“It’s in the cloud” is an example of one of those trending statements like “just ask Alexa” that has found its way into our everyday conversation. Cloud computing has been around for around two decades now, and as more companies realize how much of their IT infrastructure could be moved online, the cloud will become a household name.
The cloud, or more specifically, the public cloud, is a term used to describe the use of third-party hosted computing resources over the internet. In other words, it’s a web-based service where you pay for access to software and data storage capacity on servers operated by companies who specialize in this type of hosting.
The benefits of moving your IT infrastructure to the cloud are numerous: cost savings, scalability, speed, security, disaster recovery plan, ease of deployment, and more. But there are also a few downsides, such as increased complexity, vendor lock-in, and lack of control over your data. These are just some of the many challenges associated with adopting this new paradigm.
But when done correctly, the cloud delivers clear and measurable gains to your business. But is your business taking full advantage of all the benefits of cloud-based services? What does it mean to have services like these available to your company? Below are some of the benefits your Ottawa business can gain from making use of this new approach (cloud).
Cloud Computing Services: Benefits
Here are 10 reasons why businesses should consider moving their back-office operations to the cloud.
You Can Choose Your Own Hardware
With cloud computing, you don’t need to worry about purchasing hardware because there will be enough machines around to meet your needs. Instead, you simply rent time on computers located at server farms across Canada. These are typically substantial computer systems with lots of space for storing data and programs.
One of the best things about using the cloud is that your costs won’t increase just because your company grows. This is because the cost of renting space on computers is based on how much use they get, not how many people work there. That means as long as you’re using it regularly, you’ll always be paying less than if you had to build or buy new equipment all the time.
It’s no secret that many small businesses struggle financially every year. One way to reduce expenses is to get rid of unused hardware. The cost of maintaining that old equipment is high, so when you can replace it with something new, you can save some cash. Another way to cut costs is by consolidating multiple sites onto a single machine. Since you only have to buy one device, it eliminates the overhead associated with renting extra hardware.
No Need to Keep Up With Tech Updates
When you choose to host your applications and files in the cloud, you’re also choosing to let your IT department take care of keeping your system running smoothly. They’ll make sure everything works correctly, and any problems with your system are fixed within an hour. If you were to have this same level of technical support when you bought new equipment, you’d probably spend weeks tracking down issues and fixing them yourself.
Faster Access to Data
The speed at which your information travels through the cloud allows your employees to access essential files quickly. For instance, imagine that you want to send out a marketing email, but you forgot to save it to your local hard drive before leaving. By the time you got home and tried to open the file, you might not even remember what was inside! Cloud technology eliminates this problem because your data is stored remotely, and you can retrieve it without waiting hours for it to load.
Another great thing about cloud computing is that it helps keep your sensitive information safe. When you store your files on a remote server owned by someone else, you’re trusting them to handle your data with confidentiality. And that makes sense since we’ve seen stories about hackers getting into private accounts that they shouldn’t have been able to see.
If your business requires constant changes in staffing levels or office locations, then cloud computing may not be the right fit for you. However, if you manage to keep your staff relatively stable while still growing your business, using the cloud could give you better flexibility and control over your budget.
Better Security and Scalability
When your data resides on someone else’s server, you’re putting it at risk of theft or attack. When you host your files yourself, you’re creating a buffer zone between your information and the public internet. Any hacker who wants to break into your system has to enter your home office before gaining access to your personal information.
As your business expands, so do your needs for extra space and capacity. It’s easy to grow your number of employees or add additional offices if you have the room, but not so easy if you don’t have the money to purchase more hardware. With cloud technology, you don’t need additional space – you just need to order more servers and storage. As your business grows, you’re free to upgrade your system whenever you like.
You may overlook this benefit right away, but cloud computing can improve performance in several ways over time. First, you’ll increase the speed of operations because accessing your data through the internet rather than through your company’s local area network will generally provide better response times. Second, your users’ experience will improve because they’ll have access to their own programs, which means they can customize and run them faster.
If you don’t currently use a web-based email program, you might not realize how much time you save using one instead of paper or desktop client programs. With cloud computing, you can store your emails online and retrieve them anywhere you happen to be. You also avoid the hassle of printing hundreds of pages of text just to read one message. Finally, if you’re already using a web browser, you can use it to check your emails without having to install any extra software.
Reduced Risk of Disaster
Hosting companies often offer disaster recovery plans that allow you to back up your critical documents and then restore them in case of an emergency. It’s possible to purchase similar services directly from your ISP, but the price tends to be higher. Cloud computing automatically provides a disaster recovery plan, so you won’t have to spend money hiring experts to do the job for you.
Your company probably has goals that you’d like to achieve in a time frame. While traditional methods of tracking progress would involve long meetings with key personnel, cloud computing lets you keep tabs on the performance of each department on an individual level. With this approach, you can easily keep up with advancements in technology and improve your overall business performance.
So, why is your Ottawa business not benefitting from using the cloud?