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How Cloud Technology Can Solve Major Business Challenges

 6 min read / 

Today the online space seems to be surrounded by the cloud. This is something that would have surprised business owners a few years ago when they were still wondering if and how the cloud would unfold – especially in regulated industries. However, now that it is 2018 it is safe to say that every business uses some type of cloud services. This is driven by the recent explosion in data sources and the pressure that is brought with it regarding using such data in a meaningful way. The cloud can do this from all standpoints today – from giving businesses a place to store data to also providing them with access to applications that they can use to act on this same data.

For those who still are not convinced about the growth of the cloud, all one must do is look at just how fast spending on these services has also grown. In 2015, Gartner predicted that global enterprises would spend $140bn on on-premises data centre systems. Since then, there has been a major reallocation of IT budgets as businesses move to quickly adopt public and private cloud services. Now businesses no longer rely solely on on-premises data centre systems. Instead, they find themselves spending more money on IT infrastructure for deployment in cloud environments. This will result in the cloud becoming a $266bn business by the year 2021 – a number that does not even take the deployment of private, public and hybrid clouds into consideration.

Ensuring System Security and Reliability

Unexpected downtime can cost any company thousands of dollars in terms of lost productivity. This is a continual concern for any IT department. If security breaches or natural disasters occur, they could wipe out IT infrastructure. The only thing that could save a company here is moving to the cloud. Doing so will eliminate any concern regarding data backup and disaster recovery since most of them offer 24/7 network monitoring and fully redundant failover systems that guarantee firms will be back online quickly. With how competitive businesses are today, this is a much-needed advantage. A business needs to be agile, scalable, and reliable – all things the cloud enables.

Multi-Cloud Strategies

CMS Wire says next year enterprises will find themselves looking at multi-cloud strategies instead of strategies that are built around a single cloud. More specifically, it expects businesses to split their production workloads across more than one public cloud since they do not want to be locked into just one. This often leads to significant cost reduction when it comes to infrastructure – often as much as millions of dollars in savings per year.

Communication Software

The cloud can also help make business communication easier with an enterprise business phone system. Houk Consulting says that while email has been a business communication staple for decades, it does not always do what you need it to do – especially when it comes to telecommuting and remote workers. However, cloud-based services (e.g. Skype, GoToMeeting) let employees who are located in different locations communicate effortlessly and they can even use their computer’s built-in microphone and camera to do so. This makes it easier to host meetings, but there is more: The cloud makes day-to-day text-based chats easier too. Software like Microsoft Teams lets people create various channels for discussion. Firms can also send group messages and share files too.

Stabilising IT Costs

Surprisingly, this leads to more stable IT costs. This is great news for companies who typically do not put much thought into their IT budget until all their other costs and variables are accounted for. When this happens, the traditional IT infrastructure that is housed on-premise rapidly grows outdated and needs to be replaced, but most companies cannot afford to do this since they have not paid enough attention to their IT budget in the first place. Couple with that the unpredictability of these costs and Symquest one can see why this becomes a real problem.

Nevertheless, technology runs in cycles, creating an iterative, expensive process. This is because not all IT components last for the same amount of time. As such, servers may need to be refreshed one year, then the next year storage may need to be upgraded, then another year network switching needs to be updated, and the endless cycle continues. Due to the cost of these things, some may choose to defer these upgrades, but this is not something any firm can afford to do either since it negatively impacts a company’s productivity and efficiency.

Not only is all of this taken care of by a move to the cloud, but the costs of technology each month also become much more predictable. This means that capital expenses for in-house IT are reduced since infrastructure and storage are now managed off-site. Ultimately, a company is now only responsible for paying for space and functionality that it needs – a price that is predictable even as they scale and grow.

Increasing Productivity and Business Agility

In 2017 a survey was conducted in which manufacturers said the top benefits of cloud computing go beyond cost savings. About 72% of them cited higher productivity while another 60% cited business agility as the most important ways cloud computing has changed the way their companies do business today. These are strategic advantages instead of just monetary savings, which should not surprise anyone since order production and fulfilment are dictated by customer demand today – continual fluctuation companies must remain agile enough to keep up with. Cloud-based solutions integrated with ERP (enterprise resource planning) and MRP (material requirements planning) software helps keep things running smoothly because they provide a business with complete visibility into the production process so it can quickly adapt to any changes therein.

Compare the Cloud says that while you do not need to adopt every technological change that comes along, a company does need to be in a position to quickly and easily test them so that they can decide if it wants to adopt them. This is yet another thing that is so appealing about cloud computing – the ability to help create an agile business.

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