Benefits of Cloud Computing for Businesses in 2021
The term “Cloud Computing” has been around since 2006 when Google CEO Eric Schmidt introduced the term to an industry conference. Since then, cloud computing has increased in adoption as more and more companies move their IT infrastructure into the cloud for better security, flexibility and collaboration between offices, vendors and customers.
Fast forward to 2020, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on 30 January 2020, and a pandemic on 11 March 2020. The Covid-19 pandemic was born. What followed since has been an ongoing string of new rules, regulations and lock downs in order to contain the virus.
Businesses around the world had to adapt to survive. One of the greatest tools available which rapidly became the social norm was the adoption of working remotely using online collaborative tools and technologies. Terms such as Zoom meeting, SaaS solution, remote file sharing, Voip, IoT, virtual desktop and off premises IT, are some of the terms used to describe the utility and power of “Cloud Computing”.
Here are 5 ways in which Cloud Computing has been used to save companies during the Covid-19 pandemic and how they can serve your company in 2021.
Scalability and Flexibility
The Cloud offers businesses more flexibility overall versus hosting on a local IT infrastructure (locally hosted server, software, desktop).
Your business can scale up or scale down, computing capacity and storage needs quickly to suit your situation, allowing flexibility as your needs change (due to sudden market demand, customer growth or seasonal fluctuations). Rather than purchasing and installing expensive IT upgrades yourself, your Cloud Computing service provider can handle this for you. Using the Cloud frees up your time and resources, so you can focus on growing and operating your business. By relying on a trusted cloud partner to take care of all IT infrastructure, you’ll have more time to devote toward the aspects of your business that directly affect your bottom line.
The level of flexibility provided by Cloud based solutions can give your business a competitive advantage, so it comes as no surprise to see IT directors and CIOs ranking ‘operational agility’ as a top driver for Cloud adoption, according to a Gartner study.
This improved scalability, flexibility and freedom can make a significant difference to the overall efficiency and productivity of your organization. A 65% majority of respondents to an InformationWeek survey said “the ability to quickly meet business demands” was one of the most important reasons a business should move to a cloud environment.
Information accessibility and mobility
Cloud architecture opens more avenues for staff to access data and digital tools. Cloud-based software is accessible through most mobile devices and browsers, in a robust and highly secure environment. The cloud makes information available immediately to company resources such as sales who travel, temporary employees, contract workers and remote employees, establishing a better work-life balance.
Therefore, it’s not surprising to see that organizations with employee satisfaction listed as a priority, are up to 24% more likely to expand cloud usage.
Better Disaster Recovery and Business Continuity
For businesses of all sizes, it’s obvious that a robust and comprehensive disaster recovery program is a necessity. Yet, for many small businesses and start-ups, that lack initial capital funding and expertise, investing in a recovery system is more of a dream than an actuality. Thankfully, cloud architecture is helping these smaller organizations disrupt that trend.
Protecting your company’s data and equipment is an important part of business continuity planning. Whether you guard against physical theft, fire, floor, power failure, cyber-attack or natural disasters, having your data stored in the cloud ensures it is backed up and protected in a secure and safe environment. Being able to access your data and business applications again quickly, allows you to conduct business as usual, minimizing any downtime and loss of productivity.
Cloud-architecture also eliminates the risk of data loss due to aging servers and workstation. With the data being stored in the Cloud instead of on-premises hardware, you’ll have access to your company data anywhere, any time and on most any device.
A report by Aberdeen Group shows that small businesses are twice as likely to implement a cloud-based backup and disaster recovery solution. The same study also reported that these cloud-based solutions save time and help organizations avoid large upfront capital costs in hardware to hold backup data.
While there may be no way for you to anticipate or prevent an impending disaster (that could potentially harm your business) there are affordable options to prevent business downtime against disasters, ensuring business continuity. Cloud-based services provide quick data recovery and get you and your staff back to regular business operation.
With 20% Cloud enabled companies claiming a disaster recovery within 4 hours or less, its non-cloud enabled counterparts, only 9% can match this time to recover. As a result of this finding, 43% of IT executives said they plan to invest in or improve cloud-based disaster recovery solutions.
Security is a top concern for all modern businesses today, with the threat of cyber-attacks on the rise. Cloud computing solutions can increase your data security and prevent data theft or permanent loss, when compared to an on-premises IT infrastructure.
With an on-premises IT infrastructure your servers, applications, workstation and data reside in your office. The management and monitoring for both digital and physical security is your responsibility, thus requiring high capital expenditure on physical and digital security systems and its associated ongoing monitoring costs.
With Cloud-based infrastructure, a third-party company hosts your servers, workstations, applications and data in their data centers. These Cloud hosts specialize and dedicate all resources in the management, security, maintenance and monitoring of their data center both physically and digitally. This allows them to charge an incremental fee to their Cloud tenants, while providing up to date security measures and technologies available.
Furthermore, having a Cloud IT infrastructure can considerably prevent data theft from employees, temp workers or contractors who may need temporary access to your company applications and data.
Statistics show that 94% of businesses saw an improvement * in security after switching to the cloud, and 91% said the cloud makes it easier to meet government compliance requirements.
Moving to the Cloud reduces the cost of managing and maintaining your overall IT systems. Instead of incurring the high capital expense of purchasing servers and related IT equipment for your business, you can reduce capital cost by using the resources of your cloud computing service provider.
The Cloud provider’s pay-as-you-go (or pay-per-use) billing model, allows you to pay for only the amount of IT resources you consume. This includes the amount of computing power, internet bandwidth and data storage you need. These resources can be dynamically changed on the fly to meet your operational needs to meet increasing or decreasing computing demands. This means you only pay for what you need, thus providing you the most cost-efficient payment structure towards your IT infrastructure spending.
Additionally you may also improve cost savings with the Cloud by;
- Eliminating the cost of system upgrades, new hardware and software which may be included in your cloud solution agreement
- More efficient utilization of your in-house IT staff for improvement projects (instead of monitoring or maintenance of on-premises equipment)
- Reduce your office energy consumption (Forbes 2016 study showed 91% less energy consumption)
- Increasing application and data availability
- Reducing office space footprint by eliminating the need for an in-office server room
In Forbes November 2020 case studies, they reported that the return on investment with Cloud solution was 4.01 times greater as compared to on-premises solutions.
2021 has been a year of evolution and for the business community, it has been an absolute revolution. One that is filled with rapid adoption and deployment of cloud technologies that once was a luxury item, has now become a necessity and an absolute essential tool for survival. A recent report forecasted that, by 2020, 83 percent of enterprise workloads ** will be in the cloud. This trend isn’t entirely surprising given the many benefits that cloud services offers, including enhanced security, scalability and accessibility along with superior return on investment over its on-premises based counterpart.
More businesses today are moving to the Cloud at a rapid pace in order to keep up with their peers and remain competitive in their market.
Blast Zone Technology Inc. is a Cloud solutions specialist focused on delivering effective end to end business solutions for small to medium size business (SMB) that enhance business efficiency and organizational productivity. With an experienced staff and detailed design and implementation standards, Blast Zone delivers winning solutions that deliver superior return on investment and enhanced profitability.