The global cloud computing market size is expected to grow from USD 371.4 billion in 2020 to USD 832.1 billion by 2025, at a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 17.5% during the forecast period.(1)
Cloud computing adoption is accelerating at a CAGR of 17.5% as per the above statistics.
The widespread interest for cloud computing emanates from businesses and government agencies seeking more resilient, dynamic, and cost-effective IT systems. While the term ‘cloud’ may denote an ephemeral quality, the benefits of cloud computing or its advantages are very tangible.
Cloud computing refers to a style of computing where services and software are delivered virtually using a private or public network. The main focus of the cloud is to offer flexible resources cost-effectively to enhance user experience.
IT executives of many large organizations have successfully implemented a cloud-first approach. Still, many companies have failed or are struggling to extract the full benefits of moving their enterprise systems to the cloud.
And there are still some who are pondering over the question – What are the benefits of cloud computing?
This article covers the top 9 benefits of cloud computing. Let’s get started.
Top nine benefits of cloud computing
1. Faster and flexible scalability
Scalability is a key concern in organizations, especially the growing businesses, startups, and subscription-based ones.
Most of the cloud service providers allow you to increase or decrease resources to match your business needs. The ability to scale quickly and without requiring upfront infrastructure investment is one of the key advantages of moving to the cloud.
A perfect example to quote would be of video streaming platform – Netflix. Netflix’s cloud journey began in 2008, owing to a major database corruption. For better scalability, they moved to Amazon Web Services (AWS). By running on AWS, they could deliver billions of hours of services to their globally located customers.
Thus, by moving to the cloud, Netflix could scale up and down as per their requirements and provide uninterrupted services to their customers.
2. Reduced IT costs
Cloud computing offers various cost benefits. The most basic and common is the hardware cost reduction. With the cloud, you don’t need to purchase any new equipment. Hardware needs are met by the vendor. For growing companies with bootstrapped budgets, investing in additional hardware is difficult.
Along with the purchase costs, companies can also save on internal power and space costs.
Its benefits are similar to what you realize when you use an OLA or an UBER cab service. You just pay for the distance travelled. If anything happens to the car (in our case, the infrastructure), it is not your concern.
It is cost-efficient when compared to buying your own car and spending money on its maintenance. Cloud solutions can also help you cut down on labour costs. How? Well, by taking cloud solutions by a managed service provider, you do not need to spend money on maintaining a large in-house IT team.
3. Improved business interaction and collaboration
Teamwork and collaboration between employees are pivotal in an organization’s success. Cloud-based solutions can help improve the business interaction and collaboration between you and your employees as well as your customers.
Cloud-based productivity tools like Google Workspace (formerly G Suite) or Microsoft Teams have simplified work. They allow employees to work together even if they live in different countries. From co-authoring documents and conducting in-person meetings to sharing files and messages in real-time, the cloud can drastically improve workplace productivity.
Cloud-based CRM solutions have simplified client management, enabling faster ways to reach customers and solve their queries. While collaboration is still possible without the cloud, it will neither be easy nor effective.
4. Lower risk and security
Cloud security is one of the biggest challenges (83%) to enterprise cloud computing adoption, as per Statista.
Data security is crucial for all businesses – big or small. Still, only 7% of companies have full visibility of all critical data, while 58% have only moderate or slight visibility.
While the thought of saving your data offsite can be terrifying but with improved data regulation and compliance management in the cloud, it can be relieving. When you host your files and documents offsite in a service provider’s data center, your host’s full-time job is to monitor your data and ensure that it is safe.
Major clouds like AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Alibaba Cloud meet all data regulation and compliance requirements. If you still worry about hosting in a public cloud, you can opt for virtual private servers, hybrid cloud or private cloud, too. Cloud also offers data encryption feature and multi-factor authentication to secure data.
5. Enhanced business value
Cloud computing benefits can help enhance business value. Cloud adopters by and large experience greater cost efficiencies, faster speed to market, and improved service levels.
The cloud helps them reinvent and reimagine their business models and build resilience. The cloud can help you deploy new business models and provide digital customer experiences. It also supports analytics that is impossible with traditional computing platforms.
With the cloud, you can devote more time to innovate and less on the day-to-day challenges of IT. The cloud presents new ways of delivering IT services – making applications and infrastructure available dynamically. It can also enhance information management, service-oriented architecture, and service management initiatives. With the click of a mouse, services can be expanded or contracted.
The lower cost of ownership helps you drive higher profitability and eventually increase your business’s value.
6. Easy data backup and restore
With an increasing number of cyberattacks and security breaches, data backup and restore has become a key requirement for the businesses.
Cloud computing solutions can help you store critical data offsite, create multiple copies of it, and restore it when required. While traditional data backup and restore options are there, they are not cost-effective and are difficult to scale.
Cloud-based data backup helps you store plenty of data on the cloud and increase storage space without requiring any hardware equipment. Most of the cloud backup service providers ensure that data is encrypted during upload and download. They also meet data security and compliance requirements.
7. Business continuity with anywhere access
Cloud helps in business continuity through its disaster recovery planning and anywhere-anytime access. Disaster recovery and business continuity often tend to take a backseat when it comes to IT management.
To quote the words of Benjamin Franklin, failing to plan is planning to fail.
The cloud helps you plan for disaster recovery without consuming much of your time. As it relies on hardware-independent virtualization technology, it allows you to quickly back up data, files, critical applications, and even operating systems to a remote data center; making it available for use when required.
The need for business continuity could not be felt any stronger than it is in the wake of COVID-19. Cloud computing and digital technologies have allowed businesses to continue operations as usual.
8. Mobility and remote work
Cloud computing has made mobility a viable option for companies and individuals via remote work.
COVID-19 precautions and safety guidelines forced many companies across the world to shift to a fully remote working model. The need for physical distancing also reduced office interactions. Companies which relied on traditional technologies were not able to make this shift quickly. While those equipped with cloud solutions were able to continue their businesses from home.
Video conferencing platform Zoom recorded 200 million spikes in daily users in March 2020, up from 10 million in December.
Today, thanks to cloud-based video conferencing and collaboration tools, employees can connect virtually through their phones, tablets, and laptops. The work from home system also requires mobility of resources. Cloud computing has made this possible by facilitating easy transfer of files, documents, research schedules, and even conduct weekly team meetings.
9. Competitive edge and sustainability
Apart from all the above top benefits of cloud computing, one of the most important advantages is the competitive edge.
Cloud brings a competitive edge in an organization. It can be realized in different areas with advanced customer relationships driven by data analytics, precise business decision making via cloud decision support systems, enhanced team collaboration, and optimum utilization of resources.
In today’s fast-moving world, you need to be agile and innovative to have an edge over your competitors. Cloud helps you gain that advantage. Cloud computing is also environment friendly and results in less carbon footprint. Remember the example of UBER we shared above? It can be applied in this case as well. Carpooling is a great way to protect the environment and reducing air pollution. Similarly, by sharing resources on a public cloud or storing files and data on cloud service providers’ data centers, you can contribute towards a better future.
Historically, enterprise IT systems were designed to run on custom-configured IT systems. Every application that run on these systems required its own set of custom configurations of computing space and storage. Companies needed fully-trained in-house IT experts to keep systems up and running. Not to mention the necessity to manually update and add new capacity when required.
Cloud computing takes away all these burdens from the shoulders of your IT team. It can lead to massive standardization and automation across your IT systems, allowing you to work fast and innovate even faster.
Capturing these benefits from cloud computing is not just about lift and shift. You need to plan your cloud journey and formulate a roadmap for cloud adoption.
Originally Published on ZNetLive