Businesses of all sizes and across different industries are turning to cloud based computing. But why? Business owners are switching due to cost savings, data security, scalability and control achieved from cloud-based solutions. In fact, according to Fortune Business Insights, the cloud computing market is expected to grow by 600% over the next decade.
What is Cloud Computing?
To better grasp why so many businesses are adopting cloud-based technologies, we need to understand what cloud computing really is.
Cloud computing could best be described as the on-demand availability of computer resource systems, usually data storage and computing power. In layman’s terms cloud computing is computing over the internet. In the past, people would have to run programs and applications on a physical computer or server in the building. Nowadays, businesses can get access to the same computing power by tapping into large server farms over the internet. By hosting software, platforms, and databases remotely, the cloud servers free up memory and computing power of individual computers.
Cloud Computing Benefits
1. Efficiency / Cost Reduction
By using cloud based infrastructure, there are considerable cost savings with purchasing and maintaining equipment. Business owners no longer need to invest in hardware, facilities and building out large data centers. Businesses won’t have to hire large IT teams anymore since all data center operations are performed by your cloud provider.
Using the cloud also reduces costs related to downtime. Downtime is the term used when a system is unavailable or offline. Downtime is often the result of a system failure or due to maintenance. Since downtime is rare in cloud based systems, business owners won’t have to worry about spending time or money on fixing issues related to downtime.
2. Data Security
Data security remains a major concern of every business regardless of size or industry. Data breaches, hacks and other cybercrimes can diminish a company’s revenue, brand image, and customer loyalty. In fact, companies are hacked every 11 seconds and cybercrime losses are projected at over a trillion dollars.
Using the cloud can offer many advanced security features that physical servers can’t, ensuring that data is stored and handled securely. Cloud providers have routine baseline protections for their platforms and data they process, such as authentication, access control, and encryption. On top of that, most cloud providers supplement these precautions with added security measures since they are often working with sensitive, enterprise data.
Just like how each company is different, each company has different IT needs. For example, a large enterprise with thousands of employees will have a much larger, more robust IT department than a start up. Using the cloud allows all companies to quickly scale up or scale down their IT departments.
Cloud based solutions are perfect for businesses with growing or shifting computing demands. For example, let’s say your new product just went viral on social media and your getting a lot more traffic to your website than normal. Using the cloud will allow you to adjust your computing power based on increasing demand, meaning you only pay for the computing power you use. If your business demands increase, you can easily increase your cloud capacity without having to invest in physical infrastructure or new IT employees. This level of agility and flexibility can give businesses using cloud computing a real competitive advantage.
Cloud computing now allows mobile access to corporate data via smartphones and laptops, which is great for keeping everyone in the loop. As noted before, the cloud is accessed via the internet so any device that connects to the internet can access corporate data. Prior to the cloud, company data could only be accessed through physical servers and data storage equipment. This is perfect for employees with busy schedules or remote workers, who can use this feature to keep instantly up-to-date with clients and coworkers.
The cloud has been one of the biggest reasons remote work was possible during the COVID-19 pandemic. Resources in the cloud could be easily stored, retrieved, recovered or processed with a few clicks. Those on the cloud can get access to their work on the go, 24/7.
5. Disaster Recovery
One of the worst things about getting hacked, is potentially losing data. Data loss is a massive risk for all organizations. Using the cloud to store data guarantees that data is always available, even if equipment like laptops and servers are physically damaged. Cloud based solutions provide quick data recovery, especially in emergency situations like natural disasters and power outages.
If you rely on a work computer or physical servers, all your data will be stored locally. If those computers were to get infected with a virus or break, all that data would be lost. However, if you upload data to the cloud, that data remains accessible on any device with an internet connection.
Having control over your data, especially sensitive data, is imperative for any company. Sensitive data getting in the hands of a competitor or, even an untrained employee may have severe consequences for your business. Using the cloud enables you to have complete visibility and control over your data.
The cloud also helps streamline workflows since employees will know what documents are assigned to them. Using the cloud makes collaborations easier since one version of the document can be worked on by multiple people at the same time. Employees can see where their colleagues left off and made changes, making a much more productive workplace.