Businesses are handling more data than ever before and traditional IT infrastructure has struggled to keep up with the resulting demands. It’s not that companies aren’t investing in the latest servers, security measures and IT professionals, it’s just that it’s increasingly expensive to do so.
As the world of commerce becomes ever more digital, the pressure is mounting to find solutions that work across the board. While internal functions like HR databases, payroll, and so on are contributing to the issue, more recent developments like content marketing and its related trends (e.g. personalization) mean that even small businesses have to store, analyze and utilize audience and customer data on a regular basis.
How can businesses meet the ever-increasing demands of the digital age? In this article, we’ll take a look at why cloud computing just might be the ‘solve’ many companies need.
What is cloud computing?
The term ‘cloud computing’ describes the delivery of computing services via a non-local network such as the internet. Essentially, it results in the centralization of traditional IT hardware resources like servers. Rather than each company maintaining its own infrastructure, businesses and public institutions manage their own and sell to or share resources with others as part of a service.
There are both public and private clouds. For example, many universities use public clouds to run the data-munching software required for research. Whereas XOverture provides specialist cloud computing services to businesses who want to move away from the traditional IT model.
Private clouds like XOverture’s provide businesses with services like data storage and management, and sometimes add-ons like data analytics.
6 key benefits of cloud computing
There are many benefits of moving from a traditional to cloud-based IT model. Let’s take a look at six of the biggies.
Data security is outsourced
There are both risks and benefits to cloud computing, but one major risk that won’t be playing on your mind after you migrate is data security. When managing in-house IT operations, securing your systems against malicious attacks, viruses and other nasties is just part and parcel of business.
But, many businesses struggle with the cost of keeping their systems safe. For cloud computing providers, security is a major feature of their business model, so our systems are the best in the market. For example, XOverture’s managed cloud services include full backup and disaster recovery.
By migrating to cloud computing, you’ll give yourself peace of mind that your business’s and customer’s data is safe. You won’t have to worry about data breaches disrupting revenue or damaging your business’s reputation.
It can be accessed anywhere
Flexibility and accessibility are two of the key strategic benefits of cloud computing. Resources in the cloud can be easily stored, processed, retrieved, and recovered at the click of a button. Anyone with the authorization to do so, can get the information they need, or assign or send it to someone else, regardless of where they are.
If your staff are often away from the office on meetings, site visits or otherwise in the field, or you’re one of the growing number of businesses worldwide with remote workers on their books, an intranet-based system just isn’t going to cut it anymore.
Cloud computing allows for much greater flexibility in the way your company does business. You can keep up with emerging employment trends and maximize your staff’s productivity while they are in the field.
No one needs to be left out of the loop again.
It’s more efficient
We’re talking time- and money-wise.
I mean, think about it… you’re saving on energy costs, specialist staff and constant software and hardware upgrades and updates. Plus you can reduce or completely eliminate the time your business would usually spend on training to maintain compliance with data-handling regulations and staff competence to use and manage systems. You don’t even have to worry about quality control.
And, you don’t need to spend any more time trying to maximize uptime with frankly sub-par technology. Economies of scale mean that even small businesses can afford the latest IT technology when they use cloud computing. Meaning you can guarantee high-speed bandwidth, a faster response time, and real-time system updates.
With all these time savings and efficiencies, it’s no wonder switching to the cloud lays the foundations for a better ROI over the long-term.
On that note…
It increases revenue
Most businesses are worried about the initial cost of moving to a cloud-based IT system. But, while there can be some initial disruption, there’s no upfront cost. Even better, multiple reports indicate that companies who make the move enjoy up to 54% faster revenue growth than their traditionalist counterparts.
With all the efficiency savings cloud computing offers (see above), firms can channel their energy towards actions that will make them more money, like product innovation, winning new clients and investing in other infrastructure.
You only pay for what you need
The payment model used by most cloud computing service providers also contributes to an increase in revenue for canny businesses. Unlike the traditional model, a business will only pay for what they need. No investing in expensive hardware in preparation for a project launch, only to find it’s redundant if the contract falls through or you go in a different direction.
The service fees for cloud computing are entirely predictable and can be increased and decreased in line with need, which brings me to…
It’s readily scalable
When your IT infrastructure is hosted on local servers, you need to plan ahead and invest in improvements before you can scale up your operations and that can get costly. But, with cloud computing, you pay as you go, meaning you won’t need to start planning months before and you can be more flexible in the decisions you make about your business.
If you need extra bandwidth because of a sudden demand on your resources, or unexpected viral popularity (we can all dream), you’ve got it on tap. You won’t have to worry about experiencing unexpected site downtime because your servers are overloaded.
And the benefits of this system are backed by research. A survey by InformationWeek suggests that being able to meet changing business demands quickly is one of the main reasons businesses who have already made the switch are sticking with cloud computing.
Let’s sum things up
Cloud computing has many benefits for small, medium and large businesses. XOverture’s managed cloud computing service offers a scalable, secure and ROI-positive solution to address modern business data requirements. It allows businesses to better serve their customers, run more efficient organizations, free their business from endless upgrade cycles, keep their data safe and increase their profit margins.