As a business, it is obvious that the future is tied up in the internet and technology. Success almost exclusively relies upon it in terms of sales, business growth and even simple administration. As such, it’s not hard to understand that new technology and solutions are actually driving businesses forward and fundamentally changing the way they work.
One such technology doing just that is the cloud. In its simplest terms, cloud storage is the accessing and storing data or programs over the internet as opposed to your computer’s hard drive. The cloud is just another name for the Internet, basically.
Though it may be a simple solution in terms of technology, the implication for business growth is actually huge. With that in mind, what are the factors that are helping the cloud to a drive business?
Disaster Recovery Solutions
Whether a simple one-man band or a huge multi-million dollar corporation, investing in disaster recovery is a necessary business move. The fact is that loss of data is akin to the loss of money in the modern day, making it vital that data loss is as minimal as possible at all times. Robust recovery systems can be expensive but are deemed a necessary business expense.
However, for businesses that simply can’t afford these expensive systems, the cloud is a great silver lining. Cloud-based backups and recovery solutions are cheaper, save time and easily usable even without intense tech knowledge. This allows businesses to save money and avoid paying for third-party expertise, so they can invest in areas that needs focusing in the business.
Watertight control of documentation as a business is a necessity, especially if it is a document with a high level of collaboration involved. Via emails and other transferring of files, you end up with a million different versions and, worse, have no way of controlling where they go or who sees them. The cloud helps to reduce this mess of documentation, allowing multiple people to access the same document and make necessary changes.
With central storage, people are able to access the same document and collaborate. Removing version differences, formatting errors or even differences in the title. This improvement in collaboration ultimately means better work and a benefit to the bottom line, as the whole process is streamlined. This is particularly useful for tech industries, such as app developers or contractors, as they are able to collaborate smoothly.
Businesses are now granted increasing control in their security with the introduction of cloud-based system. Data is much more secure on cloud based systems rather than on hard drives. Hard drives can be unpredictable as the systems can crash without a warning. It can be easily affected by viruses, which can be difficult to deal with on a daily basis. Now, document holders are given control on how their documents are stored, and who to make it available to, which are enhanced by security protocols within the cloud based system which is automatically updated. So, businesses can save costs by not needing to manually update new security packages in-house.
The fact is that cloud computing helps to cut out the heavy bill that comes with buying hardware. It is not only the outright cost alone of the hardware that businesses should consider. The maintenance of the hardware system needs to be considered as well, as this can easily be overlooked, as energy bills can be very expensive if the devices are left plugged in at all times. Furthermore, the hardware systems needs time to cool down otherwise it would be at risk of overheating which can be grievous for the business. On the other hand, should a business decide to expand, it is difficult to not buy more hardware systems for workers and invest into office space to accommodate the size needed. So, costs is a recurring issue that businesses are challenged with.
Nowadays, in fact, for smaller ventures, you can even find cloud storage at the bargain price or free. Thanks to solutions such as Google Drive and OneDrive. Larger business can invest in more storage, if needed.
But, ultimately, it removes the need for costly servers. Meaning that setting up a business can be done for free in some cases, freeing up capital and time to invest in more important ventures than simple storage issues. For instance, small start up businesses can worry less about buying a large office space, and can save costs through cloud computing to develop the business further. Moreover, larger businesses do not need to increase spend on the IT department to maintain hardware systems, hence reducing pressure off the IT department as well. So, this means overall, businesses can be more cost effective in their operational costs.
The rise of people working remotely and even from home has seen a sharp increase in the past few years. According to PeoplePerHour, roughly half of the UK workforce will be working remotely by 2020. A fact which many businesses have not factored into their business plans, nor are they truly prepared for, as they can also save costs on office space. The cloud is another method you can make the remote revolution less impactful on your business.
With data and necessary documents stored in the cloud, workers can easily access their files from anywhere in the world. While removing a level of security risk, as sensitive data is not stored offsite on computers or pen drives in order for employees to work, they can simply access everything from the cloud. This means businesses can be more productive by promoting collaboration throughout projects within the workforce by using cloud-based storage.
Alternatively, this can be beneficial for the environment too, as there will be a reduction in carbon emissions. This was proven in 2016, as the statistics from the US Energy Information Administration (EIA) that the USA uses 7.21 billion barrels of oil. So, if more people worked remotely and cloud technology are fully embraced, those billions of barrels can be substantially reduced.
Do you have more paper than sense in your business? Not all business can be done paperless, but a vast majority of it can thanks to the cloud. Of course, there are numerous benefits for your business turning to the cloud. But the environmental benefits simply cannot be ignored, especially with the rise of corporate social responsibility over the years which can affect public opinion on your business.
This means less paper in the office, scalable energy use to suit your storage needs and ultimately you have a sustainable solution to data in your business. That means, you will experience less frustration regarding the printer on a daily basis.
In addition, with reduced investment on hardware systems, there will be less carbon emissions from high energy use, since they will not need to be cooled as well.
Ultimately, the cloud is driving the business world forward in a number of different avenues. If you wish to streamline your business, the cloud makes it easier for collaboration and remote working. If not, you may find yourself left behind by every other business doing just that. So, by embracing cloud technology within the business, you can stay current and be socially responsible at the same time.