The benefits of cloud computing have never been more apparent than during the recent COVID-19 shutdowns with people working from home.
Even with the opening up of economies, several businesses are likely to admit fewer workers to the office. Thus, a majority of workers for some international corporations are likely to keep working from home.
Businesses need cloud computing to create a better working environment for their employees working remotely. In this article, we look at the advantages of cloud computing for businesses of all kinds.
What Is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is a service that allows users to work, play, and store files on remote servers. Thus, it doesn’t store data on your laptop’s hard disk, resulting in freeing space for other purposes.
A user signs up for cloud computing services either individually or as a business, then starts using remote servers to store data. The most common uses of cloud computing include:
- Online file storage
- Making and editing videos
- File conversion (from HTML to PDF, for example)
- Anti-virus applications like Kaspersky
- E-commerce applications like Spotify
- Business management applications
- System backup and recovery
- Online video game streaming
Even though relatively old, cloud computing is fast becoming a must-have for businesses, gaming developers, web-hosting organizations, and so on.
Advantages Of Could Computing For Business
As we have seen, businesses can use cloud services to carry out several functions. The degree of cloud computing services may differ based on the type of business or the need for localized file storage. Regardless of the extent of implementation, the following are the expected benefits of cloud computing to business:
One of te biggest benefits of cloud computing is its cost-effectiveness that results in a high return on investment. Even if the initial cost increases, accessing company data is more straightforward, saving you time and money. Essentially, you can access your business data virtually from anywhere and on any device with an internet connection.
Besides, you save on the cost of buying and installing physical hardware such as servers. Since you don’t own the hardware, you do not need qualified personnel to maintain it. It is the cloud services provider who has to worry about installing and maintaining physical hardware.
Furthermore, signing up for cloud computing services doesn’t mean you have to subscribe to features you don’t need. That’s because cloud service providers have a pay-as-you-go system that provides the space you need. In the end, you get to pay for what you can afford.
2. Improved Data Security
Despite its industry and size, every business grapples with the likelihood of its data landing in the wrong hands. As a result of cybercrime and data breaches, many companies have suffered losses in:
- brand positioning
- and customer loyalty
Storing data in the cloud is more secure because of the advanced featured offered by various service providers. First off, the cloud host carefully monitor’s the system’s security to ensure that your data isn’t compromised.
Secondly, having all your data in the cloud prevents employees from internally compromising the system for their benefit. Since the host is worried about the system, you concentrate on your core business, achieving better results.
3. Speedy Idea Implementation
One of the most significant advantages of cloud computing is the speed with which you can test new software development ideas. The host company goes to great lengths to provide top-notch infrastructure for its customers. Thus, you can try new ideas and design the architecture of an application without suffering from onsite hardware limitations.
Moreover, cloud computing makes the deployment of services very fast. With only a few clicks, you can improve your system within no time. That not only allows you to get back to your core business but also saves you money.
4. Auto Software Update and Integration
One of the benefits of cloud computing is the ability to test and deploy new software versions. Consequently, you do not need to manually scan your system to know the software types that need updates. A good example is Office 365, which is a cloud-based software service.
If you are a software developer, cloud computing makes it possible to release additional features to end-users periodically. Also, cloud environments integrate basic logging systems and DevOps tools for easy monitoring and detection of issues.
5. Cloud Computing Is Scalable
Based on the size and type of business, companies tend to have various information technology needs. For example, a startup enterprise has minimal requirements than a large company with more than 1,000 employees. One of the advantages of using cloud computing is the ability to scale up or down the business IT department.
If you have fluctuating or growing bandwidth demands, cloud-based business solutions are a must-have. Therefore, you can start small and increase your space on the cloud based on your increasing needs. The good thing is that you do not have to expand your physical infrastructure, giving you a competitive advantage.
Consequently, you will minimize the risks of in-house maintenance and operational issues. The beauty of cloud computing is providing you with high-performance, professional resources with zero up-front costs. That’s why scalability is one of the most significant advantages of cloud storage.
6. Opportunities for Collaboration
Cloud computing makes collaboration among teams much more straightforward. Since they use the same infrastructure, product architects, security, operations, quality assurance, and developers can work together efficiently.
Apart from restricting the role of each individual in the team, cloud-based services provide social spaces for collaboration. Thus, employees across the organization can easily engage with each other without having to meet physically. Besides, cooperation in the cloud is much more transparent, indicating each individual’s contribution to a project.
7. Easing Quality Control
One of the significant benefits of cloud-based solutions is how it tremendously improves the quality control function. Cloud computing makes it possible to store all files and documents in one format and place. Thus, all users within the business can access the same information, helping you:
- maintain data consistency
- avoid human error
- and get records of all updates and revisions
Conversely, storing information in separate devices may mean each employee has different document versions. That not only creates confusion but also dilutes the data quality, compromising your business success.
8. Unlimited Storage Capacity
Cloud-based storage is not only scalable but also provides unlimited storage capacity. It is excellent for both small and large businesses without curtailing their storage needs. Besides, cloud-based storage can carry any data type in different forms of storage based on availability, frequency of access, and performance.
Therefore, an organization demanding more excellent performance, frequency of access, and data availability should be ready to pay more. However, with an optimal could/cost structure, any business can attain its goals at lower storage costs.
9. Easy Backup and Data Restore
Data storage in the cloud makes it easier for you to back it up and restore it whenever needed. Thus, you can store different versions of your data even as you update to the latest versions. Whenever you need to roll back to an older software version, all you have to do is click a button.
Consequently, it is easier to prevent or minimize downtime and keep your organization in business. Furthermore, cloud computing means the prevention of loss of reputation, revenue, and productivity. A power outage doesn’t necessarily mean the loss of everything you stored in the cloud.
10. Faster Recovery after a Disaster
When a disaster happens, it is easier to recover when storing data in the cloud than in onsite servers. That’s because of the ability to keep older software versions and to operate in multiple time zones and regions.
For example, deploying an application on multiple locations enables failing over to the active regions when the others go down. Therefore, end-users won’t experience any interruptions on their operations resulting from a regional downtime.
Also, it is possible to roll back to older software versions if a new one experienced a significant bug attack. As a result, you will be able to get back in business within no time.
11. Greater Mobility
One of the significant cloud computing benefits is how easy it is to access your data on mobile devices. Thus, your staff does not need laptops or desktop computers to work. Besides, staff living far from the office or who have busy schedules can catch up on their smartphones wherever they are.
Therefore, that ability to store, process, retrieve, or recover information with a few clicks makes cloud computing extremely desirable. In short, users can access their work:
- around the clock
- using any device
- from anywhere in the world
The only condition is that you should have a reliable internet connection. And you don’t have to make it to the office to work, which is great for the remote workers.
12. Preventing Data Loss
Do you often worry about losing the data stored in devices like laptops, desktop computers, and servers? With cloud storage, that wouldn’t be one of your worries. That’s because cloud storage makes data always available even when your laptops or PCs get damaged.
Furthermore, cloud-based storage provides quicker data recovery during emergencies like natural disasters and power outages. It also prevents data loss due to viruses, malware, and hardware deterioration of your devices. Thus, you can access your data from any computer in any location with an internet connection.
13. Control over Sensitive Data
Every company needs control over its most sensitive data to prevent key documents from landing in the wrong hands. By providing different security levels for the employees, cloud computing enables you to avert untrained employees from accessing sensitive data.
Thus, it is easier to assign different documents to different cadres of employees, giving you control over your data. Besides, it also makes collaboration more accessible, enabling other people to work on the same document without compromising quality.
14. Gaining a Competitive Edge
Migrating to the cloud provides businesses, big and small, with many advantages that make them more competitive. That’s because of the combination of benefits as we have discussed above.
Cloud-based storage provides access to top-notch enterprise technology, helping them to implement their functions efficiently. Thus, companies that adopt cloud computing early enough are likely to stay ahead of their competitors.
If you want to play a part in protecting the environment, embrace cloud computing. Remember, shared storage reduces the need for every business owner to buy and install servers on their premises. Thus, it reduces the incidence of dumping electronic waste in the environment.
Furthermore, it cuts down on waste paper, improves energy efficiency, and reduces emissions due to commuting by giving employees any location. Over the years, energy consumption by data centers has been dropping drastically, making cloud storage more sustainable.
Benefits of Cloud Computing – The Disadvantages
Like everything else, cloud computing comes with several disadvantages, including the following:
- Technical Issues: Cloud storage may face technical issues like frequent outages, leading to a loss in business. That’s something that can happen to both established and fledgling companies despite the type of maintenance that goes into it.
- Varied Performance: The servers in data centers provide storage services to multiple businesses at the same time. Therefore, any DDOS attacks or greediness from other users can adversely affect performance.
- Downtime: It is possible to experience downtime while using cloud storage. That could be due to scheduled maintenance, unreliable internet connectivity, and power loss.
- Security Threats: Cloud computing might also pose security risks to the company and its business. That’s because you have to share your sensitive information with a third-party data center. If hackers access the data, they will threaten the performance or existence of your business.
- Lower Bandwidth: Most data center owners limit the bandwidth available to their users. When your business surpasses the given bandwidth allowance, it might have to pay for a more expensive package.
- Internet Connectivity: You can’t use cloud storage without good internet connectivity. That’s because an internet connection is necessary for accessing and saving data on the cloud.
- Lack of or Limited Support: Some companies operating data centers may fail to provide proper support to their members. That makes the use of cloud storage rather frustrating for users of data center services.
Benefits of Cloud Computing – The Bottom Line
If you haven’t started using cloud computing in your business, start now. It is cost-effective, secure, fast, and easy to update software. Due to its scalability, cloud computing makes it possible to take higher packages when business needs increase.
Besides, it provides opportunities for collaboration, enables quality control, unlimited storage capacity, and data backup. When a disaster happens, cloud computing makes data recovery extremely easy. One also enjoys more mobility, less data loss, control over sensitive data, and gains a competitive edge. Finally, cloud storage is more sustainable than onsite data storage.