There’s no doubt that cloud computing has been the talk of the business world lately. From just using Dropbox to Software, Platform or Infrastructure as a Service, the cloud offers versatile services that can assist business at every level, here is a list of some of the best. More and more companies are taking notice and transitioning to the cloud each day, but not nearly in the numbers, you might expect. Regardless, the cloud clearly offers some undeniable business benefits. The current question seems to be whether or not the benefits outweigh any risks or growing pains associated with the cloud?
A surprising number of companies have been reluctant to transition to the cloud. Business owners cite concerns about difficulties in syncing all of their employees and their devices, the potential security risks and pitfalls of a virtual environment, or just plain fear of the unfamiliar within their organization. Other reasons for the hesitancy of larger businesses to make the switch revolve around having invested so much into their current system (such as legacy technology), they just can’t bring themselves to abandon it, even if the long-term benefits of the cloud could be exponential. Some cloud solutions can also be challenging to integrate with existing software. For all of these reasons, full-scale adoption of the cloud among medium to larger-sized businesses can be slow.
However, as cloud technology progresses, a tipping point will likely be reached where businesses will simply not be able to afford to be without cloud services. When the benefits clearly outweigh the risks and enough vendors and competitors are plugged into the cloud, it will only make logical sense to make the transition and start reaping the many benefits of cloud computing. Here are some of the main reasons transitioning to the cloud is just plain good business sense:
1. Cost Savings
Purchasing, housing, managing and regularly updating servers on company premises can be an expensive prospect for businesses. In addition to these hefty costs, they are faced with trying to anticipate and predict how much server space will be needed in the near and long-term. With the cloud, servers are owned and maintained by the cloud provider, saving businesses this expense. Service is paid for as needed at an affordable monthly rate.
As your business storage and software needs change and evolve, cloud service plans, usage and software types can be easily adjusted and scaled up or down, as needed. When changes are made it is usually immediate, so the risk of overpaying for service and storage is minimal.
3. Ease of Use and Efficiency
With cloud computing, software and data are all managed by the cloud provider. Cloud systems offer user-friendly interfaces that are easy to learn as well as high-speed processing accessible from any device that has access to the internet. Despite the misgivings of some businesses, most cloud platforms can be seamlessly integrated with existing systems, and customer support is readily available to help with the transition.
4. Fewer Tedious Tasks
Cloud-based software can also assist your business with a number of your more tedious tasks, from accounting to calculating payroll to order flow and invoice management. Many tasks that once required a lot of employee hours or specialized services can be handled via software in the cloud instead.
5. Fewer IT hours
Since you won’t have to manage servers in-house, the need for IT staff naturally decreases. Server maintenance and upgrading are done by the cloud company. This frees up your IT department and resources to be directed toward other pursuits.
6. Easier Collaboration
With the cloud, data and file sharing is easier than ever. Instead of the need to print out and distribute multiple copies of a file and make sure everyone stays on the same page, employees use a shared virtual work environment. When changes are made to documents, the files are updated immediately. File sharing via the cloud allows for easy collaboration on projects both big and small. Your staff will inevitably become more efficient. This exact thing makes cloud perfect for people making money online for themselves.
7. The Cloud is “Green”
The cloud is also easier on the environment than previous business network and storage solutions. It has been estimated that the cloud uses about 30% less energy and natural resources than its predecessors or alternative solutions.
As for current concerns about the privacy and security of the cloud, businesses might consider the option of a private cloud as a solution. A private cloud offers many of the benefits of a “public” cloud, but programs are generally developed in-house, with data stored on company servers. Rather than the need to log into a network to access a server, employees can access files on the internet via a web browser. A private cloud or hybrid cloud could be a good first step for companies finding themselves unsure about going completely to a third party solution.
While there are still a number of holdouts, eventually most businesses are likely to come around to adopting the cloud. With more employees, remote working and employees using their own tablets and smartphones, demand for cloud-based systems is sure to continue and increase. As the technology matures, concerns about security, legacy and data residency will start to disappear. With these issues addressed, businesses will have fewer reasons to mistrust the cloud and more reasons to start enjoying its advantages and benefits.