Working in “the cloud” is all the buzz in today’s business environment. The question you have to ask is if the buzz is just a lot of noise or is there something to this cloud thing? We’re here to tell you this isn’t a fad; it’s a fundamental change in the way businesses store and retrieve information. But what are the actual benefits to cloud computing? Here are five big ones and, rest assured, there are many more.
With cloud computing, a business could save the weeks or months it would previously have taken to test and deploy software over a company network, and simply sign up for a service and be using it that day. An example would be accounting. Let’s say XYZ Widgets has been growing like crazy and needs a better accounting system. There’s no reason to lay out hundreds (or thousands) of dollars to buy software when you could go straight to Quickbooks (or any other major accounting software provider) and simply sign up for their cloud service. You will be provided with login information and you’re ready to go.
Probably the first advantage of cloud computing that springs to mind is increased data safety. Not only safety from hacking but physical protection from fires, floods, and other natural disasters. Cloud storage providers have so-called redundant backup systems. Your information is not only protected by world-class cyber security measures but exists in quadruplicate and more in geographically diverse locations. All this security is available to a company for a modest fee which runs much cheaper than setting up and maintaining your own backup servers in different areas.
Birthing New Business
Here’s a benefit of cloud computing that most people probably don’t think of immediately. By combining cloud resources and services there is the potential to create entirely new business models and revenue streams. Web hosting is one example. Let’s say Joe Average decided he wants to open a web hosting business. The old way of doing it would cost many thousands of dollars and weeks or months of work from IT guys to set it up.
A better choice would be to buy a reseller package from a well-known host like GoDaddy or HostGator. Voila! The business is already set up. Joe pays for a certain amount of space each month, which he sells to customers who need a host. Tech and customer support comes from the main company. For a creative thinker, the possibilities to profit from cloud services are endless.
Shifting day-to-day computing demands to the cloud creates the kind of stability any sane business would dream of. Think about it. The software you need is already installed off-site and maintained by an expert IT team ready to leap into action the moment a problem arises. You don’t have to mess with software updates, malware, security issues – it all comes included for the monthly fee for service. The demand to maintain an in-house IT department lessens greatly.
Save On Capital Expenses
What business doesn’t like saving money? The factors we’ve mentioned already come, without fail, at a price savings due to the economy of scale. No more need to keep the staff supplied with the latest and greatest computers. Devices like the Chromebook, which is little more than a browser to access the Internet, have rocketed in popularity in recent years. They’re sturdy, cheap, and work like a charm.
A smart business owner would do well to embrace cloud computing because it’s not going away. The advantages just mentioned are only part of the picture. There are many more. The bottom line is that storing data locally and installing individualized copies of software is a vanishing business process. Cloud applications and low monthly service costs are already here. This is a wave you definitely want to be in front of because it can be difficult to catch up.