Cloud software refers to applications that enable a centralised, online storage of data, accessible at any time, anywhere, and from any connected computer or mobile device.
Such technology thus brings a wide array of economic and productivity benefits for businesses, including better collaborative potential among users, despite geographical location. Employees are connected to one online storage system through a network – and as long as an internet connection is in place, this information can be easily accessed, transferred, and managed as necessary.
Statistics show that 90% of companies are now on the cloud, with the global cloud computing market set to reach $258 billion by the end of 2019.
In Australia, a 2017-2018 ABS report found that 42% of businesses now use some form of cloud software, compared to 31% in 2015-2016. Still, 17% have revealed that the greatest obstacle to making the upgrade is limited knowledge of the technology and its advantages.
Below, we detail the five main reasons why cloud software is essential for any business, and the many operational, financial, and security benefits it offers.
With cloud services, businesses can conveniently ease up the amount of data storage on their local systems. All important files and documents can be saved onto the cloud’s online servers, reducing the burden on physical storage systems and keeping things easily accessible.
In fact, statistics show that cloud services are set to process 94% of workloads by 2021.
They also have the convenience of providing automatic updates. With traditional data centers, business owners are required to invest in physical maintenance procedures, along with manual hardware and software updates. On the other hand, most applications that offer cloud services roll out regular software and security updates throughout your usage.
Additionally, the cloud can also offer automatic back-ups of your data as you work through them. You may also receive off-site copies of these files, keeping them safe from data breaches, malfunctions, or other local crises.
With the cloud to maintain your data storage, you can then save valuable time and effort to focus on other, demanding aspects of your business.
Ease of access
The ability to access data anytime, anywhere is the main reason for cloud adoption among businesses.
With accessibility from virtually any place, the cloud provides opportunities for telecommuting – allowing employees to work wherever best suits them. This then allows you to reduce the number of physical workstations at your business to save costs, if you so choose.
Additionally, the telecommuting options are considered high-valued work perks among modern workers; a study by Owl Labs revealed that 34% of its surveyed participants were willing to take up to a 5% pay cut if it meant having the privilege to telecommute.
Sharing data would also be as effortless as sending a link via e-mail or text, fostering more efficient collaboration among workers. Plus, with most cloud services available on mobile devices, your access isn’t limited to the traditional desktop or laptop computer.
Using cloud services for your data provides high-speed access to important documents that can bolster the speed of business operations; and you also have the ability to monitor all such activity from your own device.
Cloud computing not only benefits worker performance, but your financial resources, as well.
Its convenient scalability allows you to plan for business growth without the need for expensive, up-front expenses. With traditional storage systems, business owners future-proofed their company through investments in additional servers, licenses, and storage devices.
With the cloud, however, you can easily upgrade to the storage space (and additional software features) you require. Many platforms offer packaged services you can simply choose between as necessary; allowing your storage to grow alongside your business.
Likewise, should you need to scale down again, cloud computing offers the option to do so.
As mentioned, the extended option to telecommute allows you to cut costs on local workstations and physical equipment. Traditional data centers require installation and regular maintenance – typically handled by hired technicians and other IT experts.
Through the use of cloud software, you can easily save money and eliminate the need for such extra support.
According to 2017-2018 ABS statistics, 11% of businesses surveyed had experienced a security incident or breach within the year. The most affected industries were those in manufacturing and wholesale trade, with 18% reporting an incident.
Most cloud services offer safer data storage than those of local, traditional storage systems. Disaster, theft, or other business-related crises can result in permanent data loss among physical data centers, if no backup plans or security measures are properly set in place.
Thankfully, such risks are low with cloud computing. Files stored on the cloud are generally harder to breach than physical storage centers – devices more susceptible to theft or damage. By keeping your files easily accessible on an online system, there is less “human control” of your data; and thus, less risk of it falling into the wrong hands.
With the automatic backup options most cloud services offer, you can also rest assured that a recovery plan is in place in the case of an incident.
In the case of an actual security breach, flexible access to the cloud allows you to wipe information remotely, or move it to a different source.
Finally, cloud software promotes greener practices among businesses.
The ability to upscale or downscale to the storage size or features you need ensures you’re never using more energy than necessary. Traditional storage can involve hefty investments in information technology that may often exceed a business’ current needs. Cloud computing, however, provides you with just the right fit for your data requirements.
The convenient sharing of online data also reduces the need for physical printouts, thus resulting in less paper waste. If willing, businesses may even rid of their physical servers or data centers completely.
Choosing to move to the cloud is thus an active way of reducing your carbon footprint and placing greater focus on your corporate social responsibility. In fact, a study on the Microsoft cloud found that that it was up to 93% more energy-efficient while resulting in 98% lower carbon emissions, than those of traditional data centers.
Enhance business operations through cloud software
Switching to cloud services is a worthy investment for any business – leading to greater efficiency, productivity, and economic benefits for your company.
As a leading provider of corporate IT training in Australia, DDLS provides plenty of hands-on courses in cloud technology. Those looking to implement cloud computing in their business can take on our 3-day Cloud Technology Associate course, a program that delves into the risks and benefits of such software, along with practical application training.
Make the innovative move to the cloud, and get in touch with our experts today.