The ‘Cloud’ is basically a network of remote servers to store, manage and process data. Cloud computing is the methodology that provides on-demand shared data and processing resources to computers that are connected to the Internet. This way it enables ubiquitous access to a pool of configurable computing resources like storage, servers, networks and applications services.
These resources can be furnished instantaneously by third-party data centers allowing users to process and store their information as per the demand. Essentially, Cloud computing eliminates or minimizes the need for expensive onsite hardware, software, and storage infrastructure. The only thing the users would need is a laptop or desktop that is connected to the Internet. The users would then be able to store and share files through the internet, which would be physically stored on servers that may be located in another country or even on another continent. However, these files stored in multiple places would offer added security and redundancy that would be impossible with traditional computing solutions.
The service-oriented architecture and hardware virtualization offered by Cloud computing has increased its demand from companies looking for utility and autonomic computing. Also, the mass endorsement of cloud-based architecture has been a result of the easy availability of computers and storage systems along with high-capacity networks. Discusses below are some of its important advantages that can go a long way in addressing critical business issues.
Flexibility in Operations
To save cost many small and medium-sized businesses usually function with fluctuating bandwidths. This can be difficult to manage, as wavering ramp-ups and scales-downs could deter performance and productivity. By embracing Cloud-computing, businesses can now acquire maximum operational flexibility, which not just saves cost but also maximizes productivity and performance.
Reduction in cost
Cloud-based services are available on subscription-basis, which is ideal for businesses who have limited capital to spend upfront. The seamless setup and management capabilities of the vendors can help the small and medium-sized business to save heavily on hardware infrastructure and let the cash-flow be used on core business services.
Increase in Transparency
Cloud-service providers assimilate the latest technology in various services like networking and applications. The resources are constantly upgraded with the most innovative features that can boost performance and maximize efficiency. Users can have instant access to enterprise-class technology and latest updates, which they can use to deliver cutting-edge solutions to their own clients.
It also minimizes the chaos of conflicting file formats, titles, and content. Furthermore, all documents and files are saved centrally on the cloud, where the latest vision is visible to all. This optimized transparency leads to improved collaboration which in-turn can catapult the bottom-line.
Enhanced Risk Management
Businesses utilizing Cloud-services are not just saved of the cost of procuring and installing the hardware infrastructure but are also freed from the regular hassle of maintenance. The servers and other vital resources are usually located off-shore and the service-providers employ high-tech methodologies to keep them up-to-date and up-to the mark. This also exempts the users from the travails of investing in disaster recovery. The robust security and top-notch recovery solutions deployed by service providers can always keep the business up and running, irrespective of the catastrophe’s type and range.
There has been a misconception that having confidential information on the cloud instead of in-house servers could make it more susceptible to hackers. Hence, fear of security risks has been one of the primary reasons why businesses have hesitated to deploy Cloud Computing. However, with the huge popularity of cloud hosting, considerable efforts have gone in to propel its security to advanced stages.
Over the years, many security features have been added to enhance the overall safety of the information on the cloud. These robust security enhancements built using advanced technology have made Cloud Computing more secure and reliable than traditional on-premise solutions. Research conducted across organizations that rely on cloud computing has revealed that they find it more secure than their previous legacy systems.
While Cloud computing pervades improved manageability, it also helps the businesses achieve economy of scale. The advantage of on-demand high computing power can maximize scalability. Also, with the option to access the resources from anywhere and anytime, it solves the issue of availability and accessibility for individual users, as well as small and medium-sized business across the globe.