COVID-19 has impacted every aspect of our lives, and none more than how we run a business.
Remote working became the norm. Commutes disappeared, and employees found innovative ways to create home office spaces. Spending on cloud rose 37 percent to $29 billion during 2020’s first quarter alone.
We’ve become used to accessing our work via the cloud. Yet using the cloud for business offers plenty of incredible benefits. From improving your business’s sustainability to offering better security, it’s worth consideration.
Let’s take a look at those benefits now.
Thanks to the pandemic, 42 percent of workers switched to working from home full-time. For those businesses not set up to work remotely, this was a nightmare situation.
Yet, for those businesses connected to the cloud, it offered a smooth transition. Here’s why.
When you store data and applications in the cloud, employees can access both from anywhere. They only need an internet connection.
This allows for a more flexible approach to working. Staff can start earlier or work later to suit their preferences or commitments. This means you can extend your hours of operation.
Or work with more remote workers. Restricting yourself to the number of staff you can house on-site can stifle your capacity.
Yet running a business in the cloud means you can take on temporary staff according to your needs. They don’t need physical space so that they can work with you on a more flexible basis.
Accessing the cloud from various locations also leads to better opportunities for collaboration. Teams can share files between in-house groups or with colleagues in businesses you work with.
That means employees can access the same files and collaborate in real time. No one needs to email files back and forth, which can create problems around version control.
Keeping data in a single location also gives better consistency in data. Everyone accesses the same data, and the system records updates. You can roll back a version to an earlier revision at the click of a button.
Collaborative working streamlines the process and improves productivity.
This level of access also boosts the productivity of staff who travel for their role. As an example, sales staff need access to up-to-date records, schedules, and stock levels.
Accessing this data on their mobile device or laptop in a meeting makes them far more effective. They can close deals more quickly than staff who need to email or call their office for further details.
With cloud services, you don’t need to buy and install devices or equipment on-site. That saves physical space on your premises. It also means you don’t need to worry about continual upgrades.
Using off-site cloud services provides 24/7 maintenance. You can rest easy knowing you’re getting regular system updates.
These can patch security flaws or monitor your systems for potential attacks. They’re important to avoid since the average cost of a data breach was $3.86 million in 2020.
Using these services also saves you the time and cost of applying updates in-house.
Get the IT resources you need on demand. You don’t need to wait for the delivery of equipment before you can start a project. Instead, work with your cloud partner to add the services you need to your account. This can drastically shorten the length of a project since work can start faster.
Cloud computing solutions allow you to create a much more flexible system. Cloud hosts can even apply greater capacity in an instant. You can scale your operations up and down as necessary.
That’s far faster than needing to invest in and install extra IT infrastructure on your premises.
Having extra bandwidth makes your website better able to cope with higher flows of traffic. That cuts potential website downtime, providing a better experience for visitors.
We’ve already mentioned the money you’ll save on maintenance. Using cloud services means installing updates and upgrading equipment is done for you. That frees up your in-house IT staff for other tasks.
You’ll also save money on other IT costs. You won’t need on-site storage, so you don’t need to pay to upgrade servers. Software updates are factored into your costs.
Cloud services are often a pay-per-use system, so you only pay for what you use. This is helpful for medium-sized businesses with smaller budgets.
Add on extra storage or functions as you need them. Drop them when you don’t. That way, you won’t end up investing in a high-end on-site server that you don’t use to its full potential.
You’ll even save money on electricity bills since on-site devices will consume less energy by running web-based apps.
You can also reduce any IT problems by using standardized services. In-house IT systems often develop in an ad-hoc way, with devices and applications added over time.
They’re not always compatible, and you need to use hacks to get them to work together. Cloud computing offers a standardized approach that creates continuity across platforms for your business.
All your staff has access to the same services at the same time. They can expect the same performance, and you can expect the same results.
You can create server images or groups of applications based on what staff needs to do. Then roll these out when needed.
One of the downsides of traditional on-site IT systems is the chaotic nature of many storage solutions. Data might be kept on different drives, depending on what it’s for.
For example, you might keep customer information in your cloud-based CRM software. Yet, you keep project information on the server.
Migrating to cloud computing will see you move all this data to the same place. The advantage of this is that you can run improved analytics on it. This is only possible when it’s kept together.
Track and analyze information that you already hold. This will yield insights that you can turn into useful reports. This will help your business to create action plans based on the insights gathered.
Cloud computing has become much more advanced over the past few years. Unfortunately, so have the various cybersecurity threats faced by IT systems.
Hacks are one threat, as is malware. The vicious malware Emotet made a comeback in 2020, focusing on banking scams and disrupting networks.
Cloud computing also offers benefits when faced with these issues. Data is encrypted when it is transmitted between devices and the cloud.
Your cloud host will have a dedicated security service, which is more robust than many in-house systems. It’s also far easier to protect sensitive data on off-site drives. That prevents employees from accessing or even stealing protected files.
You’ll also be able to track who has accessed files. That’s much harder to do when anyone can sit at a physical terminal and copy a file. As a result, businesses meet compliance requirements with this level of cloud security.
You can also access plenty of options when it comes to creating backups. Gone are the days where you needed to set them up on a physical device.
That might be enough for a freelancer or a micro business. Yet, physical backup options can fail or become corrupted. Cloud backups have the advantage of storing data off-site.
This has a secondary benefit: your data is safe even if something happens to your offices, such as a fire or flood. Your employees won’t face an interruption of service and can keep the business moving.
Creating and checking backups is a time-consuming process. Using cloud options frees up your IT staff from these manual checks.
Cloud solutions also mirror data across servers. This automatically creates backups if one fails.
You can enjoy far stronger disaster recovery solutions with cloud computing. All of this means you can avoid downtime and restore data quickly if necessary.
Cloud computing also allows you to run a cloud-based phone system. This cuts the costs required in setting up a traditional telephone system.
Your system can have as many connections as you want. Scale your system up and down as you need it, depending on staff numbers.
You also need less maintenance since the system isn’t housed on-site. Employees can answer a VoIP number from anywhere they have an internet connection. This also allows for more flexible working since employees aren’t based at a desk with a handset.
Now you know the incredible advantages of using the cloud for business. From improved security to more flexible working, it offers better accessibility at a lower cost.
Your business can save money and time by migrating to the cloud. It will free up your IT team to work on projects designed to optimize your business output.
Keen to take advantage of these benefits? Contact us today, and we can figure out the best cloud solution for your business.