There are still a few businesses that have ruled out any inkling of moving to the cloud. Joke’s on them, as there’s a considerable probability that some of their operations are already happening online. Emails, editing online documents, or even managing their bank balance are all things we already do on the cloud—with plenty more to come. Cloud computing is still a new term, and even if some of us have adopted it, there is a persistent aura of mystery around it for some old-school businesses. Therefore, traditional business models struggle to understand the actual benefits of moving to the big cloud. But let’s start from the beginning: keep reading and learn all the basics about cloud computing and why it’s essential for your business.
What is cloud computing?
In a nutshell, cloud computing delivers on-demand computing resources over the internet on a pay-as-you-go model. The word cloud is just a metaphor for the internet, that virtual space where everything is happening. You’ll find anything you can need in the cloud: servers, storage, networking, databases, software, analytics, and more. What makes cloud computing so convenient is the flexibility and the possibility of scaling it to your needs.
To better understand, let’s go back to the past.
A few years ago, every business needed to dedicate resources to on-site IT solutions. The investment to make before running the business was huge. Business owners had to buy servers, computers, software, and physical space (it could be just a room or a whole building) and invest in both power and cooling. After configuring everything, they’d need a team to manage everything on a daily basis.
Suppose you needed to re-scale the business. In that case, traditionally, you’ll have to invest time and resources, such as in a feasibility study, to acquire more equipment and increase the workforce in tandem.
Sometimes it was just the opposite: for whatever reason, you needed to downscale only to find yourself stuck with a bunch of equipment underutilized or gathering dust in the corner of your office.
After a while, you’d end up needing to upgrade hardware and/or software: this meant buying more assets and even temporarily shutting down the entire pipeline to install new software. This was (and still is!) expensive, slow, and inefficient.
Cloud computing came to revolutionize everything.
So, forget about buying expensive servers, having an army of IT employees, or wasting money every time you need an update. Everything your business needs is in the cloud and the only thing needed to access is a device connected to the web. No more installations, overspending, updating hardware, and more. Cloud computing is flexible, reliable, safe, and efficient.
Your business needs cloud computing
Cloud computing is essential for every modern business. That’s why getting advice from your IT crew is crucial when adopting this technology. Aided by the IT team, you’ll better prepare and plan how your business will make the transition. You’ll also need to decide on the services that will be managed from the cloud and what will stay on-site.
One of the wonders of cloud computing is that you can mix and match services from different providers to create a custom solution for your business.
While cloud computing and pay-as-you models will save you money down the road, it’s essential to keep in mind that there is an initial investment, including training your IT team. After these precautions to make a smooth transition, you’ll be able to enjoy some of the advantages:
Cloud computing lets you get rid of hardware, software, and the infrastructure of on-site data centers. Therefore, with it, you can work on new projects and test new concepts without massive upfront payments or extensive procurement. So, save that money for your business development!
Scale as you need
Deliver what you need exactly where it is needed. Use and pay for the right amount of resources. Is the business growing? Contracting? You can always scale up or down with the click of a button. This makes your business flexible because it’s easier and less pricey to scale anything fast.
The most important cloud computing services run in a network of data centers that are kept upgraded to the latest generation of hardware. Anyone who pays for those resources can take advantage of last-generation equipment which results in multiple benefits, including less latency, better speed, and security for your business.
One of the biggest worries of old-school businesses is related to data security, especially given the increase in security breaches all across the board. Most cloud services are safer than most on-site solutions. There is a broad array of security measures put into place:
- Teams of security experts
- Data protection and encryption
- State-of-the-art security solutions
- Data backups
- Management tools to identify the fraudulent use of data and unauthorized access.
- AI-assisted tools to detect malware are harmful code in real-time
Fast and reliable
Data backup and/or recovery after a disaster can become a true challenge. Still, when your business is cloud-based, backing up your information gets easiest, as all your data can be safely mirrored with daily backups. Recovering your data and infrastructure is faster and safer, too.
Home office and CC: a match made in heaven
Home office saved many businesses from bankruptcy and gave owners a new perspective on productivity, schedules, and mandatory in-site work. After the pandemic, the home office became a valid alternative for a lot of workers.
However, some people had to return to the office, even during the worst of the pandemic, because they didn’t have the resources at home for remote work.
Cloud computing eliminates the limitations stemming from work placement and hardware or software. Working in the cloud allows employees to easily access data and use solutions right from an internet browser. This slight change in accessing data can increase your employee’s productivity tenfold.
Cloud computing is the biggest ally for a budding startup that doesn’t have a big budget to invest in specialized IT equipment. It’s the perfect low-risk solution for entrepreneurs looking for a path to turn their dreams into reality.