30 Oct How Can Cloud Computing Save Businesses Money?
In recent years there has been a large increase in the popularity of Cloud Computing, due to both improving technologies and increased cost efficiencies. Businesses of all sizes are offered access to software capabilities that in were traditionally reserved only for larger corporations. Instead of the purchasing of high cost software packages (and the hardware capable to run this software, as well as licensees, etc), companies can now simply log in to software hosted elsewhere, reducing the need for numerous installations and powerful computers.
Cloud hosted software covers a range of applications, from Accounting and CRM systems, to data backup and file storage. It offers a range of benefits which have the potential to save businesses money, including:
Most cloud based programs can be accessed by even the most basic of computers, or in some cases, any device with an internet connection (smartphones, tablets, etc). This has a number of benefits, one of which is the accessibility of data from numerous employees, even if they aren’t in the office. This improves productivity, since employees can be working, even when travelling our without access to their conventional computer.
Calendars, schedules and data can also be accessed without the need for a workplace intranet, server, or email attachments.
The cloud also offers a range of collaborative tools, including instant messaging, video messaging, and shared storage, meaning information, ideas and data can be shared instantaneously, again improving workplace efficiency.
Many cloud based solutions are scalable; especially for smaller businesses, it is incredibly important not to to overspend on unnecessary resources, but at the same time, allowing for enough growth potential. With traditional software solutions, this often meant purchasing a package which allowed for potential growth, but with Cloud solutions, subscriptions and functionality can reflect current business needs, and expand with them (minimising unnecessary expenditure).
Instead of having to predict business needs, businesses can react to needs as and when they arrive, making growth (and its associated costs) much more efficient. There is a clear improvement in an ability to react, creating a more dynamic and flexible business.
Cloud based software solutions are generally cheaper than their traditional locally stored alternatives. One major cost saving is the fact that there isn’t a need for highly specced hardware, storage, and server capabilities. This again removes the need for onsite IT support, maintenance, upgrades, storage space, insurance, etc. Over the life of a business, this can be a substantial saving.
Instead, most cloud computing platforms use a subscription model, presenting much lower costs than having to buy (and maintain) software and hardware in a one-off lump sum. As well as allowing businesses to scale up with increased demand, cloud software allows buinesses to scale down during quiet periods (again, minimising costs). This isn’t an option when software and hardware has been bought outright.
Most businesses understand the importance of backing up data, but few do it effectively. Cloud systems simplify the process; instead of having to rely on local backups (expensive, and sometimes ineffective), data is usually automatically backed up, meaning the latest version of a document or file can be retrieved instantly. This is much safer than storing data on a local server, which may be lost due to water/fire damage, hardware malfunctions, or even theft. Many cloud systems will store data in more than one location, with 24 hour security.