8 Powerful Advantages of Cloud Computing
Cloud adoption has increased nearly 300% in the last year, with 57% of organizations now utilizing cloud computing, and that trend doesn’t seem to be slowing down. In fact, according to this recent Forbes article, “73% of companies are planning to move to a fully software-defined data center within 2 years.”
Why, you might be asking?
Well, that’s exactly what we’re here to explain. The advantages of cloud computing are plentiful and we’ve highlighted some of our favorites to help you understand what your organization stands to gain by making the transition.
What Is Cloud Computing?
Before we go any further, let’s make sure we’re all on the same page.
What do we mean when we say “cloud computing?”
Simply put, cloud computing is the delivery of “on-demand” computing resources via the internet. However, it’s also so much more than that.
For a deeper understanding of what the cloud really is, be sure to read our recent article. Now, let’s get to the reason you’re here today: the advantages of cloud computing.
8 Advantages of Cloud Computing
1. Improved Workplace Productivity
One of the most impactful advantages of cloud computing is the increased productivity it delivers. Disjointed on-premises IT services and/or a resource-limited IT staff make for an inefficient and ineffective IT program and can have a profound impact on your employees’ ability to perform at their best.
Cloud computing allows you to provide your employees with tools that give them the ability to do their best work without the interference of outdated legacy systems, effectively streamlining day-to-day operations. For example, cloud-based IT services are made available to your employees from any device, anywhere in the world.
They’re able to access tools like team messaging, file sharing, digital fax, live streaming, and web conferencing in the office and remotely, allowing them to perform at a higher level on a more consistent basis.
It also provides them with a powerful collaboration platform, allowing teams from multiple departments or multiple locations around the world to work together. This also means that you can transition your hiring to offer remote positions to reduce office costs and increase the size and reach of the applicant pool, thereby improving the talent your company is able to attract.
2. Reduced Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)
To many organizations, the cost savings they realize will be one of the most important advantages of cloud computing.
First off, the initial investment in cloud-based IT systems is significantly less than that of an in-house equivalent. By using cloud technology you eliminate the need to purchase most of the components required to implement these systems. That means capital equipment expenses and equipment obsolescence costs are eliminated immediately.
Furthermore, enterprises can realize significant savings on recurring communications costs by combining multiple inefficient IP pipes into fewer, more efficient Ethernet-Over-Copper (EoC) connections.
Finally, the cost to maintain these systems is also virtually eliminated, as your cloud service provider is responsible for the continual maintenance and updates that keep you operating at optimum capacity. That also means a reduction in administration and maintenance costs in your IT department.
As these new technologies and features are developed by the provider, they are instantly available for your organization, typically at no extra cost.
Speaking of which…
3. Always Up to Date
Another of the important advantages of cloud computing is the strategic value added by working with technology that always remains on the cutting edge. Rather than getting bogged down by obsolete technology and becoming complacent with legacy systems, cloud systems are always up to date.
Top cloud service providers maintain the latest hardware and are continually updating their software to meet new demands and improve their service. It’s their primary focus to provide their clients with the best possible user experience. That means always being able to operate at your full potential with IT systems that support optimal performance.
It also means that your focus can be on business, rather than infrastructure.
4. Focus on Business Rather than Infrastructure
Of all of the advantages of cloud computing, this may be the most undervalued. Transitioning to a cloud-based IT platform allows an organization to relieve themselves of the distraction of their IT infrastructure and focus on the core competencies of their business.
After all, it’s these core competencies that make your company the experts that your customers value and deliver the competitive edge that allows you to outpace your competition.
With cloud systems, you enjoy the benefits of being a customer to your provider rather than the added weight of needing to be your own provider. They handle the bulk of your IT activities, allowing resources and capital that was previously dedicated to non-core IT services to be reallocated and deliver a positive impact in other areas of the business.
5. Security, Backups, and Disaster Recovery
We can’t put together a list of the advantages of cloud computing without covering security, backups, and disaster recovery.
Rather than investing in an on-premises data warehouse, where you are also required to implement and maintain security protocols, the cloud provides enterprises with a simpler, less resource-intensive way to protect their data.
Most cloud service providers emphasize cutting-edge security protocols, as well as compliance with data protection measures. This is becoming even more prevalent as the industry is moving toward implementing a shared liability system between data processors and controllers.
Furthermore, most cloud service providers distribute their backups between data centers around the world in order to maintain reliable access at all times. This distribution of data, often referred to as multi-site redundancy, also allows them to provide a highly effective data recovery service in case of emergency. This way, a protected copy of your official working data can be accessed at all times in order to restore systems in the event of a crash or error.
Finally, full disaster recovery allows your organization to store a backup of the entire IT infrastructure, which is typically housed at a separate location than standard backups.
For a comprehensive write up on cloud security, be sure to check out this recent article.
6. Scalability and Flexibility
One of the most dynamic advantages of cloud computing is the scalability/flexibility factor. Changes in locally based IT networks require considerable in-house development and testing. This makes for an upfront investment, plus an additional investment every time your needs increase, even if this increase is temporary. Companies often find themselves using unfit systems simply because the costs required to make a change is prohibitive.
Cloud systems can be scaled up or down depending on your operational needs. For example, in the event of a once-a-year promotion that increases your needs dramatically for a few short weeks, your capacity could be increased to meet demand, then decreased to keep costs at a minimum.
Furthermore, cloud systems allow for an improved experience during mergers and acquisitions. Integrating in-house systems can require a massive investment of time and resources to migrate applications and decommission data centers, just so the two companies can begin running on the same IT systems.
With cloud computing, deploying your new systems can take place far more expediently, which leads us to our next point…
7. Rapid Deployment
Another important advantage of cloud computing is the speed at which it can be deployed. In-house technology changes can take several days or weeks to fully implement, but cloud systems can be up and running much more quickly.
To give you an example, we can typically get our clients up and running with their custom solution in a single day!
That means your company can deploy mission critical technology that delivers substantial benefits with minimal provisioning time.
8. Environmental Impact
The final item in our list of advantages of cloud computing benefits your organization, but also benefits the rest of the world. A cloud data center is typically far more efficient than an onsite data warehouse.
After all, your cloud service provider is hosting a multitude of clients from the same infrastructure, allowing for a far more efficient use of resources. Furthermore, as your needs fluctuate your server capacity is scaled up or down to match. The end result of all of this efficiency is a reduced carbon footprint and a positive impact on the world around you.
As we mentioned previously, the advantages of cloud computing are vast and expand beyond those found in this list. Many enterprises continually realize new benefits as they become less and less dependent on on-premises IT systems and turn more over to the cloud.
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