Cloud services have a lot to offer today’s networked businesses. Saas (software as a service), IaaS (infrastructure as a service), and PaaS (platform as a service) solutions cover most or all of any company’s IT needs. The percent of IT challenges and budget, and the size of the workload going to the cloud continues to grow. More businesses are making the move because of the many advantages cloud computing can offer.
1. Updated Applications
Fresh versions of the software companies rely on are more available to customers using SaaS. Over the cloud, instant patches, updates, and upgrades bring new features and performance that make employees more productive with very little effort required from in-house IT. New updates for one program or another are released constantly, so software as a service – Saas is a great way for companies to stay up to date without the hassles or worries.
2. More efficiency, less capital
Since so much of their data and applications are now stored over the Internet, companies can save on the initial outlay for new servers and network storage. This includes the associated costs, such as implementing security, establishing a clean and safe server environment, backups, failed devices – and hiring and training additional IT staff to do all this. Cloud computing reduces an organization’s hardware needs without affecting IT performance.
3. Fixed, scalable budget
The costs of cloud computing typically come as a monthly fee or fixed schedule which makes planning IT budgets in advance far simpler. This allows a company to only contract for only the services they need and can afford. At the same time, cloud computing allows them to purchase additional services and capacity as the company grows or business changes. IT in the past required maintaining capacity for peak demands that was later unused. Cloud computing can be easily scaled as IT needs change.
4. No downtime
With traditional computing, there’s always a risk of hardware failure and downtime. Most cloud providers can provide redundancy over virtual networks. This allows for standard uptimes of 99.99%. The service is always there, and as long as staff can connect, they will essentially always be able to get to their files and applications when needed, from anywhere they have an Internet connection, 24/7.
Benefits of Cloud Storage
1. More mobile workforce
With smartphones, tablets, and laptops everywhere, more employee duties are carried out away from the office. Staff working from home, from a branch location, a client office, or even a hotel room can still access the information and programs they need. More mobile employees mean more off-site productivity, less wait time for data, and more free real estate at the office, allowing companies to reduce their office space without any impact on performance.
2. Better teams
The cloud also means improved collaboration between employees. Sharing and accessing data over the cloud is immediate. Teams, employees, and company locations all over the globe can quickly connect through applications such as instant messaging and video conferencing, and in real time. This allows for quicker development and problem resolution.
3. Cost effective
Cloud services save money. Companies are saved the expense of purchasing hardware and the cost of building out and supporting a data center. They also save on software purchases through use of the provider’s applications. Even small companies can spend many thousands of dollars on IT resources, and incur continuous costs for upgrades and utilities. Cloud computing can help to eliminate a good portion of these costs. The scalability of cloud computing also allows for reduction in services and price during bad economic times.
Virtual data rooms used through cloud computing can provide faster and more secure environments for mergers and acquisitions. Required documents can be shared in a virtual environment accessible only to those who have the proper digital credentials. A due diligence virtual data room allows parties to conduct these important business deals with greater speed, confidentiality, and convenience.
5. More environmentally friendly
Companies who take advantage of cloud computing’s shared resources are reducing the amount of electronic waste that accumulates in landfills and often includes substances toxic to the environment. Businesses who commit to the cloud are more environmentally friendly and acquire a good reputation as a “green” company.
With government regulations such as SOX for publicly traded companies, and HIPAA for healthcare and related businesses like insurance, compliance to these changing rules is mandatory. Failure to comply can mean heavy fines. A cloud services company can ensure that all regulations regarding data storage are followed so that companies don’t have to struggle to remain compliant.
In addition to computing needs, cloud services can also provide access to marketing tools such as social media and content management. Cloud computing has so many benefits in a digital age that it’s greatest advantage is providing a competitive edge.
Stanislav Krotov is a technical writer with a passion for writing on emerging technologies in the areas of mobile application development and IoT technology. ( Moscow State University of M.V. Lomonosov )