What is the Cloud?
By now you’ve heard about the cloud and may have even been using it for a while. But do you really know what the cloud is? At its most basic level, the cloud offers computing resources such as applications, file storage and processing power that you access over the Internet. You can use these resources even though they are not installed on your own computer. Take for example web based email. You access all the functionality of an email application to send and receive email, but without having to install any software.
Why move your business to the Cloud?
If you’re just starting out, cloud computing puts a broad range of business applications at your fingertips without the upfront capital investment. Instead of having to purchase your own hardware and software and then hire someone to install and maintain it, you get the functionality you need provided as a service. You use what you need, when you need it, and you only pay for what you use.
Cloud computing can transform a business. It provides increased efficiency, along with numerous options for improving business processes, applications and services, with little overhead. Outlined below are some of the main reasons why so many businesses are choosing cloud-based applications.
Top 4 reasons businesses have moved to the cloud:
- Reduce complexity
- Free up time and money previously required to support technology in house
- Get access to leading technology otherwise outside of reach
- Add computer resources and capabilities without adding costly infrastructure
The cloud provides many financial advantages, and part of its rapid adoption has been the worldwide economic slowdown. Companies have fewer resources to commit to infrastructure investments, so they have turned to services. The financial benefits of cloud-based applications include:
- Reduced up-front capital investment in expensive software programs and the hardware necessary to run them
- Favorable tax treatment, because cloud subscriptions are treated as an operational expense
- Predictable fixed costs paid per month, per user
- Pay only for what you need, as you go
Functionality, efficiency and innovation
Another powerful benefit the cloud offers is increased efficiency from spending less time learning, installing and maintaining applications and more time advancing the business.
- Greater innovation: Most cloud-based applications are continually being improved. Cloud-based applications also level the playing field by making advanced technology available and affordable for large and small companies.
- Improved response time: Businesses can be up and running with a new cloud application within days, making them more competitive.
- Greater ease of use: Cloud-based applications often require minimal training
- Anytime/anywhere access, via the Internet
- Eliminate painful software upgrades and data conversions
One rarely discussed positive aspect of adopting cloud computing is that it gives managers insight into operations, while at the same time keeping company data secure.
- Greater business visibility and transparency: Cloud-based applications enable managers to better monitor, access and extract data about their company.
- Secure company assets: The cloud centralizes critical company documents, like contact lists and project plans. Right now, it's likely that many critical company documents are sitting on the desks of many of your employees. What happens if a star sales person decides to leave? The contact list and status of pending deals may walk out the door too. How about the details of an urgent project if a key employee is taken ill? Instead of having to search through an absent workers PC for an Excel file tracking deliverables, you can just go to the cloud.
- Backup and disaster recovery: Data stored in the cloud is more accessible so businesses can restart faster. Critical records can be retrieved and employees will have remote access to applications.
Where to start
Businesses that want to move to the cloud may struggle with understanding where to start. WIP Software offers one-on-one consultations that will answer your questions and provide you with the information to help you understand and take full advantage of the cloud in a way that makes sense for your business.