Not sure what “cloud computing” or “in the cloud” or “the cloud” means? Well, to keep it simple, cloud computing is internet-based computing. With the increased speeds and bandwidth now available, you no longer need to have expensive hardware and infrastructure in your own building.
Cloud computing enables users to access the same kinds of applications and programs through the internet. Within the SMB market (small to medium-sized businesses), this flexible and cost effective trend is definitely on the rise.
Curious as to why so many businesses are moving to the cloud? Well, for starters, cloud computing increases efficiency, helps improve cash flow, and offers a host of other benefits.
- Eliminate the need for extensive purchases, configuration and integration. If it is bandwidth, hardware resources or even a complete server environment, you can make changes in some cases within minutes. This level of agility is a major determining factor for todays rapidly evolving move to cloud services.
- An industry standard cloud based solution provides immediate compliance for backup, recovery and geographical diversity to your place of business. This single step can provide peace of mind for those responsible for complex disaster recovery planning.
Automatic software updates
- One study showed that companies spend 18 working days per month managing on-site security alone. But cloud computing suppliers do the server maintenance – including security updates –themselves, freeing up their customers’ time and resources for other tasks.
Predictable Budget and low capital expenditure
- Cloud computing services almost eliminate the annual capital expenditure that comes with the traditional IT model. With the technological flexibility of cloud computing you are faster to deploy, and have predictable ongoing operating expenses.
- Cloud computing increases collaboration by allowing all employees to sync up and work on documents and shared apps simultaneously, no matter where they are, as well as follow colleagues and receive critical updates in real time. Companies that invest in collaboration typically receive a huge return on their investment.
Work from anywhere
- With access to the internet, employees can work from anywhere at any time, positively affecting the work-life balance and productivity of your employees. One study found that 42% of working adults would give up some of their salary if they could telecommute. On average they would take a 6% pay cut for the ability to regularly do at least some work from home.
- If your company is sharing files through email, you could benefit from cloud storage which will allow several users to work on the files at the same time. This eliminates document revision confusion and makes file editing among a team more fluid. With cloud computing, all the files are kept in one central location, with everyone working off one centrally located copy. Employees are able to chat with each other while making changes together. This process makes collaboration stronger, increasing efficiency, thereby improving a company’s bottom line.
- Approximately 800,000 laptops are lost each year in airports alone. Obviously, this can have some serious adverse effects on a company’s bottom line. When everything is stored in the cloud, data can be accessed and secured no matter what happens to a physical machine.
- When you switch to the cloud, your business only uses the server space it needs, decreasing your company’s carbon footprint. Also, the cloud consumes about 30% less energy when compared to using on-site servers.