In 2019, the global cloud services market is expected to hit $206.2 billion. The overwhelming success is well-deserved.
While previously a reserve for large corporations, cloud computing is now available even to smaller businesses, allowing them to compete on a global scale.
The importance of cloud computing in the modern business world cannot be overlooked. From enhanced data security to reduced operational costs, the cloud is a game changer.
Here is an in-depth look at the benefits of cloud computing, its inner workings and how it can benefit your business.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services- intelligence, analytics, networking, software servers, storages and databases over the internet.
This gives your business on-demand availability with a passive management structure.
Here are its benefits to your business:
Most service providers are extremely reliable with a 99.9% uptime. This is excellent support for any business and ensures continuity of business functions.
As long as workers have a stable internet connection, they can access company info from anywhere. This is also great for offices with remote workers or a lot of business travel.
Cloud computing offers flexibility that is lacking with traditional platforms. With the latter, a business would need to have a capacity large enough to handle its data when it’s at its peak periods.
With cloud services, your business only pays for what it requires at present. Typically, this is a server and infrastructure.
During peak times, a business can increase its capacity and again, only pay for this expansion. It can do the reverse as well and decrease its capacity during its low seasons.
One premise of cloud computing is enabling companies to fully harness their IT resources. Read more on how optimizing customer returns on IT investments has landed Be Structured on the Pioneer 250 MSP List.
3. Updated Software
Traditional purchased software has new releases once a year or so.
Cloud software is more dynamic. SaaS will have more updates, which are made available to business as soon after they become available.
These upgrades make new features available. The same goes for automatic updating of cloud computing software.
These new features increase worker’s efficiency and improve their productivity.
4. You Can Cut Back
Cloud computing services allow companies to reduce their data centers or function without them entirely.
Small data centers mean a reduction in IT professionals, servers and software costs.
Ultimately, this can lower the cost of doing business. The savings made from this can be channeled towards activities to win more clients and increase revenue.
5. Increased Collaboration
The value of collaborative working in a company cannot be underestimated. Collaborative working is a set up where professionals can work together, despite their geographical locations.
Today’s businesses require this, from regional or international offices, to remote workers to constant business travel, businesses have to find ways to support collaboration.
Cloud computing seamlessly allows dispersed people to meet virtually and exchange information and ideas real-time. This, coupled with a good employee scheduling software is basically all you need to streamline operations.
This unity improves time to market, customer service and product development. This allows your business to operate optimally and remain competitive.
6. Slash Travel Expenses
When a company does not have the tools that support collaborative working, the only other option is physical meetings.
Aside from the time required in getting from point A to point B, there are also transportation costs billed to the company as well.
While they might seem considerably low for a meeting here and there, they add up over time.
Cloud computing is a more affordable way of getting people in one room.
7. Improved Mobility
Being able to access work from anywhere allows your employees to deliver services closer to the people.
This means anything from walking around stores helping customers out to visiting them in their homes and offices.
For the medical field, a patient’s details can be taken from where they are seated as opposed to having them walk to a service desk. The benefits are endless.
8. Supports Mergers and Acquisitions
Data is one of the nightmares of managing an acquisition or a merger.
With traditional computing, it might take months or years to decommission the two autonomous data centers completely. Migrating data is also another task that eats up a lot of time.
Cloud computing is able to handle faster transitions, allowing two companies to merge must faster with minimal or no loss of business.
9. Great for the Environment
Cloud computing reduces the number of data centers and improves functionality at the same time. It also positively impacts the environment.
For a company, you improve your green credentials.
Customers are increasingly looking for companies that have the same values as their own. For your business, showing your efforts towards environmental conservation can increase your customer base and cement loyalty.
Your cloud computing company can sufficiently handle scaling needs on short notice.
This is particularly useful in retail businesses where short term business needs might require you to increase capacity within hours.
11. Security Benefits of Cloud Computing
Traditional data centers require your IT personnel to handle among other things, security issues.
A cloud host’s primary role is to ensure the integrity of your data. The lack of conflicting roles makes them more efficient at this than an in-house IT team would be.
In addition, cloud computing companies spend significant resources acquiring, developing and improving their security levels on your behalf.
It also diffuses the chances of data being interfered with by unscrupulous in house employees. This makes off-site handling of data much safer.
Cloud computing services are provided self-service, on demand.
For this reason, enormous amounts of computing resources can be availed in minutes, at the click of a button. This gives businesses more flexibility and takes the pressure off of capacity adjustment.
Types of Cloud Deployment
All cloud computing are not equal. Neither are all types adequate for your business.
There are typically three types of cloud deployment that your cloud services can be deployed on.
These are owned and operated by third-party service providers. The cloud providers then deliver computer resources via the internet.
In this plan, all resources, hardware, and infrastructure are owned by the provider. The provider then gives you access via a web browser.
Private clouds (not to be confused with VPN) refer to computing resources used exclusively by a single organization or business. Typically, these are located at the organization’s onsite data center.
At times, some companies on this plan enlist the services of a third party provider to host their private cloud.
These combine public and private clouds and are held together by applications and data to be shared amongst them.
When data is allowed to move between private and public clouds, a business gets more deployment options, flexibility and it optimally uses its existing infrastructure, compliance, and security.
Types of Cloud Services
Most services can be broadly categorized into four groups.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS),Serverless and software as a Service (SaaS).
These services build on top of one another, which is why they are commonly referred to as the ‘cloud computing stack’.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
This is a minimalist service. Here, you rent infrastructure, virtual machines and servers, network, storage, and operating systems. Your provider bills you on a pay as you go plan.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Platform as a Service provides an on-demand platform for developing, testing and managing software applications.
At its core, PaaS is designed to allow for easy development of web and mobile apps.
For a business, it takes away the pressure of setting up and managing servers, storage, and databases required for development.
This overlaps with PaaS to support app functionality, without spending time managing servers and other related infrastructure.
A cloud provider manages the setup and manages the infrastructure for you.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS delivers software applications over the internet, on a subscription basis.
With this plan, providers manage the software application and infrastructure and handle all maintenance as well.
Picking a Cloud Computing Service Company
Remember your cloud network is only as good as your provider. Unfortunately, a great provider for one company will not necessarily be great for another.
The starting point to picking a provider is by looking internally. Evaluate what your needs are, for today and the future.
It is important to get clarity on your technical, service, security, financial and management governance requirements.
This will allow you to measure up possible providers to your requirements, as opposed to each other.
Why Cloud Computing
For any business, the benefits of cloud computing are irrefutable. The scalability, reliability, operational support and security are all key components of satisfied customers.
This will, in turn, translate to increased sales and revenues for your business.
Following closely behind cloud computing is business-based mobile apps.