Cloud computing increases efficiency, helps improve cash flow and offers many more benefits. In the past, businesses ran applications from software downloaded on a physical computer or a server in their building – now, cloud computing allows people to access the same kinds of applications through the internet. This practice was, unfortunately given the confusing name of cloud computing in the early 1990’s. Almost everyone already uses the cloud on a daily basis – just think about it as using a remote file or application server accessible via the internet.
Advantages of moving applications and data storage to the cloud include:
- Cost Savings. Part of the appeal is clearly financial; the cloud eases much of the technological burden on owners and staff, helping companies focus on their business operations. Services that offer cloud storage can provide businesses with the storage space that they simply wouldn’t otherwise have access to. As storage is provided using a vast remote server, businesses can pay a relatively small amount of money to receive a phenomenal amount of storage space.
- Backup & Disaster Recovery. When companies start relying on cloud-based services, they no longer need complex disaster recovery plans and backups are automatically completed on a regular basis. Cloud computing providers take care of most issues, and they do it faster.
- No Software to Buy & Update. Cloud computing suppliers provide automatic software updates, and perform all server maintenance, including security updates, themselves freeing up their customers’ time and resources for other tasks.
- Flexibility / Productivity. 24/7 Access to Applications & Data. Cloud computing increases collaboration by allowing all employees, wherever they are, to sync up and work on documents and shared apps simultaneously. A survey by Frost & Sullivan found that companies which invested in collaboration technology had a 400% return on investment. As long as employees have internet access, they can work from anywhere.
- Improved Overall Security. Some 800,000 laptops are lost each year in airports alone. This can have some serious monetary implications, but when everything is stored in the cloud, data can still be accessed no matter what happens to a machine.