While the cloud is still a relatively recent development in its current form, interest in the use of cloud computing for business IT continues to increase.
We hear a lot about cloud computing these days, things are perpetually “in the cloud”. But many business owners are probably thinking…What are cloud computing services, what is disaster recovery, and how could they benefit my business?
The truth is that, without even realizing it, you’re probably already using the cloud every day. You use the cloud whenever you use a web-based email service, such as Gmail or Hotmail. You’ve used the cloud if you’ve ever used watched a video on Netflix or YouTube. If you have backed up information on the internet rather than on a physical device – then you have already used the cloud.
The most popular cloud platforms used in the business world are Amazon’s Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft’s Azure and Google’s Google Cloud. There are other smaller cloud providers, as well as newer entries such as Alibaba Cloud Services. Each of these platforms have slightly different policies and technologies which make them suited for different business uses. For example, AWS is cheaper for bulk storage, so a company wanting to store 1000s of terabytes of data in a cloud storage archive would be best served by AWS. Google Cloud on the other hand has advanced machine learning AI built in. This makes Google’s cloud computing service better suited to companies wanting to sort and analyse large amounts of data in the cloud.
Here are some of the main benefits of cloud computing for businesses…
1. Lower Cost
Cost savings are one of the most attractive factors for transitioning to the cloud. With cloud computing services, as well as the need to purchase, install and update costly software, the need to pay for vast quantities of disk and storage space is immediately eliminated. With the cloud, you can only pay for applications and storage when you need them. Usage can be easily tailored to meet your requirements and optimized for demand peaks or troughs.
Getting up and running is simple for cloud computing. Instead of yourself having to download and/or update applications, it is all done for you in the cloud. Relative to traditional hard drive and server constraints, the cloud also has nearly limitless storage space. The cloud is adaptable as well, you can easily scale up or down your cloud usage as your business changes. Your workers will be able to access apps and data anywhere from virtually any computer that has an Internet connection, because your company information is stored in the cloud.
3. Increase Storage Capacity Without Needing More Space
Compared to traditional hard drive and server constraints, the cloud provides nearly unlimited storage space and is versatile and you can upgrade at any time if your company needs more storage. The cloud also keeps software up to date with the new updates, meaning you’ll never have to think about upgrading your own software. As well as file backups, file replication for all your devices is also fully automated. Among all your devices in use, your details will be synchronised on an ongoing basis.
4. The Cloud Is Highly Scalable And Flexible
Compared to previous computing approaches, cloud computing also provides much greater versatility and agility. Your workers will no longer be confined to their desks and can access their files and data 24 hours a day from wherever they are. You will also be able to scale up or down your cloud use on an as-needed basis and pay only for what you actually use. In the past, it could take months for your service to make improvements. Now, this can be achieved in minutes with a cloud.
With the cloud, the employees can access data from home, from the offices of customers, on the path, or even from their mobile. Even when they are in different locations, your staff members can still work collaboratively on documents and archives. Often, documents can be accessed and edited simultaneously from different locations.
5. Cloud Computing Simplifies Your IT Department
There is no need to use valuable IT personnel resources on things such as maintaining servers, fixing bugs or taking care of software upgrades, because the cloud does most everything for you. Your existing IT staff can spend less time fixing and maintaining servers and more time dealing with larger IT projects which will in turn make your business more efficient.
Cloud computing services are a great solution for businesses looking to bring their enterprise technology into their workplace. Although it is possible to implement cloud service yourself, if you do not have an existing IT department, it is advisable to contact a third-party managed IT support provider who will help plan and implement cloud services across your network and can help to manage and troubleshoot them on an ongoing basis.