When discussing cloud computing, it is easy to get carried away with describing features, functionalities and technicalities. As important as these are, what really counts for businesses is that cloud computing helps achieve business goals.
The Olympic motto – Faster, Higher, Stronger – might be a good starting point to consider the benefits of cloud computing. The motto was introduced in 1924 at the Olympic Games in Paris and was chosen because it expressed the aspirations of the Olympic movement – not only in terms of athletic performance but also with regard to a wider developmental perspective. The motto also perfectly reflects the ambitions of most businesses, who want to be able to introduce products as quickly as possible to beat competitors and increase market share, generate high income to maintain a sound financial foundation, and grow into a strong organisation, which is able to recover from setbacks and invest into the future.
Business is never static. It is therefore not surprising that a report by The Economist found that business leaders want to ensure that cloud technology makes their organisations more flexible, efficient and effective. Businesses want to make certain that cloud computing helps meet business objectives such as increasing employee efficiency, safeguarding business continuity, higher flexibility through faster access to infrastructure, increasing geographical reach, and faster time to-market.
Moving to the cloud does not automatically reduce spending on IT systems, but substantial savings on IT costs are possible. Some of these savings can be achieved through buying in extra storage capacity if and when required rather than having to invest in expensive IT equipment. More savings are to be expected when older so-called legacy systems come to the end of their lifetime and will eventually have to be retired. However, equally important are other savings which can be achieved through cloud computing, such as lower fixed costs, lower HR costs, fewer order delays and reduced stock levels.
Cloud computing can also strengthen businesses in that it allows to back-up and recover business data easily. Cloud data are stored on highly secure servers, run by data centres that have to adhere to international standards for security and data protection required by law. These standards and regulations are designed to protect users of the cloud.
Strong businesses require strong partners: to best benefit from cloud computing, enterprises should look for an experienced provider. They need to look beyond apps and technology and opt for a provider who is able to understand underlying business needs and objectives. Choosing the right cloud computing supplier will be crucial in safeguarding IT investments.
The business benefits of cloud computing are manifold and worth exploring because the cloud is now a core component of any successful business.