Cloud Computing 101: How the Cloud Can Benefit Your Business

2018/10/17 08:00

cloud computing guide

Everything you need to know about cloud computing and how to use it in your business.

IT functions are a key component of every business and whether or not this function should be kept in-house or contracted out has been an ongoing debate amongst business owners.

Cloud computing is one of the latest tools for businesses looking for an affordable, flexible and effective IT solution.  

How Cloud Computing Works

Basically, cloud computing is when computing services are delivered on demand over the internet.

Instead of a business having to own a data center or their own computing infrastructure, they can rent access to these types of services on a month-to-month basis.

The cloud offers an array of services that don’t require you to be in close proximity to your computer hardware. This includes everything from storage and networking through to artificial intelligence.

A good example of a brand that relies on cloud computing to operate is Netflix. It has also become the go-to option for the large majority of apps and businesses that work on a subscription model. Gmail and Google Drive are other prime examples of products that are available in the cloud.

Key Benefits of Cloud Computing for Businesses

There are several main reasons why businesses have embraced the cloud, including:

  • Affordability. Being able to store files in the cloud instead of paying for on-site facilities is saving businesses a lot of money.
  • Flexibility. Business owners have the freedom to pick and choose services as their companies grow and change.
  • Simplicity. Using cloud-based services is very simple and any time a business process can be simplified, it’s a win.
  • Automation. When you are running your own IT systems, updating and maintaining the technology is something that you would need to take care of in-house but this is not the case when a business is using cloud-based services.

Unfortunately, cloud computing also has its own downsides, with data security being one of them. By choosing a reputable cloud services providers though, these types of risks can be reduced. Overall, the benefits far outweigh any cons for business owners.

How Businesses Can Use the Cloud

Here are just a few of the ways that business owners can use the cloud in their own companies.

  • Create a Mobile Office

Businesses that are looking to create a fully-functional mobile office can use cloud computing to achieve this. The cloud allows employees to access and sync data from anywhere in the world, which means that staff can work from anywhere and businesses have the option of working with global freelancers and contractors.

  • Easily Backup Company Data

Every business owner knows how important it is to backups of company data in the case of a system failure or a disaster. Cloud computing really simplifies this basic but crucial process so that businesses always have an off-site copy of their data, which can be restored in the event of theft, malfunction or disaster.

  • Access Additional File Storage

If your business uses videos and images for marketing materials and activities, you will know how much space these files can take up. Cloud services give businesses access to additional file storage that they can use to free up space on their own hard drives. This additional in-house storage can now be used to store files that are accessed on a daily basis instead.

  • Effortlessly Share Data

Regardless of where your team is located, cloud computing makes it easy to share data. Where emailing large files was once the only way to share data and documents, cloud computing only requires users to share a link.

  • Plan for Business Growth

The flexible and scalable nature of cloud-based services means growth planning is possible without the need for a large, up-front investment. Businesses only need to pay for the services they need at that time but further functionality and services are available should they be required at a later date. Another benefit is that businesses will never need to hire additional IT staff should their requirements change at a later stage as the cloud is managed by the app service providers.  

Any businesses that want to compete and grow in their chosen sector without having to significantly increase their budgets will benefit from cloud computing. If you are unsure which services will work for your business, you have the option to start small and adjust your services based on the growing needs of your business.