The cloud offers businesses infinite scalability to quickly add more computing resources to meet computing demand. When demand is unpredictable, the cloud provides elasticity so that an organization can turn the computing power on and off easily. This gives businesses the flexibility to always be ready for any size task that comes. With cloud computing businesses no longer have to guess how much capacity they’ll use and they don’t have to invest in expensive infrastructure, nor the ongoing maintenance of systems that may go unused.
The workforce is becoming increasingly more dispersed as more businesses are giving employees the choice to work at least partially from home or other remote locations. According to GlobalWorkplaceAnalytics.com, telecommuting increased 79.7% between 2005 to 2012 and businesses were able to save over $500 billion a year in real estate, electricity, absenteeism, turnover and productivity— saving more than $11,000 per employee per year.
The cloud offers businesses the ability to have and provide greater accessibility to both the data and the applications used to run their business from anywhere and from any device. Now employees or business partners with login credentials and an Internet connection can securely access the information they need from around the globe. The accessibility that the cloud provides not only fuels access to tools for basic job performance, but also facilitates collaboration. With cloud solutions teams can work together on documents and collaborate on projects affordably
Because the usage from hundreds of thousands of customers is aggregated in the cloud, customers benefit from the economies of scale which translates into lower pay-as-you-go prices. Companies can achieve a lower variable cost than what would be achievable on their own. Because of the pay-for-use model, capital expenditure is erased. Additionally, since it is much faster to deploy cloud computing, businesses experience minimal start-up costs and enjoy predictable ongoing operating expenses.
Cloud computing is a multibillion-dollar business. Cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services or Microsoft Azure know that the success of their business is based in large part on their ability to keep customers’ data secure. The standards cloud providers adhere to are designed with that in mind and they invest heavily in security. Because the public cloud is a shared resource, companies benefit from layers of data security that is stronger than what organizations could implement on their own. Of course, security is more than just physical, it is also important to have solid security protocols for users who access the system and limit access with profile settings according to the access required.
In a mobile and bring your own device (BYOD) world, another critical point of risk is the loss of devices. According to a 2014 Kensington survey of over 500 IT managers 44% of organizations suffered laptop theft and 42% of organizations had smartphones stolen. This presents significant risk to businesses as these devices hold sensitive business data such as emails, documents, and contact lists among other important data. In case of loss or theft, companies can wipe the devices remotely. With data and applications stored in the cloud, employees can quickly and securely resume access to their data in the cloud despite no longer having their original device.
While the primary goal for cloud computing remains “driving IT cost efficiency” (49 percent) according to findings from the KPMG 2014 Cloud Survey, the cloud is much more than just an affordable place to store data. Smart companies are identifying the cloud as a critical tool for business transformation from “enabling a flexible and mobile workforce” (42 percent) to “improving alignment with customers” (37 percent). The cloud is becoming a powerful driver of innovation for many companies around the globe. As cloud initiatives expand beyond an IT focus to a business focus, and senior management are now tying cloud projects to ongoing business goals, companies are able to see improvements in many areas such as: connecting with customers, getting insights from customer data to inform new services or product development, enhancing productivity through mobile accessibility, and improving overall business performance while lowering costs.
These five factors have given rise to an entirely new generation of applications; changing the ways companies do business.