The advent of cloud computing has dramatically changed the IT outlook for most companies. Rather than having to build out their own IT infrastructure, firms can now simply sign up to the IT services they need, forgoing all the usual cost and expense of hiring tech professionals and buying servers.
The question isn’t so much whether businesses should be using the cloud, but what services they should be using. Here’s a rundown of how companies are making the most of the cloud boom, a market that’s growing at more than 44 percent per year.
Today’s companies generate a lot of useful data. Data can be used for all kinds of purposes, from building killer marketing campaigns to assessing employee performance. But storing all of it can be an issue. The problem with doing it in-house is that you have to manage server space manually, either by adding more hard drives, or adding new servers as the need arises.
The cloud offers a seamless solution. Cloud data storage providers already have all the hardware you need to scale your data management operations. All you need to do is pay a fee to use it, as and when you need it. Not only does this provide flexibility, but it also helps to avoid spikes in data storage costs that might be unnecessary.
Manage the network
Businesses need their networks to operate around the clock. Networks are the lifeblood of modern companies, allowing customers, management, and employees to share information to keep things going. When the network goes down, you certainly know about it.
The cloud offers a solution. Thanks to managed IT, companies can contain their entire networks in the cloud on some third-party server. What’s more, it’s the responsibility of the third-party provider to make sure that the network stays up and running as your company operates. Although this might sound a little risky (handing over responsibility for your system to somebody else), it can result in less downtime and better speed of service.
Not all companies are office-based. Many rely on engineers in the field, providing services to customers. With traditional IT solutions, it was challenging to integrate these workers with head office. But thanks to the cloud, everybody with a connected device, whether a tablet, smartphone or PC, can connect to cloud services and get what they need.
If you look back at the conversation about the cloud in 2010 and 2011, you can see how companies were worried about security. Was it really a good idea to store sensitive information on third-party servers, outside of the business, and rely on secure internet connections to transmit data to and fro?
After a while, though, the cloud proved its worth. Not only was it cheaper, but it was also far more secure than many business professionals gave it credit. Today, it’s trusted with practically all sensitive company data.
Managing finances through the cloud is the latest frontier. Finance managers, HR, and secretaries can all interact with company financials through cloud-based software, updating information when required and doing analysis.
*This is a contributed post