Everyone keeps talking about the ‘cloud’. The word cloud and cloud computing used interchangeably in computer world. What is the cloud and where is it? It’s likely that you already have a good idea what the cloud is, but not quite sure if it’s right for you. Today, the cloud is virtually everywhere you look. Sometimes the Cloud refers as Cloud Computing.
Cloud computing is an innovative way to manage data. In other words, it’s not about your local hard drive. If you run programs or store data on your hard drive, then you’re still using local storage, or local computing. For that particular computer, or others that you access on the local network, everything is physically nearby and not stored in the ‘cloud’.
To put it simply, cloud computing is Internet-based computing. In the past, people were only able to run programs or applications from software that was downloaded from a server or physical computer. But, cloud computing technology today enables people full access to the exact same types of useful applications, only online.
For example, every time you update your status on Facebook, you’re literally using a cloud. Are you using your smartphone to check how much money is in your checking account? If so, you’re using the cloud. In fact, chances are, you’re probably using cloud computing more than you realize. No matter if you’re using the latest apps to better manage your daily workload or sending an email from your tablet, you’re relying on cloud computing.
Simply put, using the cloud is now the new normal. What is the advantage of cloud computing? Besides improving cash flow and increasing general efficiency, it offers a number of other benefits as well. Here are some of the main reasons why businesses and entrepreneurs “in the know” are switching to the cloud.
1. Enhanced Collaboration
If your colleagues have the ability to access, share, and edit important business documents from anywhere or anytime, you can work more efficiently and therefore get more done. Cloud-enhanced file sharing apps and workflow capabilities provide real-time updates, while offering 100% visibility on any team collaboration.
2. Cost-Free Capital Expenditures
Cloud computing essentially eliminates hardware costs. Free-up your cash flow by simply paying as you go by using a subscription-based cloud service instead. When you also consider how simple it is to setup and manage your data, suddenly you’re not so worried about handling you’re next big IT project. Adopting a cloud-based data management system couldn’t be easier.
3. Better Flexibility
Using the cloud is perfect for virtually any business with altering and/or growing demands in terms of bandwidth. For instance, if the needs of your business increase, simply boost your cloud capabilities by drawing more power from the remote servers. On the other hand, if you need less capacity, just scale down. Flexibility has never been easier or more manageable for any business. Therefore, it’s no surprise that IT managers and CEOs alike are adopting the ‘cloud approach’ to doing business.
4. Work Anytime, Anywhere
If you can access the Internet, then you can work from the cloud. Taking it a step further, most professional cloud-based services now provide cutting-edge mobile apps. As a result, you’re no longer limited to using just one device in order to access the cloud. Companies can offer their employees more perks and flexibility in order to enjoy a more accommodating work-life balance without sacrificing productivity.
5. Peace-of-Mind Disaster Recovery
For many smaller businesses that often lack the skills and necessary cash resources, disaster recovery is usually just a dream rather than an actual reality. Today, however, the cloud can help more businesses make their dreams of IT disaster recovery a reality. In fact, smaller companies are more likely to integrate a cloud-based recovery and backup solution in order to save time and to prevent any significant up-front capital investments as well.
6. Eco-Friendly and Resourceful
While there are many practical reasons to switch to the cloud, one of the most important reasons is the fact that you only have to use the amount of energy you require – no more and no less. In other words, no more worries about leaving harmful carbon footprints behind that may negatively impact the environment.
7. Automatic Security and Software Updating
Another great feature about using the cloud is that all the servers are off-site, which means you are free to concentrate solely on running your business since you no longer have to worry about updating your software or security features. Focus on growing your business, rather than fussing over the logistics behind it.
8. Get More Competitive
Want to be more competitive with bigger, more powerful companies? By taking a cloud-based approach to business, you’ll level the playing field and have more access to enterprise-level technology. The cloud enables small-sized businesses to act quicker than large, more established companies. Between cloud-based business applications and ‘pay as you go’ capabilities, means that smaller businesses can now compete with bigger ‘fish’ in a bigger ‘pond’, while staying lean and agile.
9. Increased Security
For many entrepreneurs, losing their laptop means losing their business. But, not for those who work and manage their business from the cloud. Wouldn’t you feel better if all your sensitive business data was stored safely in the cloud? In fact, you can even wipe all your data remotely if you should ever lose or accidentally misplace your laptop.
10. Easier Document Management and Organization
The greater the number of employees working on a project, the more need for secure document control and organization. Prior to the cloud, employees had to send email files back and forth as attachments in order for each worker to access and work on them one at a time. In the end, this would usually result in a big mess of inconsistent files, titles, and formats.
Also, even as the smallest enterprises are extending their businesses worldwide, the possibility for complications tends to increase as well. Research reveals that nearly 75% of all information workers have to collaborate with other individuals who live in different regions and time zones at least once a month.
This isn’t a problem if you’re working from the cloud since every file is stored in a central location and everyone who’s working on the project can see the exact same data and files that everyone else sees. Better visibility means enhanced collaboration that ultimately leads to an increased bottom line in general.
If your company is still doing the business by relying on hard copies and local computing, you’re missing out on the latest technology in terms of creating a better work environment as well. Streamlining your data to the cloud is a much more efficient and quicker way to do business today no matter what the size of your company.
Overall, there’s more to using a cloud platform and computing than just technology alone. Your business can move to the next level in terms of technology by simply incorporating cloud-friendly services. Today, many businesses embrace cloud computing and thus soon discover that their overall efficiency as well as their bottom line is better off because of it.