased security can be attributed to the encryption of data that is transmitted over networks and stored on databases. Encryption makes your information less accessible to hackers and anyone else who is not authorized to see it. Cloud-based services can have different security settings depending on who is using them. Only 9% of cloud users can claim the same. 20% of cloud users claim that disaster recovery is possible in less than four hours.
- Flexibility Your business only has a limited amount of time to focus on all its responsibilities. Your current IT solutions will make it difficult for you to focus on customer satisfaction and business goals if you have to pay too much attention to data storage and computer issues. Relying on an outside company to manage your IT infrastructure and hosting will allow you to spend more time on the areas of your business that directly impact your bottom line.
Cloud hosting offers more flexibility than hosting on a local server. Cloud-based services can provide extra bandwidth instantly and without the need for a costly (and complex) upgrade to your IT infrastructure. The increased freedom and flexibility of a cloud-based service can significantly improve the efficiency of your company. An InformationWeek survey found that 65% of respondents believed that “the ability to rapidly meet business needs” was the main reason a company should migrate to a cloud environment.
- MobilityCloud computing provides mobile access to corporate data through smartphones and other devices. This is an excellent way to make sure that everyone is included, especially considering more than 2.6 billion smartphones worldwide today. This feature is great for staff with hectic schedules or those who live far from the office. They can keep up with their clients and coworkers instantly.
For better work-life balance, the cloud can be used to provide easily accessible information to remote, freelance, and travel sales staff. It’s no surprise that companies with employee satisfaction as a priority are 24% more likely than others to increase cloud usage.
- Insight As we continue to move into the digital age it is becoming increasingly clear that “knowledge is Power” is no longer true. Instead, the phrase “Data is Money” is now more accurate: “Data Is Money.” There are valuable, actionable nuggets hidden within the millions of bits and data surrounding your business transactions and business processes. They just need to be discovered and taken care of. It can be difficult to sort through all that data and find the kernels if you don’t have the right cloud computing solution.
Cloud-based storage solutions often offer cloud analytics, which allows you to see your data from a bird’s eye view. You can track your data and create customized reports to analyze the information across the organization. These insights can help you increase efficiency and create action plans to achieve organizational goals. Sunny Delight, for example, was able to increase its profits by approximately $2 million per year and reduce $195,000 in personnel costs using cloud-based business insight.
- Increased collaboration: If your company has more than two employees, you should make collaboration a priority. It is not worth having a team that is not able to work together as a team. Collaboration is made easy by cloud computing. Cloud computing makes collaboration easy and secure. Team members can easily view and share information securely through a cloud-based platform. Cloud-based services offer social spaces that allow employees to collaborate and connect across the organization. This increases interest and engagement. Although collaboration is possible with or without cloud computing, it won’t be as efficient nor easy as with a cloud-computing system.
- Quality Control Poor quality reporting is one of the biggest hindrances to a company’s success. All documents can be stored in one location and in one format in a cloud-based platform. You can keep data consistent, avoid human error, and keep track of revisions and updates by having everyone access the same information. However, if information is managed in silos, employees may accidentally save different versions of documents. This can lead to confusion and diluted data.
- Disaster Recovery Control is a key factor in determining the success of any business. No matter how well-informed your company is about its processes, there are always things out of your hands. In today’s market, even small amounts of downtime can have a devastating effect. Your services’ downtime can lead to loss of productivity, revenue, or a bad reputation.
While there are no ways to avoid or anticipate disasters that could harm your company, there are things you can do to speed up your recovery. Cloud-based services offer fast data recovery in all types of emergency situations, including natural disasters and power outages. 20% claim that cloud-based services can provide disaster recovery within four hours while only 9% of noncloud users could do the same. 43% said that they intend to invest in cloud-based disaster recovery strategies.
- Prevention of Data Loss: If your company doesn’t invest in cloud computing, all your data will be tied to the computers in which it resides. Although this may seem like a problem it could lead to permanent data loss if the hardware fails. Computer malfunctions can be caused by many factors, including viruses, age-related hardware wear, user error, and simple human error. They can also be lost or stolen, even though they are often misplaced.
You could lose all your information if you don’t have access to the cloud. A cloud-based server means that all information uploaded to it is safe and accessible from any computer connected to the internet.
- Automatic Software Upgrades: For those with a lot of work to do, waiting for system updates to be applied is more frustrating than anything else. Cloud-based software updates themselves and does not require IT departments to manually update the entire organization. This saves IT staff valuable time and money on consulting outside IT. PCWorld reports that half of cloud users cite the cloud’s ability to use fewer IT resources internally as a benefit.
- Competitive edge: While cloud computing is becoming more popular, there are still people who prefer to keep things local. While they have the option to do so, it puts them at a disadvantage when compared with others who can access the cloud. You’ll learn more quickly if you adopt a cloud-based solution than your competitors. According to a Verizon survey, 77% believe cloud technology gives them a competitive edge. 16% consider this advantage significant.
- Sustainability:Given today’s environmental state, it’s not enough for businesses to simply place a recycle bin in their breakroom. They have to show that they are doing their part to save the environment. Sustainable business solutions must address wastefulness at all levels. Cloud hosting is more eco-friendly and leaves less carbon footprint.
Cloud infrastructures promote environmental proactivity by powering virtual services instead of physical products and hardware. This reduces paper waste and improves energy efficiency. It also allows employees to access the internet from anywhere. Based on cloud computing and other virtual data options, a Pike Research report forecasts that data center energy consumption will decrease by 31% between 2010 and 2020.