One of the most powerful benefits of cloud computing is that it creates a virtual work environment that can accommodate an increasingly distributed workforce.
More and more employees work in the field or from remote locations, which creates challenges when team members must work together. The cloud facilitates collaboration among employees in different locations by allowing them to access common data and applications wherever they are.
Businesses of all sizes are embracing the cloud to capitalize on this and other benefits, including the ability to access files on different devices. But many companies, especially small businesses, remain confused about what cloud computing is and if it’s the right choice for their company.
Any major shift in IT operations deserves careful consideration and evaluation of its pros and cons. Following are three major benefits to consider when contemplating a move to the cloud.
Scalability. A business considering an investment in IT assets should assess which assets are currently needed, as well as how much capacity is necessary to meet existing demands. Further, planning for long-term needs is equally important.
Determining current needs is not too difficult, but understanding future requirements is a different story. The downside to guessing incorrectly is overspending for capacity that is never needed, or underspending and having to buy additional equipment later when the budget might be unavailable.
The cloud offers a tidy solution for companies that prefer not to roll the dice on predicting future requirements. When buying into a cloud service, companies can purchase the capacity and services they know they need now and then scale up or down later to meet future needs. The cloud also allows companies to adjust to operational peaks and valleys by allowing them to purchase capacity on an as-needed basis.
Simplified Project Management. In today’s electronic world, documents and files move easily among people and devices. Yet files and applications are still largely decentralized. Cloud services allow companies to centralize their data and applications, which allows for increased collaboration among employees and easier project management.
Document and correspondence history are stored and automatically updated, tasks can be created and tracked, and calendars can be generated to keep project members up to date. These tools can eliminate less efficient manual project management tools that require multiple platforms, such as spreadsheets and even handwritten notes.
The Bottom Line. Saving money usually tops the list of goals for any company looking to make an IT system change, and cloud computing offers several opportunities to realize cost efficiencies.
- Eliminating capital expenditures on expensive physical equipment and software is a huge cost savings from day one.
- Cloud services can eliminate some costs associated with employing in-house staff to maintain equipment.
- Cloud computing services often provide a predictable and manageable pay-as-you-go billing model that is easier to fit into a budget than a large purchase of in-house equipment.
While many companies have already made the jump to cloud computing, some companies are waiting on the sidelines, trying to sort out fact from fiction. In reality, the cloud provides several potential benefits worth considering.
There are a number of cloud models to evaluate when making a cloud decision. Understanding the company’s current requirements and future goals will help determine the best path toward unlocking the potential of the cloud for any business.