Cloud computing is a hot topic these days in spite of of the fact that it’s been around for a while. Even if you are cloud_world_lavstill not sure what cloud computing is, there is a high chance that you are already using it in your daily life. This includes services such as your account on Gmail or Hotmail, Skype, Facebook, and Netflix, just to name a few.

We discussed cloud computing, its definition, and the different types of it in an earlier post. In this post I would like to touch on an overview of cloud computing benefits in order to help you decide if it would be a good choice for your business.

Cost-efficient:

Cloud computing is often much more cost effective. Instead of buying, maintaining, and managing your own servers, you can outsource your hardware needs and store your data remotely instead (IaaS). Another advantage would be that you don’t have to pay the full price of software anymore. In addition, you can subscribe to the software and you only pay for it when you need it (SaaS). Furthermore, you don’t have to worry about maintaining and upgrading software or fixing bugs because all maintenance is done by the providers. This will allow your IT teams to focus on technical issues specific to the business. On top of that, remote maintenance means it’s easy for you to always have the latest and most powerful version of any particular software. You also have the benefits of having some dedicated subject matter experts available for any trouble related issues should the need arise (ITaaS).

Near Unlimited Capacity:

You will have much more capacity for your data because it is not limited to dedicated infrastructure, so your storage capacity can grow with your business. Also, cloud computing gives you the ability to scale up or scale down your capacity and services based on your current needs. For instance, in the case of temporary peaks in demand, all you need to do is increase your CPU/RAM/Storage/Servers etc. for the immediate need.

Flexibility:

With most any cloud computing provider, you will have access to an administrative portal where you can scale your services to current requirements. With no new paperwork or infrastructure to add, typically you can add a new service with your requested requirements and it will be up and ready for use within an hour, including whatever Operating System and software you chose. Employees can have access to files and data from anywhere with Internet access; this includes smartphones and tablets. This is a great fit for the mobile workforce. Staff can also work collaboratively on files and documents and simultaneously view and edit their documents from multiple locations.

Speed and Efficiency:

Depending upon your application, latency may be an issue to address, but for the most part cloud speeds up your daily activities. Employees no longer need to upload and download large attachments and tasks. You view and interact with a live image of the application.

Green:

Another cloud computing benefit is that it is a great way to move towards green IT. According to Microsoft, cloud computing can reduce a business’s carbon emissions by as much as 30%; since businesses typically don’t need to power an entire server, they only use what they need.

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