How Cloud Computing Breeds Enterprise Business Success
The clear majority of businesses now operate at least some of their workloads in the cloud to gain business efficiencies, cost savings and competitive advantages. According the International Data Group’s 2014 Enterprise Cloud Computing Study, 69% of firms are currently leveraging cloud technology in some capacity, and 18% aim to do so in the future.
Why are modern businesses investing so heavily in the cloud? Part of the answer is technical. For IT teams, the cloud offers advantages like simplified workload administration and the elimination of the need to manage physical hardware.
But the cloud’s benefits aren’t limited to technical advantages. Cloud computing also delivers significant business benefits. Here’s a look at the top ones.
Although in the short term moving to the cloud can cost money (indeed, 20% of businesses report that the initial cost of using a cloud-based server is a concern), in the long run it almost always saves on expense.
Why? Because cloud computing reduces the expense required to achieve goals like accessing data and launching new projects. In addition, because most cloud computing services are pay-as-you-go, the cloud is more cost-effective. You pay only for what you actually use, and you avoid large, upfront capital expenditures.
Many businesses are concerned about security when it comes to implementing a cloud-computing service. After all, if your files, programmes, and other data aren’t kept on-site, how can you be sure they’re safe? What’s to stop a cybercriminal from accessing your data remotely if you can do it yourself?
Well, many things. To begin with, a cloud host’s full-time task is to closely monitor security, which is significantly more efficient than a traditional in-house system, which requires an organisation to divide the resources among a range of IT challenges, security being just one of them. According to RapidScale, 94% of businesses improved their security after moving to the cloud, and 91% said the cloud made meeting government compliance requirements easier.
The key to this increased security is the encryption of data transmitted over networks and stored in databases. Encrypting your data makes it less accessible to hackers and others who are not authorised to view it. Most cloud-based services allow users to configure different security settings as an added security measure.
Given the current state of the environment, it is no longer adequate for businesses to place a bin in the breakroom and claim to be environmentally conscious. True sustainability requires waste-management solutions at all levels of a company.
Moving to the cloud helps businesses achieve sustainability goals. Compared to on-premises data centers, cloud hosting is less harmful to the environment and has a lower carbon footprint, thanks to economies of scale and the ability to share cloud servers between multiple customers. Cloud providers are also investing heavily in sustainability initiatives. Azure, for example, has committed to powering all of its data centers with renewable energy by 2025.
Poor quality and inconsistent reporting are among the most harmful factors to a company’s success. The cloud helps on this front by centralizing document storage in a cloud-based system with consistent formatting.
When everyone has access to the same information, it becomes easier to maintain data consistency, avoid human error, and keep track of any adjustments or additions. Managing data in silos, on the other hand, might lead to employees accidentally saving multiple versions of documents, resulting in confusion and diluted data.
Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery
Unfortunately, no matter how well-organised your company’s internal procedures are, there will always be factors beyond your control, and in today’s market, even a tiny amount of unproductive downtime can have a significant impact. Downtime in your IT services has an impact on your production, money, and brand reputation.
While there is no way to prevent or predict disasters that could harm your business, investing in the cloud makes disaster recovery simpler and smoother because you can spin up new cloud infrastructure much more rapidly than you can rebuild on-premises servers. Cloud services also have better track records of uptime and durability than most on-premises IT infrastructures. For example, the major cloud providers promise 99.999999999% durability for data stored in the cloud.
For businesses seeking to operate more efficiently, scalably and securely, the cloud is no longer just an option. It’s an imperative. If you’re not yet investing in the cloud, you risk being left behind from both a technical and a business perspective.