Building Efficiency: Cloud Applications

Business processes are rapidly changing with the adoption cloud computing. Within powerful cloud storage and backup environments, you can instantly access and share documents and files with colleagues all over the globe. Still, for many small and medium businesses, the question is whether cloud technology gives them a competitive edge. This is an increasingly important question to answer as more companies consider migrating the bulk of their in-house resources to the cloud. In this post, we’ll to give you some more insight to help you make smart decisions in the cloud.

Cloud Advantages

—     Time: When managing IT resources in-house, the complexities of scaling are overwhelming. The big reasons businesses are making the big move to the cloud are agility and flexibility. Flexibility is a major need in the small to medium business sector, as many of these companies are experiencing rapid growth. Since the bulk of cloud services are on-demand, especially with cloud storage and backup services, scaling to fit the needs of your business is easier than ever. In the cloud, all of your scaling and data management configurations can be completed in minutes, not hours or days, which frees you up to focus on more business-specific processes.

—     Cost: If we’re being honest, this is the driving factor for many businesses considering a full-scale cloud implementation. Cost, regardless of your business’s size or scope, is a primary motivator for cloud adoption. In fact, according to a recent survey conducted among executives in the US and UK, 94 percent of respondents admitted to experiencing budget savings by using cloud technology. Additionally, over 62 percent of the same respondents reported experiencing profit increases due to cloud implementation. Since companies only pay for what they use in the cloud, the cost savings are significant.

Potential Cloud Disadvantages

—     Control:The reality of full-scale cloud implementation is that a third-party is housing and, in some cases, managing your data. The main benefit of housing data in-

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house is that you have complete control over all data processes. The problem with this is that you’re also responsible for anything that goes wrong with your data. In the cloud, depending on your service level agreement, your provider’s shouldering the responsibility when things go south.

—     Security: All you have to do is comb some tech blogs to find out that many analysts and industry pros are wary of the cloud on the security front. This stems from the idea that downtime and a host of other issues can contribute to the cloud’s instability, and that data can be lost, or worse, compromised by unwanted third parties. The truth, though, is that security problems exist on every platform. The reason the cloud is coming under attack for security is that the new security methods it requires aren’t deeply entrenched yet, so it’s hard for everyone to adjust.

Whether the cloud offers a competitive edge depends on your business and its needs. It helps to look at some real-world success stories in this area, but you don’t have to look hard to find clear examples of cloud technology helping businesses all stripes gain the advantage over their competition.

 

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