IT professionals who are looking to make their companies more agile and competitive are turning to cloud computing to operate more efficiently and to save on operating costs. Switching to a third-party company for cloud services enables your business to access exactly as much computing power as it needs when it needs it.
The cloud also enables your company’s employees to work from any location, such as salespeople who are on the road or telecommuters who need seamless access to data on the company’s servers. What’s more, cloud computing provides data security in the event of a power failure, natural disaster, or other circumstances that would otherwise prevent you from running crucial applications or accessing vital information.
Software as a Service
You can improve your company’s bottom line by using cloud services for your computing needs. Running applications from a cloud service provider’s servers, which is often referred to as Software as a Service, means you don’t have to purchase a software license each time you hire new employees.
The IT department doesn’t have to waste time keeping software updated or apply patches because the cloud services provider’s employees take care of that for you. If you only need to run an application for a brief period, such as to test some software to see if it will meet your needs on a new project, you will only have to pay for the time you use the application via the cloud.
Businesses responding to the CDW Cloud Computing Tracking Poll reported that 76 percent of companies that began using or continue to use cloud computing services saved money on applications by moving them from their own servers to a cloud computing service, according to the U.S. Government’s Small Business Administration.
Companies that rely on paper records often find that it can take a long time to locate a specific document, especially if it old and archived in a storage box. By shifting document storage to the cloud, companies save time and money while freeing up storage space for equipment and supplies.
For example, Great Foods Group began digitizing all of its invoices, tax papers, employee checks, and other documents and started storing them in the cloud. Not only could the company instantly retrieve these digital documents, but it was also able to quickly compare historical transaction costs from vendors to help it find the best deals on new purchases.
Great Foods Group owner Patrick Albrecht estimated that moving documents into digital format for storage in the cloud saved his company approximately 2 percent per month in total expenses, according to MSNBC.
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One IT department servicing its own company can find it difficult to maintain flawless uptime on the servers. If having computers available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week is crucial to the operations of your business, you will want to consider using cloud services.
The company providing you with cloud solutions will employ more IT employees than your organization to keep on top of any hardware or software issues that might arise.
It also uses multiple redundant servers in various locations so that if one server has a problem, computing resources will switch to another server without the users likely even being aware of an interruption.
It can be difficult to determine an exact cost for a catastrophic loss of data in your business. If you do not have access to your on-site backups, such as during a prolonged power outage or in the aftermath of a hurricane, you stand to lose significant income each day in lost work as well as in lost opportunities to take on new business, according to the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s IT disaster recovery plan recommendations.
By backing up your data in a virtual private server with a cloud company, your employees can still access this information, such as with a laptop while staying in an evacuation center or by a smartphone from a hotel or restaurant.
If you are trying to streamline operations at your company, cloud services are an excellent way to reduce hardware and software costs, speed up access to data and maintain a robust mechanism to recover from disasters through online backups.