What is Cloud computing?
‘Cloud computing’ is a term often used but, as with other terminology used by IT professionals and enthusiasts, there can be an assumption that everyone knows what it means. So, what does cloud computing actually mean?
‘Cloud computing’ is a metaphor for enabling tasks to be performed online, over the internet, rather than on-site or in a physical location. A common example of this is utilising cloud computing to store data which would ordinarily take up valuable disk space. However, there are many other uses.
Cloud computing has been around for around twenty years and 87% of businesses say they are already using cloud technology or have plans to implement it in the future. Even in our personal computing use, the majority of us dabble with cloud-based apps – Facebook and Instagram are just two examples of increasingly popular apps that allow its user to upload data to the ‘cloud’.
Despite cloud computing becoming increasingly popular and beneficial there are still some businesses that are not cloud enabled. This article will list the many reasons that these businesses should make the switch and what benefits it will bring them.
How cloud computing can benefit your business
Switching to a cloud based operation does come with an initial outlay – indeed, 20% of businesses are concerned about this initial cost. However, the long term financial benefits of cloud computing far outweigh this initial expense.
Purchasing replacement hardware and software is no longer necessary with cloud computing and there is also no need for round-the-clock electricity or cooling equipment. As the infrastructure is cloud based, businesses also save money by not needing to employ IT experts to do this.
With cloud computing, data is accessed remotely and, for some, this can appear to offer less security however, the reality is the exact opposite – cloud computing improves the security of your data!
One of the key reasons for this heightened security is the fact that all data held on the cloud is automatically encrypted. This means that only those people authorised to access the data are able to do so.
Business demand is constantly evolving and cloud computing is equipped to deal with this. As your business grows, and so does your customer base, cloud computing can instantly expand your IT capability to match. This removes the need for a complex and costly update to your IT infrastructure.
Ofcourse, businesses shrink as well as grow, so cloud computing makes it just as easy to reduce your IT capability meaning that businesses only pay for what they essentially require.
The ability to work from home has never been more important. Cloud computing allows remote access to data via smart phones and devices meaning that no employee is left out of the loop.
Knowing your customer or client is one of the most essential requirements of any successful business and, by deploying one of the many cloud-based analytical tools, this has never been easier.
- Increased Collaboration
Collaboration is important to all successful businesses and cloud computing makes it easy for staff to work together no matter where they are physically located. Team members can view and share information easily and some cloud-based services even provide collaborative social spaces for teams to work together.
- Quality Control
As data is stored centrally with cloud computing this means that a clear record of revisions can be easily kept. This translates to less human errors and a consistency of data.
- Disaster Recovery
There is always the risk to business that something outside of their control can lead to the loss of data. With cloud computing, quick data recovery is provided as standard.
- Loss Prevention
Computers and physical storage space is at risk of damage, deterioration or theft which means that corporate data held is equally at risk. However, data stored on the cloud will always be safe and accessible on any computer with an internet connection.
- Automatic Software Updates
There is nothing more annoying than being met with a system update when important work is required to be done. Indeed, for businesses, this potential downtime can be extremely costly. However, with cloud computing, updates are performed automatically.
- Competitive Edge
While cloud computing is becoming increasingly popular, there are still some businesses that have not yet made the switch. By making this switch early businesses can ensure they get a competitive edge over their rivals and that they are further along the learning curve by the time they eventually catch up.
Sustainability is one of the main issues in the world today and every business must ensure that they are doing all they can to reduce their carbon footprint. One of the simplest ways of doing this is to make the switch to cloud computing.
In summary, cloud computing is the smart and efficient way for businesses to manage their IT infrastructure. Making the switch will see your business reap the many benefits that it brings and, the earlier you do make the switch, the further ahead of the competition you will be.
IBM: Benefits of Cloud Computing – https://www.ibm.com/uk-en/cloud/learn/benefits-of-cloud-computing
Salesforce: 12 Benefits of Cloud Computing – https://www.salesforce.com/products/platform/best-practices/benefits-of-cloud-computing/
Microsoft Azure: What is Cloud Computing – https://azure.microsoft.com/en-gb/overview/what-is-cloud-computing/