How Cloud Computing is Changing Business
An increasing number of companies are turning to cloud computing to meet their data storage needs. Although there are some potential risks in using the cloud to hold data, there are a great many positives as well. It would not be an exaggeration to state that the cloud has already begun revolutionising how business works, and how it meets its computing needs. This article lays out some of the positives of cloud systems thereby allowing corporations to decide for themselves whether to make the switch to the cloud.
What is the cloud and why should I use it?
Cloud computing is a system which networks devices and stores the data on those devices in a centralised location off-site. This means that any device connected to the cloud can access shared data at any time from any location. There are obvious benefits to this system, not least its great convenience. But there are numerous other advantages. The cloud:
- Reduces IT costs. Companies which utilise a cloud service reduce their overheads by a considerable margin because the cloud provider itself oversees maintenance and updates, as well as the servers which host your data. This means that corporations do not have to budget for these necessities themselves.
- Is flexible. The cloud allows companies freedom to scale up or down their storage requirements as the situation demands. Hitherto, corporations had to undergo expensive expansion of their IT services if they needed more storage space. But with the cloud things are far simpler, quicker and cheaper.
- Increases security. Because the cloud does not store data on devices but rather on a network, companies are less at risk from suffering data loss through hack attacks on employees’ machines. Furthermore, the cloud provider assumes security responsibilities for your data, which means that your assets are protected by a professional service off-site.
- Improves data integrity. The cloud maintains an original version of all your files which means that there is a greatly reduced risk of employees mistakenly circulating erroneous or outdated versions and hindering progress.
- Is easy to budget for. Before the cloud, corporations would have to allow for potentially lengthy downtime in its systems for updating and maintenance. But now, cloud costs are entirely predictable and encompass a wide variety of requirements which might otherwise have cost businesses dear.
- Is a green system. The cloud reduces a company’s carbon footprint in that it requires minimal input and infrastructure from the user. It is streamlined in every sense.
The cloud – blue-sky thinking?
These are some of the key benefits of the cloud. It is a system which has nothing short of revolutionised how businesses store their data. This in itself is no surprise. Many people are beginning now to use cloud services like Dropbox and OneDrive for their own data. Numbers released last year show that Dropbox boasts 500 million users, on whose behalf it stores billions and billions of files. Meanwhile, Microsoft’s OneDrive is highly integrated with its other services like Microsoft Office, thereby facilitating rapid access to data.
The cloud is still a relatively new technology, and it is not a perfect system – there is some debate, for instance, over how far providers can access the private data of users. But the corporate sector must embrace and encourage innovation if it is to strengthen in an increasingly digital world. The cloud is just one example of innovative practice which has already begun to shape how we view data, its storage and security. Whether your company is a start-up or a multinational, the cloud’s flexibility makes it the perfect solution to your data requirements.