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CDWPeopleWhoGetIT: The Benefits of Cloud (en)
MicrosoftLearning: Microsoft Cloud Service Offerings (en)
Six Benefits of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing offers your business many benefits. It allows you to set up what is essentially a virtual office to give you the flexibility of connecting to your business anywhere, any time. With the growing number of web-enabled devices used in today's business environment (e.g. smartphones, tablets), access to your data is even easier.
There are many benefits for customers to moving their business to the cloud:
1. Reduced IT costs
Moving to cloud computing may reduce the cost of managing and maintaining your IT systems. Rather than purchasing expensive systems and equipment for your business, you can reduce your costs by using the resources of your cloud computing service provider. You may be able to reduce your operating costs because:
• the cost of system upgrades, new hardware and software may be included in your contract
• you no longer need to pay wages for expert staff
• your energy consumption costs may be reduced
• there are fewer time delays.
Your business can scale up or scale down your operation and storage needs quickly to suit your situation, allowing flexibility as your needs change. Rather than purchasing and installing expensive upgrades yourself, your cloud computer service provider can handle this for you. Using the cloud frees up your time so you can get on with running your business.
3. Business continuity
Protecting your data and systems is an important part of business continuity planning. Whether you experience a natural disaster, power failure or other crisis, having your data stored in the cloud ensures it is backed up and protected in a secure and safe location. Being able to access your data again quickly allows you to conduct business as usual, minimising any downtime and loss of productivity.
4. Collaboration efficiency
Collaboration in a cloud environment gives your business the ability to communicate and share more easily outside of the traditional methods. If you are working on a project across different locations, you could use cloud computing to give employees, contractors and third parties access to the same files. You could also choose a cloud computing model that makes it easy for you to share your records with your advisers (e.g. a quick and secure way to share accounting records with your accountant or financial adviser).
5. Flexibility of work practices
Cloud computing allows employees to be more flexible in their work practices. For example, you have the ability to access data from home, on holiday, or via the commute to and from work (providing you have an internet connection). If you need access to your data while you are off-site, you can connect to your virtual office, quickly and easily.
6. Access to automatic updates
Access to automatic updates for your IT requirements may be included in your service fee. Depending on your cloud computing service provider, your system will regularly be updated with the latest technology. This could include up-to-date versions of software, as well as upgrades to servers and computer processing power.
SERVICE PROVIDER (SP) / VALUE ADDED RESELLER (VAR) VIEW
Ten Benefits of Cloud Computing
1. Achieve economies of scale – increase volume output or productivity with fewer people. Your cost per unit, project or product plummets.
2. Reduce spending on technology infrastructure. Maintain easy access to your information with minimal upfront spending. Pay as you go (weekly, quarterly or yearly), based on demand.
3. Globalize your workforce on the cheap. People worldwide can access the cloud, provided they have an Internet connection.
4. Streamline processes. Get more work done in less time with less people.
5. Reduce capital costs. There’s no need to spend big money on hardware, software or licensing fees.
6. Improve accessibility. You have access anytime, anywhere, making your life so much easier!
7. Monitor projects more effectively. Stay within budget and ahead of completion cycle times.
8. Less personnel training is needed. It takes fewer people to do more work on a cloud, with a minimal learning curve on hardware and software issues.
9. Minimize licensing new software. Stretch and grow without the need to buy expensive software licenses or programs.
10. Improve flexibility. You can change direction without serious “people” or “financial” issues at stake.
INDEPENDENT SOFTWARE VENDOR (ISV) VIEW
Ten Benefits of Cloud Computing
Why Move to the Cloud?
Simply put, cloud computing is computing based on the internet. Where in the past, people would run applications or programs from software downloaded on a physical computer or server in their building, cloud computing allows people access the same kinds of applications through the internet. It is a solution growing in popularity, especially amongst SMEs. The CRN predicts that by 2014, small businesses will spend almost $100 billion on cloud computing services.
So why are so many businesses moving to the cloud? It’s because cloud computing increases efficiency, helps improve cash flow and offers many more benefits.
The second a company needs more bandwidth than usual, a cloud-based service can instantly meet the demand because of the vast capacity of the service’s remote servers. In fact, this flexibility is so crucial that 65% of respondents to an InformationWeek survey said “the ability to quickly meet business demands” was an important reason to move to cloud computing.
2. Disaster recovery
When companies start relying on cloud-based services, they no longer need complex disaster recovery plans. Cloud computing providers take care of most issues, and they do it faster. Aberdeen Group found that businesses which used the cloud were able to resolve issues in an average of 2.1 hours, nearly four times faster than businesses that didn’t use the cloud (8 hours). The same study found that mid-sized businesses had the best recovery times of all, taking almost half the time of larger companies to recover.
3. Automatic software updates
In 2010, UK companies spent 18 working days per month managing on-site security alone. But cloud computing suppliers do the server maintenance – including security updates –themselves, freeing up their customers’ time and resources for other tasks.
4. Cap-Ex Free
Cloud computing services are typically pay as you go, so there’s no need for capital expenditure at all. And because cloud computing is much faster to deploy, businesses have minimal project start-up costs and predictable ongoing operating expenses.
5. Increased collaboration
Cloud computing increases collaboration by allowing all employees – wherever they are – to sync up and work on documents and shared apps simultaneously, and follow colleagues and records to receive critical updates in real time. A survey by Frost & Sullivan found that companies which invested in collaboration technology had a 400% return on investment.
6. Work from anywhere
As long as employees have internet access, they can work from anywhere. This flexibility positively affects knowledge workers' work-life blanace and productivity. One study found that 42% of working adults would give up some of their salary if they could telecommute, and on average they would take a 6% paycut.
7. Document control
According to one study, "73% of knowledge workers collaborate with people in different time zones and regions at least monthly". If a company doesn’t use the cloud, workers have to send files back and forth over email, meaning only one person can work on a file at a time and the same document has tonnes of names and formats.
Cloud computing keeps all the files in one central location, and everyone works off of one central copy. Employees can even chat to each other whilst making changes together. This whole process makes collaboration stronger, which increases efficiency and improves a company’s bottom line.
Some 800,000 laptops are lost each year in airports alone. This can have some serious monetary implications, but when everything is stored in the cloud, data can still be accessed no matter what happens to a machine.
The cloud grants SMEs access to enterprise-class technology. It also allows smaller businesses to act faster than big, established competitors. A study on disaster recovery eventually concluded that companies that didn’t use the cloud had to rely on tape backup methods and complicated procedures to recover – slow, laborious things which cloud users simply don’t use, allowing David to once again out-manoeuvre Goliath.
10. Environmentally friendly
Businesses using cloud computing only use the server space they need, which decreases their carbon footprint. Using the cloud results in at least 30% less energy consumption and carbon emissions than using on-site servers. And again, SMEs get the most benefit: for small companies, the cut in energy use and carbon emissions is likely to be 90%.
Five Cloud Business Benefits
One of the benefits of cloud computing is increased efficiency; services are rapidly deployed and ready for use in a matter of minutes versus the weeks or months it traditionally takes. But there is more to cloud computing than just getting your compute resources, storage capacity or application as a service within minutes. Based on personal experience with cloud consumers, here are the top five business benefits beyond efficiency.
1. Business agility
Getting the compute resources you need when you need them tends to shorten IT projects resulting in less FTE to deliver the project and a quicker and more predictive time-to-market. Being able to deliver results faster, cheaper and with more quality might just give your business a competitive edge and make her more nimble on her feet. I have seen a data analytics project being reduced from 4 months to just 3 weeks, reducing the projects time-to-market and overall cost significantly.
2. New business models
It has become much easier to start business innovation initiatives, often enabled by readily available cloud services. Utilizing or combining these services can result in new and innovative business models, generating new value propositions and resulting in new revenue streams. There are even companies that are building entirely new business models and value propositions solely using cloud services. I see this last category especially in small and medium enterprises, but also think of Spotify, and BitCasa.
3. Less operational issues
Utilizing standardized services can significantly reduce issues and defects. This increases business continuity and reduce time spent on operational issues, focusing more on the things that matter. Cloud computing allows you to deploy the same service or topology of services repetitively, with the same result every time. This allows organizations to predicatively deploy pre-build server images, application services or entire application landscapes defined using design patterns.
4. Better use of resources
On the other side of the “business agility” model, more efficient projects and less operational issues allow your employees to spend their time on other more useful activities that may offer a greater potential value to your business. This benefit is different for every organization and harder to quantify, but people are an organizations biggest asset and this allows you to better utilize this asset.
Another take on better resource usage is based on the fact the principle of “economies of scale”; cloud service providers, in general, more efficiently utilize physical resources and reduce energy consumption in contract to a traditional IT approach.
5. Less capital expense.
There is some debateabout the value of shifting from a capital expense (CapEx) model to an operational expense (OpEx) model. Overall sentiment is that, specifically for short and midterm projects, the OpEx model is more attractive because there are no long term financial commitments. In the OpEx model zero upfront investment is required, which allows organizations to start projects faster but also end them without losing any investments in the cloud services.
As you see, there is much more to cloud computing than technology alone. The true power of cloud is what the technology, implementing rapidly deployed services in the cloud, can mean for your business.