Today’s “sharing economy” is changing the way we do business. Many of us have benefited from this new model as customers of Airbnb, Lyft, TaskRabbit and the like. Business owners who leverage the sharing economy’s cloud-based services to run their operations experience the following benefits:
- Low capital investments
- Predictable monthly costs
- Elasticity and scalability
- High volumes of reliability
Low Capital Investments
Worried about the initial cost of switching to cloud services for business? You’re in good company. In fact, 20 percent of organizations are concerned about the initial cost of implementing a cloud-based server. Because of the operational efficiencies brought by cloud services, costs are best evaluated in terms of return on investment, rather than merely cash outlay.
Cloud services utilize shared resources remotely which can save businesses from large and expensive hardware costs. A business can easily spend $20K or more for its own servers, but some cloud services could cost you as low as $100 dollars a month depending on how much storage is desired. Being in the cloud provides quick and efficient access to important company files as needed. This helps quick-start projects and everyday tasks for your employees.
Predictable Monthly Cost
Much like Netflix, users can pay monthly for the resources that the business needs. This shared economy structure allows the user to only pay for what they use. The traditional method of payment was all upfront even if you did not use all the features. Imagine the wasteful cost of paying for an entire server that is not used to its full capacity.
The capacity needed for your business to run then becomes less expensive. Cloud services for business helps to regulate cost by only paying for what is necessary. These reasons ultimately help lower expenses, set predictable cost, and increase ROI. Half of all CIOs and IT leaders surveyed by Bitglass reported cost savings in 2015 as a result of using cloud-based applications.
Elasticity and Scalability
The cloud infrastructure fluctuates to scale on demand as workloads increase and decrease in an autonomic manner, maximizing the use of resources. This means businesses don’t have to pay for more resources than what they are using at any given moment. Cloud services for business could include the ability to launch new virtual machines or shutdown inactive virtual machines. Applications have the necessary room to scale up or down to prevent a depletion of resources. This scale of application helps set performance rates at top speed. Once the cloud infrastructure is scaled to proper size there is only a need to support the new cloud infrastructure. This ultimately results in cost savings in infrastructure
High Volumes of Reliability
Cloud-based technology can give businesses an edge on the competition via reliability. Regular cloud backups protect against the risk of physical hard drive failure. Cloud service providers keep their tech updated so they can stay competitive, meaning businesses don’t have to upgrade their own equipment as often.
Security measures like private cloud, data encryption, and secured storage space help cloud services for business reduce risk. Other options are available for user security clearance based on a need-to-know basis. Choose from public, private, or hybrid cloud storage options. According to Salesforce, 94% of business claimed they saw an improvement in security after switching to the cloud. 91% said the cloud makes it easier to meet compliance requirements.
Disaster recover alone should be enough to consider using cloud services. One can’t anticipate when the next natural disaster will hit, but one can rely on the safety of company data in the cloud. Cloud services for business help daily operations continue as normal in the midst of a natural disaster with little to no downtime. While 20 percent of cloud users claim disaster recovery in four hours or less, only 9 percent of non-cloud users can claim the same. In a recent survey, 43 percent of IT executives said they plan to invest in or improve cloud-based disaster recovery solutions.
How Cloud Service Providers Help
Unfortunately, there is a limit to the amount of focus one person can give to managing cloud services for business. Or worse, the single IT person in-house up and quits. The best case business scenario is a slow down in daily operation causing employee frustration. The worst case scenario is a complete halt in operation and a loss of sensitive customer data potentially costing thousands of dollars. Relying on a cloud services provider can mitigate both scenarios. Outsourced IT can take the worry out of cloud services for business.