Since the inception of cloud computing, the limitations of traditional IT infrastructure are becoming more apparent year on year. Many businesses today are struggling to adapt to marketplace changes and new trends as their technological environments are inefficient at sensing and responding to these.
Cloud-based services offer a much more scalable and reliable IT infrastructure that is specifically designed to streamline business performance and support development and growth.
To better understand why more businesses are moving to the cloud, we have listed some of the key advantages of cloud computing below:
There is a high level of flexibility provided to companies who invest in cloud-based services. Remote cloud servers offer almost unlimited bandwidth and storage space, which allows businesses to instantly scale up and down their capacities to support growth and cope when website traffic increases.
This removes the need to purchase and install equipment and upgrades on site.Cloud computing also allows for improved work place flexibility, as employees can access applications and data on a remote server off-site, anywhere and at any time, as long as internet connection is available.
By investing in cloud computing, businesses can guarantee reliable disaster recovery and backup solutions without the hassle of setting them up on a physical device. For many businesses investing in complex disaster recovery plans can be a costly venture and backing up data is time-consuming. The cloud itself is designed in such a way that data stored in it is mirrored across the servers, so that if one fails, data is instantly backed up. Being able to access data again quickly after a failure minimises website downtime and loss of productivity.
Perhaps the most significant advantage of cloud computing is the IT operational cost savings. Using remote servers removes the need for in-house storage equipment and application requirements, as well as overhead costs such as software updates, management and data storage. Cloud-based services are also much cheaper to use, as they are typically deployed on a pay-per-use basis, which means businesses can rent exactly what they need and guarantee a return on investment. Many small and medium-sized businesses with limited budgets are recognising the benefits of cloud computing.
The cloud environment has been shown to significantly increase collaboration between groups and communities who have access to the same files. It removes the communication limitations of traditional IT models and makes it much quicker and easier for employees working in different locations to access information and collaborate with team members and key personnel. This helps to streamline processes and means more work gets done in less time.
Cloud technology is designed to be scaled to meet business’s changing IT requirements. As a company grows, it is inevitable that more storage space and bandwidth will be required to cope with increasing traffic to the website. Cloud servers can be deployed automatically to help businesses scale up and down and ensure optimum performance under heavy loads. Cloud technology also improves website speed and minimises downtime.
Many cloud service providers offer regular system updates to ensure IT requirements are consistently met. They ensure round the clock maintenance of cloud servers – including security updates – freeing up time and money that businesses spend doing this in-house. Research shows that in 2010, businesses in the UK spent 18 working days per month managing their on-site IT security.
For businesses with a CSR, keen to maintain a small carbon footprint, cloud-based services are very environmentally friendly. Using a pay-per-use virtual environment for data storage and running web applications means less energy consumption and carbon emissions in the workplace. Cloud computing also reduces physical hardware needs, which means less IT equipment is required in the office.
Another key benefit of cloud computing is software integration, which occurs automatically in the cloud.This takes away the need for businesses to manually integrate their applications. Using cloud technology, software applications and services can be quickly and easily customised, allowing businesses to handpick the services that will best suit their requirements.
For more information on the benefits of cloud computing, take a look at our How is Cloud Computing Different from Traditional IT Infrastructure? page.