Cloud Advantages Benefit Companies
Cloud computing models provide a host of benefits that are not easily available in a normal client server based infrastructure. Using the cloud has many advantages and benefits, the most notable ones include:
- The ability to scale up or down, also called elasticity
- Provisioning and de-provisioning is self-service and automatic respectively
- Centralized pooling of resources
- Billing and metering of service usage. User can monitor their resource usage and pay for per resource or per service availed
- Applications and various services are available efficiently and without disruptions
- Reduced costs in IT infrastructure, maintenance and management
Larger enterprises have higher IT budgets and they are able to reach the global market quickly by using the internet. Small and medium enterprises (SMEs) often face the challenge of competing with bigger enterprises and the cloud provides the much-needed leverage for them to reach markets beyond their geographical boundaries. SMEs derive many attractive benefits by using the cloud service because adopting the appropriate model for their business is proved to drastically reduce their IT infrastructure and resource costs. An SME can simply deploy an application in the cloud and avoid the costs of managing the application (namely IT staff, storage, hardware, network, etc). Further, the application running on a cloud is highly efficient and available 24×7 without break downs, resulting in customer retention and a happy user experience.
The Cloud Enhances Computing Performance
During the last decade, the technological advances in electronics and digital equipments have progressed rapidly resulting in massive use of hardware components to increase the operational efficiency in IT environments. This trend has invited other problems and issues related to manageability of the resources, high costs for running the equipment and power related issues for efficiently using the IT infrastructure to achieve business objectives. Many CIOs and IT infrastructure managers often come across these issues in their day-to-day working. The need to manage them as a unified resource that is scalable, flexible, that can be managed by the users themselves and which can provide superior computing performance for business operations and market expansion without failure paved the way for many of the cloud computing models that are currently available from major IT players.
The other benefits of cloud computing that adds value to business performance include the technical characteristics:
- Economy of Scale: Cloud computing provides the ability to allow many companies to share their best practices and technical expertise. For example, a SME may not be able to incur cost on hiring skilled personnel, but by collaborating in a cloud they may obtain this benefit without any cost.
- Flexibility: In a normal server system the resources are fixed and it is designed for certain amount of computing power and storage, also in higher configurations many times resources become redundant. But in a cloud, the resources are available to expand as the business data expands. This feature offers the availability of bandwidth, storage, etc the company can utilize the exact amount of required resource and pay for what is used.
- Self-service and Metering: This is ideal for companies because the IT staff can request the amount of resource required for his need. Cloud service providers offer this as an interface to request the resource, or a seat or license for single user. This is similar to an ATM machine in the bank.
- Business Process Services: These services are best possible solutions to handle repetitive tasks like in payroll processing, supply chain, etc. A self-service interface allows the use of this service and customization is also possible.
- Security and Management Services: Cloud services use the same internet data-links for transferring data and they co-exist with the world-wide web. Hence it critical to protect these systems from viruses and threats related to data protection and privacy. A well-planned security strategy is mandatory for companies planning to adopt any type of cloud service.
- Collaboration Services: This is one important benefit as the cloud provides the most ideal platform to collaborate between employees, partners, businesses and customers. Social business collaboration is quickly gaining popularity. This service enables companies to collaborate with the right experts at the right time to achieve business goals.
The services mentioned above are broad in nature and available with any cloud service. Companies that rely heavily on the world-wide web to expand their business and retain customers require better performing IT systems for efficient service delivery to increase their business value. Using the right cloud service can help companies to easily achieve their business objective in reduced costs and to obtain the competitive edge in markets.
Cloud computing because of its superior computing performance is most suitable for organizations and SMEs that have a mobile workforce across multiple locations to tap on emerging markets. These businesses can take less time to set up and manage operations with the help of cloud computing.
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