Top 12 Benefits of Cloud Computing for Businesses
Despite the evidence pointing to the business efficiencies, cost benefits, and competitive advantages that cloud computing offers, a significant portion of the business sector continues to work without it. According to a study conducted by the International Data Group, 69 percent of companies are currently using cloud technology in some way, and 18 percent expect to do so at some stage in the future. Meanwhile, Dell claims that businesses that invest in big data, cloud, mobility, and security increase their sales 53 percent faster than their competitors. As shown by this data, a growing number of tech-savvy companies and market leaders are seeing many benefits of the cloud computing trend. But they're also using technology to operate their businesses more effectively, provide better service to their clients, and boost their overall profit margins.
Given the obvious direction in which the industry is going, it seems that there has never been a greater time to get your head in the cloud.
Cloud computing is a concept that has become increasingly common in recent years. With the rapid rise in data use that has followed society's transformation into the digital twenty-first century, individuals and organizations are finding it increasingly difficult to keep all of their critical information, services, and systems up and running on in-house database servers. This dilemma has a solution that has been around almost as long as the internet but has only recently gained widespread business use.
Cloud computing works in a similar way to web-based email clients in that it allows users to access all of the system's functionality and files without having to keep the majority of the system on their own devices. In reality, the majority of people are already using cloud computing services without even realizing it. Cloud-based apps include Gmail, Google Drive, TurboTax, and also Facebook, and Instagram. Users send their personal data to a cloud-hosted server for both of these services, which stores it for later access. These apps are just as useful for personal use as they are for companies who need to access vast volumes of data over a reliable, online network link.
Employees, for example, can access customer information from their mobile or tablet at home or while travelling using cloud-based CRM apps like Salesforce and can easily share the information with other authorized parties anywhere in the world.
Still, some executives are reluctant to commit to cloud computing systems for their companies.
Benefits of cloud computing
Cloud computing has numerous advantages for your business. It enables you to set up a virtual office, giving you the freedom to connect to your company from anywhere at any time. Access to the data has never been easier, thanks to the number of web-enabled devices used in today's business environment (e.g., smartphones and tablets).
There are many advantages of shifting the company to the cloud:
Reduced IT costs
Using cloud storage to manage and maintain your IT systems could save you money. You can save money by using the services of your cloud computing service provider rather than buying costly systems and equipment for your company. You will be able to lower the running costs because of the following factors:
Your contract may cover device enhancements, new hardware, and software; you won't have to pay specialist staff's wages; your energy consumption costs may be reduced, and there will be fewer time delays.
You're not alone if you're concerned about the financial implications of switching to cloud computing. The initial cost of deploying a cloud-based server is a challenge for 20% of businesses. However, those attempting to weigh the benefits and drawbacks of using the cloud must consider more than just the initial cost; they must also consider the return on investment.
Simple access to your company's data while you're on the cloud will save time and money when it comes to project start-up. Many cloud-computing services are pay-as-you-go, which is good news for those concerned about overpaying for functionality they don't need or want. This means that even though you don't take advantage of what the cloud has to offer, you won't have to spend money on it.
The pay-as-you-go scheme often refers to the data storage space used to serve your customers and clients, making sure that you only pay for what you need and are not paying for what you don't. When these variables are combined, they result in lower costs and higher returns. Using cloud-based applications resulted in cost savings for half of all CIOs and IT leaders surveyed by Bitglass in 2015.
Your company can scale up or down its operations and storage requirements easily to meet your needs, giving you more flexibility as your needs change. Instead of buying and installing costly upgrades yourself, the cloud computing service provider will take care of it for you. Using the cloud allows you to focus on running your company instead of worrying about technology.
When it comes to implementing a cloud-computing solution, several businesses are concerned about stability. After all, how can you be sure that your files, programs, and other data are safe if they aren't held onsite? What's to stop a cybercriminal from doing the same thing if you can access your data remotely? Well, quite a few, to be honest.
For starters, a cloud host's full-time role is to carefully track security, which is much more effective than a traditional in-house system, in which an organization must split its resources among a variety of IT concerns, security being just one of them. Although most companies choose not to discuss the likelihood of internal data theft, the fact is that an alarmingly high amount of data theft occurs within the company and is committed by employees. When this is the case, keeping confidential information offsite will potentially be better. Of course, all of this is really abstract, so let's look at some concrete numbers.
According to RapidScale, 94 percent of companies improved their protection after moving to the cloud, and 91 percent said the cloud made meeting government enforcement requirements simpler. The encryption of data being transmitted over networks and stored in databases is the secret to this increased security. Through encrypting data, hackers, and others who aren't authorized to see it have a harder time accessing it. Different security settings can be set depending on the user for most cloud-based services as an additional security measure. Just 9% of cloud users could demand disaster recovery in four hours or less, compared to 20% of cloud users who could.
Your company has a limited amount of time to devote to all of its obligations. Suppose your current IT solutions force you to devote so much time and energy to machine and data-storage problems. In that case, you won't be able to focus on meeting business objectives and pleasing customers. You'll have plenty of time to contribute to the facets of your company that directly impact your bottom line if you depend on an outside organization to handle all IT hosting and infrastructure.
Employees can be more versatile in their work activities thanks to cloud computing. For example, you can access data while at home, on vacation, or on your way to and from work (given that you have an internet connection). You can also connect to your virtual office quickly and conveniently if you need access to your data when offsite.
In comparison to hosting on a local server, the cloud provides companies with more flexibility. Furthermore, if you need additional bandwidth, cloud-based service will provide it immediately rather than requiring a complicated (and costly) upgrade to your IT infrastructure. This increased independence and versatility can have a huge impact on your company's overall performance. According to a 65 percent majority of respondents to an InformationWeek poll, one of the most critical factors for a company to migrate to the cloud is the opportunity to satisfy business demands easily.
Business continuity planning requires you to protect your data and systems. Having your data stored in the cloud means that it is backed up and secured in a stable and safe environment, regardless of whether you encounter a natural disaster, power outage, or other crisis. Accessing your data easily helps you continue doing business as normal, minimizing downtime and lost efficiency.
Cloud storage enables mobile access to corporate data through smartphones and tablets, which, given the fact that there are currently over 2.6 billion smartphones in use worldwide, is a perfect way to make sure that no one of them is ever left out of the loop. This function allows employees with busy schedules or who live a long distance from the corporate office to stay in contact with clients and coworkers at any time.
You can use the cloud to provide easily accessible information to sales workers who fly, freelance employees, or remote employees for a better work-life balance. As a result, it's not shocking that companies that prioritize employee satisfaction are up to 24 percent more likely to increase their cloud usage.
As we progress further into the digital era, it becomes increasingly clear that the old adage "information is power" has been replaced by the more recent and reliable "data is money." There are nuggets of valuable, actionable information hidden among the millions of bits of data that surround your customer transactions and business process, just waiting to be discovered and acted upon. Of course, once you have access to the right cloud storage solution, sifting through the data to find these kernels can be difficult.
For a bird's-eye view of your data, many cloud-based storage solutions include integrated cloud analytics. With your data in the cloud, you can easily implement tracking mechanisms and create customized reports to analyze data across your entire organization. You may improve efficiencies and create action plans to achieve organizational goals based on these observations. Sunny Delight, for example, was able to increase profits by about $2 million per year while reducing staffing costs by $195,000 thanks to cloud-based business insights.
If you have two or more employees in your business, cooperation should be a top priority. After all, it's pointless to have a squad if it can't work together effectively. Collaboration is made easy with cloud computing. On a cloud-based platform, team members can quickly and safely access and exchange information. Some cloud-based platforms also provide shared social spaces to link employees around the business, boosting interest and engagement. Without a cloud computing solution, the collaboration will be feasible, but it will never be as simple or as reliable.
Collaboration in the cloud allows the company to collaborate and exchange information more efficiently than conventional methods. You may use cloud storage to give staff, vendors, and third parties access to the same files if you're working on a project that spans many locations. You might also go with a cloud computing model that allows you to share your data with your advisors easily (e.g., a quick and secure way to share accounting records with your accountant or financial adviser).
Few items are as damaging to a company's success as low quality and inaccurate reporting. Both records are stored in one location and in the same format in a cloud-based framework. You can preserve data integrity, prevent human error, and have a consistent record of any changes or updates if everyone has access to the same information. Managing information in silos, on the other hand, can result in employees saving different versions of documents by accident, resulting in confusion and diluted data.
Access to automatic updates
Your service charge can provide access to automatic updates for your IT requirements. Your device will be upgraded with the latest technologies on a regular basis, depending on your cloud computing service provider. This may include newer software versions, as well as server and computer processing power improvements.
Control is one of the factors that lead to a company's performance. Unfortunately, no matter how in control your company is when it comes to its internal processes, there will always be factors beyond your will or control, and in today's market, even a minute amount of unproductive downtime can have a huge impact. Lost efficiency, sales, and brand reputation are all affected by downtime in your services.
While there is no way to avoid or even predict disasters that could affect your business, there is always something you can do to assist speed up the recovery process. Cloud-based services allow rapid data recovery in a variety of disaster scenarios, including natural disasters and power outages. While 20% of cloud users report disaster recovery in four hours or less, only 9% of non-cloud users can make the same claim. According to a recent poll, 43% of IT executives expect to invest in or develop cloud-based disaster recovery solutions.
All of your important data is inextricably linked to the office machines if the company does not invest in a cloud-computing solution. This may not look like a concern, but the truth is that if your local hardware fails, you may lose your data permanently. This is a more common issue than you would think. Computers can fail for a variety of causes, including viral infections, age-related hardware degradation, and basic user error. Alternatively, they may be misplaced or stolen against the best of intentions.
If you don't back up your data to the cloud, you risk losing everything you've saved locally. With a cloud-based server, though, all of the data you've uploaded to the cloud is secure and available from any device with an internet connection, even if your primary computer isn't working.
Automatic Software Updates
There is nothing more annoying and inconvenient than having to wait for device updates to be installed while you have a lot on your plate. Instead of requiring an IT department to conduct a manual organization-wide update, cloud-based systems automatically refresh and update themselves. This saves time and money for IT workers that would otherwise be spent on outside IT consultation. According to PCWorld, 50% of cloud adopters cite the need for less internal IT resources as a cloud advantage.
Although cloud computing is becoming more common, some people still prefer to keep their data on their own computers. That's their preference, but it puts them at a significant disadvantage when competing with others who have access to the cloud's benefits. You'll be farther down the learning curve by the time your rivals catch up if you adopt a cloud-based solution before they do. According to a recent Verizon survey, 77 percent of companies believe cloud technology gives them a competitive advantage, with 16 percent believing it is meaningful.
Given the current state of the atmosphere, it is no longer sufficient for businesses to put a recycling bin in the breakroom and say that they are helping the environment. True sustainability necessitates strategies that fix waste at all levels of a company. Cloud hosting is more environmentally friendly and leaves a smaller carbon footprint.
Cloud infrastructures promote environmental proactivity by powering virtual resources rather than physical goods and hardware, minimizing paper waste, improving energy efficiency, and reducing computer-related pollution (given that workers can access it from anywhere with an internet connection). Based on the adoption of cloud storage and other virtual data options, a Pike Research study projected that data center energy consumption would drop by 31% from 2010 to 2020.