Many companies have chosen to embrace cloud computing (opens in new tab) solutions for day-to-day operations, so you may be wondering if it’s the right move for your own business.
Cloud computing, cloud backup and recovery solutions, and cloud collaboration tools are among the best productivity apps (opens in new tab) available today. Companies that specialize in a given cloud service can provide infrastructure and expertise to businesses at a fraction of the cost of developing and maintaining them on-site.
Here are 10 ways that cloud services can help your business.
1. Less costly
It may seem counterintuitive, but it’s often cheaper to pay a third party to manage a large part of your IT infrastructure (opens in new tab). Buying and maintaining hard drives, workstations (opens in new tab), mobile devices, and software is extremely costly.
It’s also expensive to obtain the level of infrastructure and expertise necessary to match providers of cloud computing or cloud storage (opens in new tab), for example. Providers are willing to do this because they can sell their products to thousands of businesses. In turn, companies benefit from a highly specialized service at a fraction of the cost of developing and maintaining it on-site.
2. Better quality
Because cloud providers tend to be highly specialized, they can heavily invest in doing one thing well and with high-quality materials.
You may balk at the cost of outfitting your workstations with high-performance GPUs or providing data storage for thousands of records, but cloud providers have a large budget for such expenses and are motivated to provide a high-quality product.
When you switch to cloud computing or cloud storage, for example, you can leverage materials and products that would otherwise normally be outside your price range.
3. Greater scalability
Cloud solutions enable you to scale up or down your use of materials and products as needed. Desktop as a Service (DaaS) providers are great examples of this. Many offer a wide variety of virtual machines (opens in new tab), from single-CPU lightweights to 16-core, top-of-the-line GPU monster machines that make light work of your most demanding tasks.
But you don’t want to pay for such power all the time. DaaS providers like Windows Virtual Desktop and Amazon WorkSpaces allow customers to pay for services on a weekly or even hourly basis, giving you greater flexibility in day-to-day operations.
4. Tighter security
Cloud providers know that security is the number-one priority when it comes to attracting and maintaining customers. After all, businesses are entrusting them with their most valuable asset: data. As a result, providers invest heavily in tight security, with entire teams dedicated to foreseeing, repelling, and mitigating the effects of cyberattacks.
By sheer availability of resources, specialized cloud providers can afford the tightest cybersecurity (opens in new tab) around their services, beating out anything that most businesses could manage on their own, and they have the IT expertise and human resources (opens in new tab) to make everything work.
5. Safer Data
Not only is your data more secure on the cloud, but it’s also safer from corruption or destruction. Major cloud storage providers, for example, have thousands of hard drives, enabling them to safely back up data (opens in new tab) with multiple layers of redundancy.
The best ones even store multiple versions in physically distinct centers, which is something most businesses can’t manage. This way, if one center is compromised or damaged by flooding or an earthquake, your data isn’t lost, saving you hundreds of thousands of dollars.
6. Freeing up your staff
By moving your business to the cloud, you can free up your own staff to focus on the projects and products that really matter. For example, your IT management (opens in new tab) team will have more time to improve services and help employees.
Cloud environments also tend to boost productivity: they are pared-back services that allow users to focus on tasks at hand, without having to worry about mixing and matching different software bundles to get things done.
7. Smoother collaboration
First and foremost, cloud services are built for collaboration (opens in new tab). Because every member of a team can access the materials and resources that they’ve been assigned from anywhere and at any time, it’s easier to share and co-author documents and files. Microsoft 365 and many Microsoft office alternatives come with built-in cloud features to make collaboration easier.
Having all your files in the cloud facilitates collaboration. Cloud environments also help streamline workflows by ensuring a similar experience across devices and between employees. When everybody is using the same version of the same productivity software, things go more smoothly.
8. Greater workforce flexibility
Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and remote working have exploded in recent years, especially following the COVID-19 pandemic.
Employees expect flexible work environments and customers expect flexible and timely service. Interoperability and support for multiple kinds of devices are built into cloud architecture.
Many Software as a Service (SaaS) (opens in new tab), cloud storage, and DaaS providers support Windows, Linux, macOS, Chrome OS, Android, and iOS/iPadOS devices.
9. Regulatory peace of mind
There are countless regulatory bodies and an intimidating body of legislation that determine what you can and cannot do with your employees’ and customers’ data and personal information. How it’s stored, how it’s transmitted, who can see it, how long it can be kept—these are all tightly regulated, and slip-ups are frowned upon by government agencies and the public.
Cloud providers can help you easily meet these regulations by providing turn-key solutions adapted to your sector and region, guaranteed to stay compliant through changing legislation.
10. Freedom of choice
The cloud model has proven itself effective. Today, there is no shortage of cloud providers for every possible need: data storage, collaborative software, virtual desktop (opens in new tab) environments, web hosting (opens in new tab), and more. You’re sure to find a company with products, expertise, and pricing structures that match your business’s needs.
While it may seem like a big change and does require careful planning, moving to the cloud will ultimately free up time, money, and resources, which can then be reinvested into your company.
There are many free and paid cloud providers for every service imaginable. With research, you’ll find one or more cloud solutions to streamline your workflow, improve productivity, and reduce costs.
- Using multiple clouds? We feature the best cloud orchestration software.