Cloud computing has been growing by leaps and bounds over the last couple of years. It will interest you to know that the global public cloud market is growing at a 22% rate and will get to $146 billion in 2017, up from $87 billion in 2015.
It is no longer news that Amazon, Google, Microsoft, and Apple are competing to be the top cloud provider for consumers.
Big and Small businesses are now adopting cloud computing. According to Forbes, 60-70% of all software, services and technology spending will be cloud-based by 2020.
Also, according to a recent IDG Enterprise survey of 925 IT decision makers, 70% of organizations have at least one applications in the cloud and 16% have plans to do so within 12 months.
If you are not yet using the cloud technology for your business, now is the time to start.
One of the most popular benefits of cloud computing is that it increases efficiency and it is easy to implement. You can quickly set it up in a matter of minutes compared to the traditional servers/hardware that can take weeks or months to set up.
Apart from these benefits, there are lists of lesser advertised benefits of cloud computing such as:
- Less operational issues
Cloud computing makes it easy to use standardized services. This helps to minimize time spent on solving operational issues, thus promoting business continuity. When you have less operational issues to tackle in your business, it allows you and your staff to spend more time on productive activities that provide value to your business
One major business operational issue is network upgrade. You may need to update your network in the office when it becomes outdated. This is a very expensive task. Apart from the cost, your employees will also need to get used to the new technology. But with cloud computing, you don’t need to do any update because all your data is hosted in the cloud.
It is the duty of your cloud hosting provider to update their network services at the backend infrastructure. This will enable you to always use the latest infrastructures at the front end. Thus, removing the operational issues where you have to continually update your network as it gets old.
Secondly, managing information in one location can lead to saving different versions of the same data. This can lead to operational issues or error. Cloud computing on the hand, makes it easy for employees to access the same information or data, updated and revised in real time. This is devoid of human error or operational issues. This makes it easy for employees to collaborate, share and access work wherever they are. At least, 58% of businesses collaborate across the organization and ecosystem through the cloud.
- Easy for mergers and acquisitions
Merging with or absorbing another business can be a complex process. However, with cloud computing, it is easier to merge two or more companies together and also purchase businesses.
Cloud computing makes it easy for merging companies to integrate together and quickly too. They can easily integrate their email domains, address lists, calendar sharing, directory services, etc.
Cloud computing makes it easy for merging companies to integrate together and quickly too. They can easily integrate their email domains, address lists, calendar sharing, directory services, etc. This helps to unify communication processes which make it easy to integrate different devices, media, applications, systems etc. The integration process determines how efficient the business will run after the merger or acquisition.
Cloud computing makes it easy for information and news to be shared easily with users and in real time too. This implies that stakeholder and staff that are associated with the business will be able to access data or information in real time.
Companies merging or acquiring shows signs of growth. This may make it necessary to upgrade business software. For instance, a company that has about 200 workers may increase even more in size. Upgrading business software will enable the organization to run efficiently. Using cloud computing makes it easy for merging or company that is acquiring to upgrade their subscription to match their current number of employees, making it easy for employees and stakeholders to collaborate together easily.
Traditionally, when companies are merging or buying another company, there is need to consider the hardware and the apps being used. For instance, if you are going to increase the capacity of your company through the acquisition, you may have to worry about the capacity of your server. With cloud technology, this is not required. You can extend the applications in the cloud by creating a plan to complete the integration.
Cloud services make it easy for mergers and acquisitions to quickly deploy their services, software and empower their employees with the right tools for the business. This will help to keep the company running while in the deployment phase. Thus, cloud computing is of utmost importance to a globally distributed merger team from different companies and IT landscapes.
- It fosters tech-savvy Business Executives
In this modern age, you need to leverage the latest technology resources to compete favourably in the marketplace. Cloud computing makes it easy for business executives, marketers, CEOs and IT managers to develop their own in-house cloud applications. This is cost saving. Instead of you hiring external professionals, you can easily develop cloud applications that will boost your business growth.
The most encouraging thing is, you don’t need to know how to code or have previous experience in the IT world. You can simply learn it online. There are several courses you can take to know more about the cloud computing and also learn to develop cloud applications such as the AWS Certification & Training.
The course will enable you to use cloud computing to take your business to another level. When you learn how to develop cloud applications for your business, it will save you a lot of costs and free up your time to focus on more important aspects of your business.
You can also use the knowledge you acquired from the course to help other organization to develop their cloud application too.
- Cost efficiency
A lot of business owners have not adopted cloud computing because of its cost. In fact, a report said that 20 percent of organizations are concerned about the initial cost of implementing a cloud-based server.
The truth is that traditional desktop software products are expensive, especially if you want access to multiple users. However, if you use cloud computing, it is much cheaper. It is cost efficient to use, maintain and upgrade. With traditional computing, you need to pay for server maintenance, upgrades, power and cooling costs, etc. Cloud-based computing saves you those costs. According to Microsoft survey, 49 percent of SMBs use cloud computing to lower costs.
Instead of spending your money on maintaining hardware you may not use, subscribing to software and services for a low cost can help your business to stretch its budgets further. With cloud computing, you can even decide to upgrade to meet your business needs or downgrade during the slow seasons, helping you to further save money.
Also, you don’t have to pay for features you will not use. Some cloud services provide pay as you go services. This means you only have to pay for what the cloud service offers. This includes the data storage space. You don’t have to pay for too much space you will not use. Bitglass surveyed CIOs and its leaders on the cost saving of using cloud services. Half of all the CTOs and its leaders said that they saved cost in 2015 as a result of using cloud-based applications.
Also, a cloud survey report carried out by KPMG revealed that one of the top ways businesses are using the cloud is to drive cost efficiencies.
If you are a small business owner who has to pay for IT software and manpower, cloud services save you the cost of hiring professionals and managing your hardware.
- Easy to access information
Cloud computing gives you access to your files anywhere on the globe as long as there is an internet access. You can access information on your smartphones, tablets, and laptops. According to Newzoo, there are about 2.6 billion smartphones in use globally.
This makes it super easy to use smartphones to access files and collaborate in the field, while travelling, in restaurants etc.
This implies that your employees can access their files and work while commuting, at home and on business trips. As they work, it allows them to collaborate with team members. Employees can edit files, makes revisions using the Microsoft office at the same time with other users. This improves flexibility and productivity, especially when workers are not able to make it to the office, they can easily work from any location other than their offices.
The ability to access information anywhere at any time makes it easy for small businesses to hire remote workers without the need to open up branches at new business locations. Remote teams can easily share, collaborate on files, see updates in real time and use web conference to meet up.
- Unlimited storage
In the early days of computing, the floppy disk was used to save and access information. Thereafter, the compact disk was introduced (CD), followed by DVD. Then USB flash drive was made. The problem with these physical devices is limited storage space.
The truth is, companies generate enormous electronic information in form of documents, images, emails, videos, charts, etc. Storing your data in physical devices can be limiting. The physical storage spaces have limited spaces, making it easy to run out of space. With cloud computing, you can save unlimited data and access it in remote databases. Cloud computing provides unlimited storage space.
Cloud services can store large amounts of data. When you need more space, you can easily upgrade to bigger spaces in the cloud or even opt for unlimited space. The good thing here is that you don’t have to buy spaces you will not need. You can buy the appropriate amount of storage for your company’s current and future needs. According to IDC study, most companies experience between 40 to 60 percent growth in data volume every year. This will help you to keep your information in one place and not on several USB, SD cards or servers.
With cloud computing, you can have up to 200 storage accounts with about 500 TB data for each one.
According to a survey carried out by searchstorage on the amount of data businesses are storing in the cloud, 31% of the group surveyed revealed that they had more than 25TB in the cloud, with 8% saying they have more than 100 TB in the cloud storage.
With cloud storage, you can also move files from your local storage to your cloud storage. Instead of emailing files to customers or clients, you can send a web link through your email.
- Easy to set up backup and recovery
Businesses do encounter loss of data at one point or the other. This can be as a result of fire disaster, a bug in the code, downtime, power outages etc. All these things can affect service delivery to your customers and this can impede your business growth.
Do you know that 93% of businesses that experience a data loss or disaster without a data recovery plan are out of business within one year?
And 43% of the businesses that experience a disaster never reopen?
With cloud computing, you can easily avoid data loss and disaster by using the backup and recovery features of cloud computing for your business data. Cloud computing provides a way to quickly recover your data in different emergency circumstances. According to a survey report, while 20 percent of cloud users claim disaster recovery in four hours or less, only 9% of non-cloud users could claim the same
This is why 43 percent of IT executives said they plan to invest in or improve cloud-based disaster recovery solutions.
Using cloud computing is cheaper and it saves time. Traditionally, to backup your data, you will need data centre facility, staff, services, etc. These things cost money. However, with cloud computing, your provider will only charge you when you use the services. You will only pay when backing up your applications in the cloud. If you need to recover it when the need arises, you will not pay additional fees.
Setting up backup and recovery is easy with cloud computing. You don’t need to set up your own duplicate data centre or use server, drives, disks, etc. You can easily set it up in the cloud by using solutions such as Amazon S3 to backup your data. This makes it very easy for you to restore your data if anything goes wrong.
With the increase in data generation comes the need for more space, you can easily scale up your demand as needed for cloud backup and recovery. Scaling is much more simple, quick and cheap too. This will enable your customer to have a great user experience even during downtime. Unlike the traditional storage and backup that would be slow as usage increases.
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The above list of lesser advertised benefits of cloud computing shows that the technology has come to stay. It is not going to disappear anytime soon. This is why 41% of businesses are planning to increase their investment in Cloud technologies, with 51% of big and midsize companies planning to increase spend compared to only 35% of smaller firms.