CLOUD COMPUTING: IT’S TIME TO MOVE YOUR BUSINESS TO THE CLOUD
Let’s face it, business isn’t what it used to be a few years ago, and more specifically for SMB’s. For starters, many companies were limited to accessing and storing all their data and programs in their computers and nowhere else —in comes cloud computing.
Cloud computing symbolizes an on-going paradigm shift in the thought process from conventional methods or running a business to taking advantage of powerful digital channels. Currently, CIOs are searching for better ways of accessing client personal information, just like birthdays, anniversary dates, as well as other important events to offer quality services. Moreover, they are concerned with getting this information in real-time, like when a customer approaches a point of sale or a partnership deal. They are looking for better ways to offer a more customized customer engagement mechanism. That could help pull out helpful and appropriate insights from variable resources of consumer data to boost the sales team—making extremely personalized and convincing offers to their clientele.
Furthermore, cloud computing lets businesses access services that were once only available to enterprises and for a fraction of the cost. Also, instead of spending millions on computer networks and software, businesses can rent their information infrastructure, software, and data storage from a third-party cloud provider.
So, why aren’t more businesses getting on board as you’d expect?
Well, while its attractive, cloud computing isn’t a walk in the park. Integrating it with your existing IT system can be quite challenging. For instance, there are so many cloud choices to choose from including Amazon Web services, Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, among others. Also, several companies lack management capabilities or technological skills to get the best out of cloud computing. Moreover, the ever-changing data privacy and regulations laws add yet another layer of complexity when running a cloud-based system.
What is Cloud Computing?
The Cloud refers to a centralized location on the internet, where you can store data—making it readily available for your employees anywhere, anytime from any connected device. Come to think of it; the Cloud has been around for quite some time. You are probably already using the Cloud in your day to day activities.
Do you ever use fitness apps? Or stream your favorite music playlist online? Well, that’s the Cloud. Ever store your most valued pictures and files on Dropbox or Google Drive? Check, that’s the Cloud again.
The entire internet infrastructure could be viewed as the Cloud. You are currently reading this blog; however, its contents are not stored on your computer. You are accessing the Cloud as you read through.
What Does It Mean to Move Your Business to the Cloud?
If you’ve been running a small or large business for more than a decade, you understand that you historically had to manage your servers to store all your valuable business information and archives. As you already know, there are drawbacks to maintaining this kind of data, including having a backup in case of system failures and requiring a contingency plan to ensure your business is running during a power failure.
Subscribing to a cloud platform will help you take that burden off the business, transferring the heavy lifting task over to massive remote serves that have multiple backup systems. Simply put, every computer in your business will be in sync, with minimal chances of a crash. Your employees will also be freed to work from anywhere, anytime, with connected devices.
Why Move My Business to the Cloud?
When you move to the Cloud, your staff have full access to services to complete tasks remotely. Cloud computing generally falls into three categories:
- PaaS (Platform as a Service)
- IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)
- SaaS (Software as a Service)
Depending on your business needs, you can choose any of these services. If you are uncertain about moving your business from the traditional way of computing, the following are a few reasons why you need not be left behind.
Running a data center is not a cheap affair. For starters, you’ll need to have the right equipment and hire qualified technicians to install and run the center. When you move your business to the Cloud, you’ll only be required to pay for the services you procured. Most cloud computing services will only charge services based on the features, several users, storage, and memory space, among other valuable factors. This leaves room for business owners to choose a package that suits their pocket, saving costs.
Does this scenario sound familiar? You are working on a report with a team. You write down the first draft and forward it to your teammates for feedback. Each of them replies with their feedback with their mark-ups on the document. You go through everyone’s input and try to implement the conflicting remarks. Over an entire week, you will email the group three to four more times, making edits.
Getting your business to the Cloud will significantly simplify this process. You probably already use Google Docs. Similarly, subscribing to an internal cloud provider will give each employee access to a working document, making changes to the report or document in real-time. It eliminates the send-and-waits process—which amounts to a lot of time-wasting, completing drawn-out affairs in a few hours.
Sometimes, storing your data on the Cloud is much safer than storing on physical servers or data centers. A security breach at your premises could leave your data vulnerable, especially if your computers and laptops are stolen in the process. If your data is stored in the Cloud, you could remotely delete any confidential information remotely, encrypt it, or simply move it to a different account. While no data is exclusively secure, breaching security measures on clouding platforms is not as simple as breaking an entering or stealing a laptop.
Traditionally, planning for unexpected growth required the purchase of additional servers, storage, and licenses. And sometimes, it could take a couple of years before you get to use those reserve resources, which amounts to waste. Scaling cloud computing services is simple. Business owners only need to get additional storage space or features when they need them. Your cloud computing storage provider will only need to upgrade your package, a process that takes a few minutes as long as you can meet the additional costs.
Mobility is perhaps one of the most important benefits when it comes to cloud computing. This service offers you and your employees the freedom to work from any location. Employees don’t need to be physically present at your premises to complete tasks. This provides the chance to reduce the number of workstations on your premises, allowing your employees to work from home saving further costs. With cloud computing, business owners can also monitor their businesses effectively—all you need is fast internet to get real-time updates of all operations.
Data Back up
As a business owner, you already understand the importance of having a backup for your data. Cloud computing simplifies this process, making it possible for your data to update as you work. It also makes copies of your data off-site, keeping it safe from local or natural disasters, malfunction or systems crash, and theft.
If you are a business owner looking to reduce costs without sacrificing your ability to do business and compete with larger enterprises, you need to use the Cloud. If you are already looking to migrate your business to the Cloud, you can start small, so that you can see the benefits without making significant changes to your entire operation. With time, you will discover better ways your business benefits from the Cloud.