By Matthew Margetts, Director, Smarter Technologies Group
The last few years have been an obstacle course of challenges for businesses. If these years have taught us anything, it is the value of technology in terms of innovation, resilience, performance, and simple business continuity.
Since the COVID-19 pandemic, we have seen an acceleration of digital transformation in the business world. Against this backdrop, the move to cloud computing is an important step in the natural evolution of businesses. In achieving this progression, businesses are exploring end-to-end digital transformation solutions, with cloud as a driver for change, ongoing business relevance, and competitiveness.
What are the benefits of cloud computing?
Outlay and expense
Imagine the cost of hardware, software, and the servers required to run big data centres. With cloud computing, you only pay for what you use. Cost-effectiveness is one of the most prominent advantages of cloud computing, as it provides the benefits of digitisation without over-capitalising on infrastructure.
Many additional benefits stem from this. This includes the rapid elasticity to adapt to scale using this model of IT resources without the need for ongoing infrastructure investment. The accessibility of cloud computing services to even small and medium businesses makes cloud computing a powerful tool for enterprises that aspire to growth.
There are also remarkable benefits around energy efficiency and savings on energy outlays associated with in-house data centres.
Real-time insights and flexibility
Remote accessibility to an organisation’s data in real time translates into flexibility and agility. The past few years have underscored the need for adaptability in a rapidly changing and unpredictable world.
Cloud computing and smart technologies empower businesses through responsiveness in the short, medium, and long term. Cloud computing solutions allow for technology and digital processes to be adapted to changing needs – and tested and deployed with minimal risk and cost.
By its very nature, cloud computing is also tailored to the unique layout and aims of an individual organisation – with public, private, hybrid, and multi-clouds offering different pros and cons that need to be assessed on a per case basis.
The adoption of cloud-based processes makes security standards more important than ever. Working with cloud providers offers enhanced, robust security benefits. A zero-trust security strategy – such as that provided by Smarter Technologies’ Orion, The Real-Time Data Network – mitigates risk and supports cloud security efforts. The maintenance of security protocols by providers makes this an attractive option for business owners.
Productivity, collaboration and the modern workplace
The nature of the workplace and how teams collaborate have changed in recent years. Remote and hybrid work environments have encouraged employees to innovate around how they work. Cloud computing allows for increased collaboration – with remote, instant access to data and tools. This supports collaboration and boosts productivity by providing employees with the resources to best perform their tasks no matter where they are.
The power of big data
The collection, analysis, and sharing of data holds immense advantages for organisations of all sizes. Some of these advantages include:
• Operational optimisation, management and strategy
• Improved customer experience and scope for AI and automation
• Positive environmental impact. Data insights on resource-usage underlies resource conservation
• Compliance and disaster management
Cloud computing has become an integral part of business future-proofing
It provides significant benefits in terms of cost-effectiveness, real-time insights, flexibility, security, productivity, collaboration, and big data processing. With the accelerated digital transformation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the adoption of cloud computing has become a critical driver for change, ongoing business relevance, and competitiveness. In navigating the future, businesses will need to innovate around technology to make meaningful progress towards digital transformation, and cloud computing will be central to forming competitive digital strategies.