Technology is not standing still. And as businesses adopt new technology, they become more competitive in the marketplace, they have opportunities for more growth and cost effectiveness and ultimately realize greater ROI.
One of the latest and most significant disruptions to traditional business processes and practices is integration with cloud technology. In fact, cloud integration is fast becoming non-optional now.
Just What is the Cloud?
In simplest terms, cloud computing is the use of remote servers that are hosted on the web, to provide storage, management, and processing of data that were heretofore housed and managed in-house. There are several prominent and trusted cloud platforms that offered these managed services, and businesses are discovering that there are a number of advantages to moving to the cloud for many of their processes.
While it is easy and common to have concerns about cloud migration, especially the feeling that you are somehow “losing control,” nothing could be further from the truth. As you move data, files, and other processes to any current cloud providers, everything still belongs to you – it is added, amended, and fully managed by you, including who has access to any part of your data, files, documents, etc., and what they can and cannot do during that access.
So, let’s take a look at the advantages of cloud migration.
As a business grows, so do its IT needs. And with those IT needs, come additional hardware and software investments, along with the staff that needs to maintain and manage those systems. Ultimately, this becomes an expensive endeavor, to be certain. Much of this expense can be eliminated with cloud migration. Service providers can offer computing power at a relatively low cost, and, when a major one is selected, only charge on a per-use basis. You only pay for the specific services you select, and even the cost of those will go up and down based upon actual usage. “you only pay for what you need” is a pertinent phrase that goes beyond a well-known insurance company, it seems.
2. Stable Budgeting
Your “subscription” cost for use of a cloud provider is relatively stable, varying only by the amount of service you use. This is an expense you can plan for, and you will not be facing bigger expenditures to upgrade your in-house systems and staff which could come rather sporadically ad cannot be planned for in advance. It is now up to the cloud service provider to keep and upgrade the systems that will serve its clients’ needs.
3. Easy Integration
Cloud services provide ease of integration of all IT functions and processes, something that can be problematic with the siloed approach of most in-house systems.
In-house security systems are not perfect, if only because you have employees who are not perfect. They do not deliberately compromise your security, but their devices can be compromised by unsafe activity which you may not be able to control. Especially if you have proprietary or confidential information/data, a single employee’s mistake can result in an intrusion into your entire system. When you move such data or information into a cloud, and when you provide access permissions on an “as needs” basis, you acquire a higher level of security. Jim Castello, IT Specialist for the writing service BestEssayEducation, is sold on cloud migration: “We have always had great security in place, with encryption and firewalls. Yet, there is always that nightmare that it will be breached and our confidential customer information exposed. Since we have moved that data to the cloud, I sleep better at night, we can guarantee our customers that their personal information is fully protected.”
Consider this too. Lost or stolen portable devices are a huge security issue, especially when proprietary or confidential information may be housed there. Cloud service providers resolved this issue by offering the ability to remotely wipe everything from those devices.
5. Relieving Stress/Pressure on Current IT Staff
You have a lot of IT business needs. And you have a staff to manage those needs. When you move many of your processes and other computing needs to the cloud, you relieve your in-house staff to focus on other important business needs. And as you grow, you may not have to add the additional staff that you would have had you not migrated to the cloud.
As you grow, so do your IT needs, and those are not just hardware. They involve upgrades in all of your infrastructure. When you use a major cloud provider, your need for scalability is taken care of automatically. You can scale up or down as the need arises without your own planning for influxes of higher or lower demand. It will be taken care of without “missing a beat.” Take an e-commerce business that sells clothing, for example. There are huge seasonal fluctuations, like Christmas, for example. And yet, during other times of the year, use and purchases are down. A business’s in-house server may even meet “overload” during high volume, slowing down and giving customers a poor experience.
7. Disaster Recovery
Traditionally, disaster recovery has meant storing all data off-site so that it would not risk loss in the event of man-made or natural disasters. Companies often established reciprocal arrangements for these backup needs. With cloud services, all of your data is securely backed up. What’s more, if something should go wrong, all major cloud services have servers in places around the globe. You will automatically be switched to another location and will not experience any downtime. In a traditional disaster recovery plan, there will be downtime that can have a negative impact on business. Steve Ord, IT Director for IsAccurate, has moved most of the company data to the cloud and says that disaster recovery is one of the best features. “The potential threat from a disaster used to keep me up at night. Now that we are in the cloud, I no longer worry. We won’t lose a thing or any time, no matter what befalls our in-house system.”
8. Control of Users
The current trend toward “bring your own device” (BYOD) is growing. As this continues in-house IT departments are finding it more difficult to manage who is accessing what and from which device. This impacts both compliance and security. In the cloud, user access can be meted out to those specific parts of data or apps which that user may need, and only those parts. And the IT manager can set up clear authentication measures to ensure that there is strict control of access, even from a variety of remote devices.
9. Better Collaboration
The rise of remote workers has created some issues of collaboration. There are project management tools, but being in the cloud takes collaboration to a new level. Workflow, file sharing, and updates occur in real time. And if you have local employees who have been given flexible work hours and the perk of working from anywhere, they can complete tasks/projects and collaborate with anyone in-house. Most major cloud service providers also have mobile apps, so there is not a restriction on the type of device a worker can use.
10. Software Updates and Patches are Automatic
One of the most time-consuming activities of a company’s IT department is software maintenance, a pretty mundane, and yet necessary task. But the role of IT departments is evolving, with tasks related to strategic planning, innovation, and more.
Businesses that have moved to the cloud are using servers that are not on their premises. No longer will that business be responsible for software updates. The cloud service provider takes care of this, saving time for the in-house IT department.
11. Ease of Setup
Migration to the cloud has evolved, like everything else. So much of migration has now been made automatic, businesses that were concerned about a long complex process, need to worry no longer. And every provider has full tutorials on setup and more.
12. Control of Documents
The more collaboration among employees on documents, the greater need there is for tight control of those documents. Often, they have been sent back and forth via email or an in-house messaging system. This can result in variants in content and formats and can create a mess. In the cloud, all documents can be stored in one place, and only one version of a file is available.
13. Environmentally Responsible
While it cannot be claimed that moving to the cloud has a huge impact on the environment, it does have a bit. Because a company’s cloud needs will fluctuate, so does the server capacity, automatically, so that energy use is most efficient. An in-house system cannot do this.
Do You Need More?
These 13 benefits are obvious and significant. Businesses that move to the cloud save themselves time, money, and staff needs. Such a move provides for better integration of IT functions, better control over access and use of data and apps, greater security, and protection against disaster. But perhaps most important is that cloud services improve your ability to become more competitive in the marketplace.
Estelle Liotard is a Senior Writer at Trust My Paper and an Editor at Grab My Essay, respectively. In addition, Estelle is a frequent contributor at Supreme Dissertations and WritingJudge where she continues to hone her writing and digital publishing skills. She is an experienced content creator and a writer who excels in AI-related topics with an emphasis on its practical business applications. In her spare time, Estelle enjoys quiet afternoons on her balcony and cooking.