What's the Buzz About? The Undeniable Advantages of Cloud Computing Explained
Has your business adopted cloud technology yet? Well, if it hasn't, it's time to catch up! Here are the advantages of cloud computing in 2019.
Since 2010, cloud computing has been a hot trend, and it shows no signs of slowing down, with 67% of enterprise infrastructure expected to be cloud-based by the end of 2020.
The continued buzz makes sense when you understand the many advantages of cloud computing. Here are some of the top benefits of cloud adoption.
One of the main benefits of cloud computing is that it saves you money, something all businesses can appreciate.
A big part of the savings comes from not using your own resources to manage servers. All of that is handled by the cloud provider.
On the surface, this might seem like you’re only saving money by not buying servers, but you get more than that.
When you’re responsible for your own data center, you have more complexity to worry about. You’re paying for the cost of the servers, as well as the space to house them. This includes air conditioning, since they need to be kept at a certain temperature.
Server maintenance may also require buying peripheral devices, like monitors and keyboards, as well as paying for the electricity and security of the servers.
You also need to have people to install and maintain the servers and then upgrade them as needed. This includes both software and hardware upgrades.
The savings don’t only come from server upgrades, either. You won’t have to spend the money or resources to upgrade software applications. When you use the cloud-based version, updates are simply available as soon as they’re released.
Additionally, if in-house servers go down for maintenance or problems, you have to worry about lost productivity. With the cloud, all of those concerns go away.
Another of the cloud computing benefits is the scalability.
With a traditional data center, if you need greater capacity, you have to buy more servers, then install them and get them integrated. This is true even if you only need the extra capacity at certain times. This means you’re paying for something that could sit idle much of the time.
Cloud computing offers much more flexibility. If you need additional resources, you can request them, even if it’s a short-term demand. You can then drop back to fewer resources when the demand decreases.
This also contributes to the cost savings, since you only pay for what you need. This saves both time and money in managing your processing needs.
Moving to the cloud can also give you a competitive advantage. While more companies are going in that direction, not all of them have implemented cloud solutions, and getting ahead of the curve could give you an edge.
This is especially true for smaller companies that don’t have all the internal resources of larger companies. Instead of being at a disadvantage by not having in-house resources, smaller businesses that choose a cloud approach are on equal footing.
Availability and Reliability
In these days when so much of what we do requires server access, constant availability is one of the more important cloud benefits.
When a server goes down, it can have an enormous impact on your business, especially if it’s during a critical period of operation. The longer it remains down, the more it impacts productivity. The results can be disastrous.
Cloud servers can also fail, but the key difference is redundancy. In a cloud setting, even if one server has trouble, another one can take over operations.
Even better, this is seamless to you. It’s up to your cloud vendor or IT consulting firm to handle those situations. Your resources won’t have to deal with the problems, and you likely won’t even notice a change to your processing.
Backup and Data Recovery
Along with reliable access to your data, with cloud computing, you also have built-in data recovery and backup.
When your data is stored in the cloud, you don’t have to worry as much about damages to employee computers. The employee will still need a new device, but they won’t lose everything on their laptop.
You also won’t have to make specific plans for backing up your data. It’s already backed up on the cloud, and disaster recovery options are much more affordable than with a traditional data center.
With all that sensitive data in the cloud, you might be worried about security. The truth, though, is that you’re better off with your data in the cloud.
In fact, of businesses that moved to the cloud, over 93% have better security now than before.
In a non-cloud setting, with data stored locally on someone’s computer, a lost laptop is a significant security threat. With data in the cloud, though, third parties don’t have physical access to sensitive data.
Additionally, cloud providers must adhere to security regulations for customer data. As part of this, they need to have a robust firewall with protection against viruses as well as an intrusion prevention system.
This protects your business from infection and hacking, as well as data theft. You can also take this one step further with VPN features if you want to bring your office to the cloud.
In the past, performance was something of a concern with cloud solutions, but not anymore.
Cloud providers know they must offer competitive speeds to fulfill customer requirements, and they’re meeting that need. This includes having solid state drives (SSD), which are very fast, and CPUs with a lot of power.
Cloud providers also make sure to utilize load balancing to maximize the speed. If a server is busy, some of that load can be distributed to another server so that no single machine is bogged down. With many machines available, providers can keep performance at an optimal level.
Another of the cloud computing advantages is flexibility in your workforce.
With documents and applications available in the cloud, your employees can work remotely as needed. This gives them many more options to work at different times as well as in different locations, and it supports finding a good work-life balance.
In some cases, businesses are using this as an opportunity to cut down on office space. Instead of maintaining a large office with desks for all employees, they have hot seats for people to use when they choose to work from the office instead of from home. This saves money on the real estate needed.
Additionally, companies have more flexibility in where to find their employees. Since not everyone needs to be in the same office, you can look for the best workers wherever they’re located, and they’ll have access to all the same information as everyone else.
This flexibility extends to how files and applications are accessed. Instead of using large desktop machines, you can now use a laptop, tablet, or smartphone to get online and do your work.
As well as offering flexibility, cloud computing improves collaboration.
When files are on a shared cloud location, everyone has access to them. This means that you can leave comments or make updates to the most recent version, or review changes others have made, instead of wondering if you’re seeing the latest updates.
This shared access also contributes to higher participation among your employees. When everyone has equal access, individuals are more likely to chime in.
Having a single location and structure for files also provides a way to share information with others all at once, instead of trying to decide who should receive it.
Additionally, this approach leads to better organization, making it easier for everyone to find the information they need.
Cloud computing also has an environmental advantage.
The collaborative nature of shared files helps cut down on paper. Since files are available all the time, from any device, you don’t need to print them very often. This means moving to the cloud could be part of a sustainability initiative.
Additionally, when you don’t need to maintain your own servers, you’re cutting down on your energy needs for lighting, electricity, and air conditioning, as well as the space your office takes up.
Cloud providers, meanwhile, can use energy in a more efficient way, since they can take advantage of economies of scale. Some of them also use solar energy or plant trees as carbon offsets to reduce the environmental impact.
There Are Many Advantages of Cloud Computing
When you consider the many advantages of cloud computing, you can see that the buzz around the cloud is justified. Whether you’re looking to save money, improve security, increase collaboration, or help the environment, moving to the cloud can help your business.
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