According to Forbes, in 2018, 77% of all enterprises were using the cloud for at least some of their applications or IT services. The reason for such a significant uptake is simple: the cloud provides companies with a range of substantial benefits, making them more agile, secure and cost-efficient while giving them access to the applications and resources that enable them to compete equally with their larger competitors. So, if you still haven’t moved to the cloud here’s why you seriously need to reconsider.
1. Make significant savings
When you move to the cloud, your infrastructure will be hosted on your service provider’s hardware. This means you’ll no longer need to buy or lease your own servers or pay for their maintenance. Nor will you require space to house them, air conditioning to cool them, power to run them or pay for any other associated costs.
The savings on IT expenditure can be considerable and, as a result, you’ll have more capital to invest in other parts of your business. In addition, your IT staff won’t have to carry out any maintenance tasks, giving them more time to spend on business-oriented projects.
2. More efficient IT operations
One of the cloud’s major attractions is its instant scalability. As you can add more resources, such as storage, bandwidth or RAM whenever you need them and dispense with them as soon as you don’t, it ensures that you can have everything you need at the click of a button whilst, thanks to its pay-as-you-go fees, never wasting money on redundant services. In this sense, the cloud offers the most efficient IT operations available and makes your company incredibly agile.
3. Server management included
Another benefit of moving to the cloud is that you can dispense with server management. Your service provider will monitor and maintain the hardware (server, network, etc.) for you, ensuring that your system is running optimally. In addition, they will manage the server software, installing any updates or security patches on your behalf. Again, this frees up your own IT staff and makes your IT operations less burdensome.
4. Disaster recovery made easy
IT disasters can put your entire business in jeopardy, so having a disaster recovery plan is absolutely essential to make sure you’re back online as soon as possible. If you have a traditional datacentre setup, putting this in place can be both challenging and expensive. For example, you may require a remotely located, redundant datacentre kept ready in case your main datacentre goes down. If this is too expensive, you may be left with much slower solutions that can keep your business or services offline for much longer.
The cloud makes disaster recovery much easier, less expensive and far less stressful. Quite simply, it lets you make continuous backups of your entire system which are stored securely and remotely in the cloud. As a result, you can be back online almost instantly in the event of a disaster. What’s more, the vendor’s services are also protected. Even if an event like an earthquake takes an entire datacentre offline, they have backup datacentres in place ready to take over, guaranteeing you 100% uptime.
5. Secure data
The centralised nature of cloud storage means that data held on cloud systems can be more secure. As documents can be shared centrally, there is no necessity for individuals to keep downloaded versions that are stored less securely on devices. This reduces the chance that sensitive data will get lost or stolen. And with logical access in place, it is possible to control who can and cannot have access to specific files or folders, keeping your data secure and helping you stay compliant.
6. Take on your competitors
Bigger organisations always seem to have the upper hand. Having their own large datacentres gives them the ability to utilise redundant resources on demand while their in-house experts can help them develop apps, analyse big data and make use of technologies such as AI and machine learning. SMEs have always found this difficult to compete with.
Cloud computing takes away your competitor’s advantage and puts you on a level playing field. You’ll have access to the same pioneering technology, have unlimited resources and be able to deploy the latest apps within hours of signing up, including AI and machine learning. You’ll often find that licencing is much cheaper in the cloud too.
7. Being online offers new opportunities
Once you are hosted in the cloud, your staff can access your network over the internet and this opens up a world of game-changing opportunities for your business. In terms of collaboration, your teams will be able to access, edit and share documents wherever they are and at any time with updates being automatically synced.
It also offers the opportunity to make use of the Internet of Things, sending and receiving information from connected devices and making use of the information which is gathered. This can be used to keep track of mobile employees and shipments, monitor the health of critical machinery, run mobile applications and various other things for which an internet connection is necessary.
Additionally, it means that you can offer more flexible working conditions for your staff and reduce the office space you need. If employees can work online, there is less need for them to come into the office and thus you won’t need as much office space. Staff can work remotely, have flexible working hours and save money on commuting while the company can cut the costs of renting office space or earn income leasing out the space they no longer need.
With all the benefits that the cloud provides, it is no wonder that so many businesses have already moved some of their services to it. The potential for significant savings, unparalleled agility, better security and the potential to improve working conditions present companies with genuine opportunities to move forward and take on larger competitors.
If you are considering moving to the cloud, check out our cloud hosting page. If you would like to talk to an expert about how you can benefit, call us on 0800 862 0890.