Less expensive than on-site systems, easily scalable and with guaranteed 100% uptime, it is easy to understand why 94% of companies use cloud services today. If you are one of the 6% that still hasn’t yet made the move or you’ve only taken partial advantage of all that cloud has to offer, here we look at six of the most common ways that businesses make use of the cloud today.
- Data storage
Businesses are collecting and storing more data than ever before, and this raises a number of challenges. Companies need to store that data cost-effectively, keep it secure and make it easily accessible to those that need it. The cloud provides a solution for all those challenges.
Offering almost infinitely expandible storage capacity, including on-demand scalability, without the need to purchase a single piece of hardware, the cloud provides the ultimate, cost-effective data warehousing. When it comes to security, data and files are defended by next-gen firewalls, encryption and logical access control, while those with the necessary privileges can access data and files from anywhere with an internet connection, making it easier to collaborate. What’s more, with all data stored in a single hub, internal silos can be dismantled and wasted storage due to duplication can be eradicated
- Big data analytics
The reason businesses collect and store so much data is to gain insights from it. Today, data is used right across a company’s operations, benefitting logistics, machinery health, customer service, marketing, sales and more. Obtaining those insights requires big data analytics, a process that demands significant computing resources. While building those resources in-house demands significant cap-ex investment, in the cloud, they can be acquired for a manageable monthly fee. What’s more, if additional resources are needed, cloud users can scale up and down on demand and only pay for the resources they use. For these reasons, today, most data analytics workloads are carried out in the cloud.
- Testing and development
Building new apps on-site can be a lengthy and costly undertaking that involves big budgets, IT expertise and the purchase of hardware and development tools. Both the cost and the time required to develop the app can put the company at a disadvantage.
Cloud computing rapidly speeds up the testing and development of applications. New environments, together with the required development platforms can be deployed within minutes and with far less expense. As a result, development costs are reduced and time to market is much quicker.
- Disaster recovery
Disaster recovery is another popular use of cloud technology. Using advanced solutions, such as Veeam, cloud servers can be continually backed up, ensuring that recovery point and recovery time targets are net. What’s more, with VM backup, replication and encryption, your data is kept secure in case of system failure, bad updates, ransomware, data corruption or human error.
- Data backups
Many businesses still rely on portable drives or even tapes for their backups – an out-of-date solution that is both risky and time-consuming. Using these methods increases the risk of data loss as backup devices might not have enough storage or could fail altogether. What’s more, if a backup was required, these are some of the slowest ways to recover.
A cloud backup solution is faster, easier and more secure. You can schedule backups at the frequency you need, have as much remote storage as required, encrypt them for increased security and check them to ensure the data is not corrupt. As a result, the cloud provides everything businesses need to recover quickly following a disaster.
- Improve Network connectivity
With far more employees working remotely and more IoT devices being adopted by businesses, the cloud has become the ideal home for the business network. The cloud enables remote workers to connect to business systems, access apps and files and communicate with colleagues from wherever they have an internet connection. This has helped businesses survive the pandemic and now provides greater flexibility in working conditions.
It’s not just people that can connect to the system either, devices can too. Data from connected devices can be collected in the cloud to improve a wide range of business operations. It is used to track deliveries, monitor machine health, control heating and lighting systems, monitor inventory, improve operational efficiency and drive down costs. Indeed, today, the data collected from IoT devices are being analysed by artificial intelligence and machine learning tools to make intelligent decisions and automate processes. Without the cloud as the central hub for the collection, storage and processing of that data, much of this would be impossible.
Businesses are making greater use of cloud computing in order to achieve new goals faster and more cost-effectively. Today, some of the most popular uses are data storage, application development, big data analytics, backup and disaster recovery and remote connectivity. If you are looking for a reliable partner to deliver exceptional cloud solutions, visit our Enterprise Cloud Server Hosting page.