Many businesses have been transitioning some or all of their IT needs to cloud computing, instead of having everything in-house and operating their own systems, because there are many benefits. One of the key ones has become incredibly important — vital — this year: flexibility.
As the coronavirus pandemic has forced people to work from home during lockdowns that are now taking hold across the world again as infection rates soar, many companies are having to close their offices for a second time and operate remotely — if they can.
Doing that without the benefit of a move to the cloud can strain a company’s operations and make it grind to a halt. How can home-based staff members access all the files, programs and apps they need to do their jobs if they’re on a computer or server in the office that they can’t get to and nothing is set up to enable secure remote access?
Doing Business Becomes Cloudy
As the global economy shut down at the beginning of the pandemic early this year, many companies that had not moved to the cloud were left scrambling and wondering what to do. How could they keep going with everyone at home and employees that were unable to get the data and tools they needed to work?
Many firms had no option but to enter a period of dormancy until their staff could once again return to the office — costing them enormous sums in lost revenue. Meanwhile, those that were already operating from the cloud experienced no disruption at all and carried on as normal. And even though cloud computing has been around for some time, not everyone knows what it’s about and what benefits it can convey.
Advantages of Moving to the Cloud
Businesses that shift their digital operations to the remote servers of a datacentre providing cloud computing solutions stand to benefit from a range of offerings that can make them far more efficient and profitable. Flexibility and mobility are among the main attractions, allowing companies of any size to operate from anywhere in the world and collaborate — even if all their staff are remote workers based at home. All anyone needs is an internet connection to connect to the cloud to get all the data they need and work with the various apps and programs based in it.
Accessing and using that data is one thing, but protecting it is something else, and if it’s not done properly, it not only risks reputational harm for a company but can attract large fines. Working in the cloud includes the highest levels of security that are constantly being worked on to improve them, including encryption methods, so that hackers can’t get access and exploit weaknesses in a system. At a time when cyber-attacks are an ongoing hazard of the digital economy, with thieves stealing all manner of personal and financial data, having the best in security protection has become incredibly important.
Another essential aspect of operating in the digital world is backing up all that valuable personal information and data on customers and clients. If it’s stored on an in-house network and hard drives go down and files become corrupted, it can be catastrophic for any company. Storing data in the cloud, however, provides you with multiple levels of redundancy should something happen to a server and files are lost. And backups of work being done in the cloud are automatic, so you never have to worry about doing it yourself.
Big cost savings are, unsurprisingly, a major attraction of operating from the cloud. Now, you no longer have to set up and run your own IT system — a costly endeavour involving the purchase of hardware and software and the employment of IT professionals with big salaries to maintain it — or purchase the programs and apps you need, as companies pay a relatively small fee to use them in the cloud, and there’s usually nothing to install. These and other measures deliver substantial cost savings to firms, letting them plough their cash into other areas of their business and drive them forward.
As we all move to a new way of working and “the office” becomes defined as something more fluid and flexible, the cloud is increasingly becoming the business bedrock we’re relying on.