If you’re the CEO or CIO of a medium to large size business, you’ve probably heard about “the cloud.” You might even have read that moving applications critical to your business from legacy, in house servers to the cloud could make your company more profitable.
But what you’ve heard about the cloud hasn’t to this point moved you to action, perhaps because it’s raised more questions than it’s answered. For example, what precisely is “the cloud,” and in what ways could migrating data to it benefit your business?
WHAT IS THE CLOUD?
Essentially, the cloud is a group of remote, interconnected servers designed to store data, run applications and deliver content. These servers obviate the need for businesses to do those things onsite and enable end users to access them remotely through any internet connection.
This is how Microsoft Azure defines the cloud:
“The cloud is not a physical entity, but instead is a vast network of remote servers around the globe which are hooked together and meant to operate as a single ecosystem. These servers…store and manage data, run applications, or deliver content or a service such as streaming videos, web mail, office productivity software, or social media. Instead of accessing files and data from a local or personal computer, you are accessing them online from any Internet-capable device.”
HOW CAN MOVING TO THE CLOUD HELP YOUR BUSINESS?
Of course, every business is different, with different goals and challenges. For example, a municipal government probably has different top of mind concerns than a large construction company.
That said, however, the principal benefits of cloud computing transcend those individual differences, benefiting the lion’s share of companies in the following 4 ways:
1. YOU’LL ADD TO THE BOTTOM LINE
A recent analysis from Gartner indicates that businesses can spend up to 75% of their IT budgets on the maintenance of internal systems. Migrating to the cloud substantially reduces those costs, saving businesses money.
In addition, moving to the cloud empowers businesses to reduce IT staffs—or to refocus those employees on more business-critical issues. Finally, because cloud services are offered through a subscription model, businesses can report costs as operational instead of capital, in this way realizing significant tax advantages.
2. YOUR DATA WILL BE MORE SECURE
The security of data—particularly customer data—is an increasing concern for businesses around the globe. A recent study from University of Maryland for example estimates that a new data breach happens every 39 seconds with an average cost to the compromised business rising to more than $150 million by 2020. Most businesses that move data and applications to the cloud increase the security of sensitive data, this because cloud service providers have access to the latest technologies—and because they provide automatic updates of security software.
3. YOUR BUSINESS WILL BE MORE FLEXIBLE
In a recent Salesforce survey, businesses pointed to “operational agility” as their top reason for moving data to the cloud. Because cloud computing is provided through subscription, it enables you to increase the level of service to meet the needs of your growing business, this without costly hardware purchases.
4. YOU’LL ENHANCE PRODUCTIVITY AND ENGAGEMENT
Among the principal benefits of cloud computing is the ability of your employees to access key data and applications from any location, this via a simple internet connection. This means your workers who want to can telecommute—an option which, according to an analysis from Fundera, substantially increases productivity and boosts employee satisfaction. That same study found, for example, that businesses which offer even part-time telecommuting to their employees in aggregate save $44 billion a year.
As noted above, no two businesses are the same, and only you can decide if migration to the cloud is a prudent move for yours. Of course, that decision can be both confusing and complicated. Fortunately, there are experienced providers of managed IT services who can give you the advice and guidance you need.
To get the answers you need and learn more about the ways our cloud and managed IT services can help your business increase productivity and profitability, contact us today.