Cloud computing heralds a paradigm shift from the traditional model of hosting applications and business software in local offices to hosting them in a cloud environment. With the Cloud, end-user applications and services such as VoIP telephony are hosted remotely in data centers. Vendors pay for what they need and take charge of configuration and management of applications while the cloud provider manages the underlying infrastructure. Businesses can connect to end-user applications via the internet or private network. So, why should industries consider moving business applications and systems from the office to the cloud?
Key Benefits of Cloud Computing
Strategic Focus: Conventional IT systems are resource-intensive and time-consuming. Cloud computing presents no such difficulties. In fact, it takes away the burden of managing end-user applications in-house. Companies can reduce IT costs and free up staff to focus on core business. By devoting IT staff and resources to strategic initiatives, businesses are able to attain desired growth and revenue.
Highly Scalable: On-site systems come with fixed features and capacity limits. They cannot scale up to match the growing needs of small businesses. Cloud computing enables businesses to grow and expand their systems and capabilities quickly. Businesses can add users and whatever features they need without having to buy more hardware or expensive software. Scaling back is easy as well without being stuck paying for resources the business no longer needs.
Customizable Solutions: With cloud-based hosting, small businesses enjoy the freedom to build or customize software applications to meet the needs and preferences of end-users. Businesses with specific needs get access to simple frameworks, which they can use to develop custom applications. Alternatively, the service provider can pre-configure applications and features or the client can choose to preconfigure them.
Cost-Saving: Cost-conscious businesses can leverage the power of the cloud to control expenses, optimize processes, and improve productivity. Moving to the cloud eliminates the need to buy and manage dedicated servers and other network infrastructure. Additionally, it eliminates the need to hire in-house specialists to setup and maintain business applications and systems.
Increases Mobility & Collaboration: As staff members become increasingly mobile, businesses need to create virtual environments that support remote working and collaboration. Cloud computing effectually eliminates the challenge posed by geographic barrier and time-space continuum. Staff can go anywhere and still be able to communicate effectively with each other via VoIP telephony and work collaboratively using project management tools.
Expert Support 24/7: Cloud computing allows business to outsource essential but non-core business functions to the cloud services provider. The provider maintains both the hardware and the software and monitors the system to prevent downtime or system crashes. All software patches and upgrades are done remotely without interrupting business operations. Plus, businesses can get updates on system performance or issues in real time whenever they wish.
Bundled Apps: cloud hosting provides small businesses with bundled applications. Businesses get access to a range of application on demand to accomplish different tasks from accounting, communications, tracking sales, and reporting, and more. With a bundled package, businesses do not need to buy and install different applications in their in-house servers.
Industry-wide Application: Cloud computing services are not industry-specific. They can be used by virtually any business regardless of the industry. Retail stores, banks, insurance companies, marketing agencies, pharmaceuticals, and even media houses are using cloud-based hosting to support their business functions.