Over the last thirty or so years, technology and the internet have had a truly transformative effect on all areas of our lives. However, it could be argued no sector has been changed more than the world of business and retail.
From showcase corporate websites to online retailing and web-based applications, the internet has completely changed the way firms operate and opened up global markets in ways never before possible.
However, it’s often easy to forget the web is still very much in its infancy (the first public version of the internet went live in August 1991) with new technologies constantly in development – and of these new systems, many would argue cloud computing has the power to be the most influential and change what we expect from our online services.
What is cloud computing – and why should you use it?
Before looking at why you should move your firm’s digital services to the cloud, it would perhaps be best to define exactly what the term ‘cloud’ means. In essence, cloud computing can be thought of as any computing service not done locally on your device – anything from using remote server space for storage to software processing and making database calls.
Most commonly, cloud computing services are delivered over the internet and take advantage of far larger machines’ storage and processing power, held remotely in strategic locations globally to reduce latency.
Cloud business solutions offer firms many advantages over traditional wide area and local area networks (WANs and LANs), including:
Access to the latest and fastest technology and hardware: In days gone by, setting up and running an in-house local network was both expensive and time-consuming – plus involved hiring dedicated staff to look after the upkeep and maintenance of platforms. Given the massive growth in the number of cloud providers – plus the fact they’re all vying for the same customers – it’s in a cloud company’s interest to ensure it’s running the best and fastest machines, technology, and software – meaning you don’t have to.
A fully flexible service: One of the greatest advantages of cloud computing platforms is their flexibility in upgrading or downgrading services. No business stands still, and the digital requirements you have in six months (or even one month) will likely be entirely different from what they are today. With a cloud service company, increasing or decreasing the range, scope, or power of your service is as easy as a quick phone call or email to support (many providers even let you add, edit or delete services from an online control panel).
True peace of mind: The dangers posed by cybercrime are today greater than ever, and firms are at constant risk of being hacked or suffering a malicious attack. Using a cloud service provider, you’ll be protected 24/7/365 by best-in-business online security analysts and experts looking after your precious data. Not only that, but you’ll also have the security of regular backups to fall back on should the worst happen, and your service gets compromised.
In truth, there are many, many reasons to move your firm to cloud computing, including (but not limited to) facilitating collaborative online working, on-tap access to support and advice, reducing IT overheads, enabling digital transformation, and leveraging new technologies as they come on-stream. If you haven’t done so already, you should look into your options for moving your business to the cloud.