What Is Cloud Computing? How Can It Benefit My Business?

Just like every technology buzzword, cloud computing is everywhere. However, it is not just about the noise. Cloud computing actually does work and is being utilized across many industries.

So what is cloud computing all about?

To start with, let’s take a look at the definition of cloud computing. According to Wikipedia, “cloud computing is shared pools of configurable computer system resources and higher-level services that can be rapidly provisioned with minimal management effort, often over the internet.”

While the definition is great, it’s quite confusing. Let’s look at it in simpler terms.

Cloud computing is basically the use of computing services over the internet. This ensures operating costs are lower and operations are faster. By computing services, we mean storage services, databases, servers and even softwares. Through cloud computing, these services can be used across the internet.

To push further, the whole concept of cloud computing is built on the idea that more can be done with less. This is possible as multiple users can utilize one infrastructure/service over the cloud without having to individually invest in infrastructure. 

While you may have only heard about cloud computing recently, it is not a new technology. The idea of cloud computing has come up since the 1960s, however progress was slow until the internet boom.

Salesforce started offering cloud computing services in 1999, becoming the first company to offer business applications over the internet.

The use of cloud computing in various industries have increased rapidly since 1999 especially in startups. Cloud computing has made giant strides ever since, as the cloud computing market is said to exceed $278.3 billion in 2021. Cloud computing services are being used in a lot of industries, including but not limited to automotive, education, financial, healthcare and insurance industries.

Benefits of cloud computing to businesses

The importance of cloud computing to businesses can’t be emphasized enough as this technology has a lot of benefits. Let’s take a look at some vital ones.

Costs saving

Without doubt, cloud computing saves businesses money. While you may not see its effects short term, you would be amazed by how much you would have saved over time.

With cloud computing, you no longer need to invest in physical computing infrastructure.

Cloud computing yields immense Return On Investment (ROI) as it is built around a pay-as-you-go system. You only pay for infrastructures your business uses, nothing more nothing less.

Let’s illustrate a bit. Imagine your business needs 30 gigabytes of storage space, all you would need to do is to pay a cloud computing service provider for that storage space. If you were to get the hardware yourself, you may be forced to get storage space at certain standards such as 32 gigabytes, 64 gigabytes. Choosing any of both means wasted resources, which you paid for.

Cloud computing ensures you do not have to worry about a lot of technical details, all you need is to worry about is how much of infrastructure you need for the business to operate.

Increased scalability

Remember we talked about cloud computing services utilizing pay-as-you-go. Well asides reducing costs of those services, cloud computing also improves the scalability of your business.

By scalability, we mean that as your business expands and the need for certain computing services increases, you are able to respond by providing infrastructure to match the needs.

Imagine it’s the festive period and your business is dependent on a web application. Therefore, you would expect to have more traffic. To handle this, you need to get infrastructure to handle the traffic.

If you decide to choose physical infrastructure over the cloud, you have to invest heavily in infrastructure and wait to have it configured. How long you have to wait, nobody knows. However, it could be bad enough to chase away your potential customers.

What happens after the festive period? You need to downgrade, except you intend wasting resources. This requires some cost and time too.

Through cloud computing, the whole process of upgrading or downgrading is quick, cheap and efficient. It’s such as seamless experience, nobody would notice an upgrade or downgrade took place. Also, your business’s web application would have enough firepower to handle the pressure and bring in profit.

Increased collaboration

Cloud computing improves collaboration amongst the team members in a business. With cloud computing, members can view and share information amongst themselves through the platform and get to work at the same time.

Through cloud computing, team members can access documents at anytime, making collaboration amongst them easier.

Improved security

Security has always been an issue of concern for businesses. To earn the trust of the customers, you need to tighten up security.

Nobody trusts a business that doesn’t protect the data of the users. The use of cloud computing helps increase the level of trust as cloud computing service providers offer policies and technologies that help reduce the potential threats to the security of your business.

With your business having onsite infrastructure, you would have to implement the security measures yourself. This means you need to keep yourself updated on the best security practices and latest vulnerabilities. All these are covered by the cloud computing service, as they usually have robust firewall protection to prevent system intrusion.

Disaster recovery

One of the biggest advantages of cloud computing is the chance it gives your business to recover from disasters.

Imagine having an onsite data center and some disaster happens, it would take a long time for your business to recover from this, if it ever does.

However, with cloud computing services the chances are higher. Cloud computing services have data centers around the world, therefore if disaster strikes in one part of the world, recovery is possible thanks to backup in other parts of the world.

Disaster recovery should be taken seriously by business of all sizes, you do not want a disaster grinding your business’s operations to a halt.

Work can be done from anywhere

With cloud computing, business resources are available to members of the team from any part of the world, provided there is access to the internet.

This means more people can work for your business without having to come to a physical location, and you do not have to spend a fortune getting a physical location to accommodate a lot of people.

With cloud computing, workers can now perform their tasks at home allowing them plan their day more effectively and giving them the needed work-life balance. This could improve the productivity of the workers and positively influence the business if taken advantage of.

Conclusion

The cloud is cheap, scalable, business friendly and comes with lots of benefits when utilized. With the cloud, businesses are able to control services and pay for them in the needed quantities. Cloud computing is friendly to businesses of all sizes, from small scale to medium and large scale enterprises.

Cloud computing has a huge role to play in the future of business and lots of businesses are jumping on board to take advantage of the benefits of this great technology.