Image by: Tatlin
By George Lamb
For those of you who are unsure exactly what the cloud is all about, in a nutshell, its basically a form of computing–cloud computing–based on the internet where people run programs or applications from software downloaded onto a server or an actual computer. This allows people to access the same programs through the internet.
It may sound just a tad bit complicated, but after getting used to the system of how things work, cloud computing can be extremely convenient, helps improve cash flow and offers countless other benefits for your business.
Before cloud computing came about, applications would have to be run from software downloaded directly on a physical computer or server in the building, but cloud allows companies to access the exact kinds of applications on the internet rather than a physical computer. While still budding in popularity, it is predicted that by the end of 2014, small businesses will spend nearly $100 billion on these types of services. And if this sounds like a ban-wagon you may be interested in jumping on, here a few reasons why you should go ahead and consider investing in the cloud.
#1) Disaster Recovery
When relying on cloud-based services, a lot of worry about losing data and having elaborate disaster recovery plans should anything happen to any of the companies files will be eliminated. One of the main functions of the cloud computing providers is to take care of most recovery issues in a prompt and timely manner–usually within only a couple hours.
Aberdeen Group Studies show that while cloud recovery is typically only 2 hours, businesses that don’t use this function take nearly four times as long. And it goes without saying the smaller the business is the less recovery time it takes, so if plan on running or already have a large company, a decisive investment in the cloud will prove to keep your business on track even in times of debacles.
#2) Document Control
Document control is a key benefit to cloud computer users because it keeps all the files in one central location where everyone works off of one central copy. And due to the fact that document control allows employees to chat to each other while making changes together, this makes the process of collaboration more effective, which will inevitably result in an increase of efficiently, as well as the improvement of the companies bottom line.
Of course it is still possible to reach collaboration without cloud services, but keep in mind that if a company isn’t utilizing the cloud, colleagues have to endure the inconvenience of sending files back and fourth over email, which means only a sole person can work on a document at a time, but upon completion has to email the document with many different names and formats. Yea it seems like a minor complaint, but why not eliminate any useless burdens?
#3) Lower costs
Since the cloud allows for better hardware use, this equates to more efficient power use–which will save you a pretty penny on that monthly electricity bill that may have been killing your pockets. A cloud service provider can charge less for energy consumed, because when you run your own data center, your servers won’t be fully utilized and would therefore demand less energy. And because of this, any money you may be investing in the cloud may be reprieved by the reduction in power costs.
One of the major perks of being a part of the cloud is the fact that no matter what happens to your hardware (i.e. laptop, desktop or tablet), whether its smashed into a million pieces, burned to a crisp in a simple house-fire, or simply lost at an airport, the data you keep stored on the cloud can still be accessed no matter what. Of course the inconvenience of having your laptop extirpated can be quite troublesome, but at least you’d be able to rest a bit easier at night knowing your important data hasn’t sunk into oblivion.
#5) Work from Anywhere
The flexibility the cloud offers makes it a very appealing offices to business, as it allows employees to work from anywhere and any piece of hardware, so as long as the internet is handy. This will not only improve efficiency in your assigned tasks, but will increase productivity and save money in your everyday life via telecommuting.
Sounds pretty good doesn’t it? If you have been on the fence about whether or not the investment into the cloud is worth it, consider this: a study showed about 40% percent of working adults would give up a small portion of their salary if they could telecommute. I’m pretty sure there’s a pretty good reason why they’d opt for this route, and if you have the opportunity to utilize this and all the other perks the cloud has to offer, I’d suggest you give it some heavy consideration.
Have you considered ascending into the clouds as of late? Tell us in the comments section below why or why not you’re going to go ahead and make this move for your business. Thanks for reading!