Cloud computing offers modern businesses advantages, including allowing multiple users to view data in realtime and share projects effortlessly. Cloud software and SaaS applications (software as a service platforms) make working as a synchronised team easier and more accessible than ever.
Simply put, cloud computing is computing based on the internet and shifting to the cloud is the best way to ensure your business stays both current and competitive.
In the past, people would run applications or programs from software downloaded on a physical computer or server in their building. Now, with cloud computing, there’s no need to bother with inconvenient downloads. Instead you can use all the same services online from anywhere, and see updates in real time. By 2020, Forbes Magazine estimated up to 83% of companies will use cloud-based software to make their work easier and faster.
When you update your Facebook status, you’re using cloud computing. Checking your bank balance on your phone? You’re in the cloud again. Chances are you are relying on cloud computing already to solve the challenges faced by small businesses, whether you’re firing off emails on the move or using a bunch of apps to help you manage your workload.
1. Cloud computing is flexible
Cloud-based services are ideal for businesses with growing or fluctuating bandwidth demands. If your needs increase, it’s easy to scale up your cloud capacity, drawing on the service’s remote servers. Likewise, if you need to scale down again, the flexibility is baked into the service.
This level of agility can give businesses using cloud computing a real advantage over competitors – it’s not surprising that businesses identify operational agility as a key reason for cloud adoption.
2. Disaster recovery keeps data safe
Businesses of all sizes should be investing in robust disaster recovery, but for smaller businesses that lack the required cash and expertise, this is often more an ideal than the reality. Cloud is now helping more organisations shirk that trend. In fact, cloud-based recovery solutions are now available in a variety of formats that save time, avoid large up-front investment and roll up third-party expertise as part of the deal.
3. Never miss an update
The beauty of cloud computing is that the servers are off-premise, out of sight and out of your hair. Suppliers take care of them for you and roll out regular software updates – including security updates – so you don’t have to worry about wasting time maintaining the system yourself. Leaving you free to focus on the things that matter, like growing your business.
4. Cloud services minimise capital expenditure
Cloud computing cuts out the high cost of hardware. You simply pay as you go and enjoy a subscription-based model that’s kind to your cash flow. Add to that the ease of setup and management and suddenly your scary, hairy IT project looks at lot friendlier. It’s never been easier to take the first step to cloud adoption.
5. The cloud promotes collaboration
When your teams can access, edit and share documents anytime, from anywhere, they’re able to do more together, and do it better. Cloud-based workflow and file sharing apps help them make updates in real time and give them full visibility of their collaborations.
6. Workstations in the cloud
Cloud computing allows you to work anytime and from anywhere, provided you have an internet connection. Since most established cloud services also offer mobile apps, you’re not even restricted by which device you’ve got to hand.
The result? Businesses can offer more flexible working perks to employees, so they can enjoy the work-life balance that suits them – without productivity taking a hit. Home office is an attractive option for many employees and now, thanks to cloud services, an increasingly accessible idea too.
7. Streamlined content
The more employees and partners collaborate on documents, the greater the need for watertight document control. Before the cloud, workers had to send files back and forth as email attachments to be worked on by one user at a time. Sooner or later – usually sooner – you end up with a mess of conflicting file content, formats and titles.
And as even the smallest companies become more global, the scope for complication rises. When you make the move to cloud computing, all files are stored centrally and everyone sees one version of the truth. Greater visibility means improved collaboration, which ultimately means better work and a healthier bottom line. If you’re still relying on the old way, it could be time to try something a little more streamlined.
8. Cloud computing offers security
Lost laptops are a billion dollar business problem, but the loss of an expensive piece of kit often fades in significance compared to the loss of the sensitive data inside it. Cloud computing gives you greater security when this happens. Because your data is stored in the cloud, you can access it no matter what happens to your machine. A survey from Salesforce has shown that 83% of IT leaders say they trust cloud security more than ever, so why not follow their lead and make sure your business is protected?
9. Competitive edge through SaaS
Wish there was a simple step you could take to become more competitive? Moving to the cloud gives access to enterprise-class technology, for everyone. It also allows smaller businesses to act faster than big, established competitors. Pay-as-you-go service and cloud business applications mean small outfits can run with the big boys, and disrupt the market, while remaining lean and nimble. David now packs a Goliath-sized punch.
10. Cloud services save time
One of the greatest motivators to move your business to the cloud today is how well dedicated software can ease the process of moving your data to the cloud. By signing up with a specialised platform, businesses receive support during the transfer and can reach out to service teams at any time. Salesforce data shows that, once integrated, 51% of employees have found that emerging technologies like cloud computing save both time and effort. Discover how much time you can save by moving your business to the cloud with our #TimeToTransform report.