Cloud Computing

“The cloud” . . . sounds a bit ominous, but really it has become a near necessity for businesses wanting to stay competitive. Cloud computing is a term used to describe the on-demand delivery, via the internet, of digital resources such as: storage, servers, databases, networking, software, and analytics. You’re probably already familiar with the biggest cloud providers - Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. With the amount of data companies collect continually increasing and a high demand for online services among consumers, companies would be in a pinch if they could only operate on physical servers. By utilizing the cloud, business operations can be more streamlined and efficient. If you haven’t made the switch to using the cloud or are not leveraging it as much as you could, consider the following benefits and how they could translate to your business.

  • Better collaboration – The number of employees going into a traditional office has declined, and cloud computing makes this phenomenon feasible. Instead of being tied to a location or specific device, with an internet connection people can access data from any device, anywhere – allowing collaboration to be uninterrupted.
  • Scalability and flexibility – When you’re in a season of explosive growth or change, with cloud computing you’re not dependent on the time and money it takes to set up additional physical infrastructure. Conversely, it’s just as easy to scale down when necessary.
  • Faster time to market – Being able to ramp up an entire IT infrastructure in a matter of minutes means that designing, developing, testing, and rolling out your product via the cloud greatly accelerates your time to market. There aren’t any hardware limitations or slow, physical hoops to jump through.
  • Data loss prevention - Backup and recovery are core offerings from cloud providers. If hardware malfunctions, a cyber criminal strikes, or you face the consequences of user error, all your data and files should be safe and restorable from the cloud.
  • Advanced security – Some may be skeptical of cloud security, but a good cloud provider employs top security experts and solutions for robust protection. Automatic maintenance, centralized management, 24/7 monitoring, and other security features, like encryption, should give users peace of mind.
  • Cost savings – Cloud computing can either remove or reduce hardware costs (and associated energy and maintenance expenses), as well as software costs. This allows you to allocate more money towards other endeavors.

If you are unsure about moving to the cloud, remember that it doesn’t have to be an all-or-nothing decision. Hybrid solutions are popular, where both the cloud and physical infrastructure are used for business operations. Every organization is unique, and cloud computing solutions can often be implemented to meet specific needs. If you are interested in any of the above benefits, consider making the move.