Cloud computing (also known as on-demand computing) has become a major buzzword in the business world these last few years. To put it in the simplest terms, it is a way to use computing services over the Internet. Instead of your company maintaining its own software, that software is available to you as a service you access over the Internet. The service is also responsible for storing and protecting your data.

 As long as you have an Internet connection, you have any-time, any-where access to the software and data you need to do your job. In most cases this is true even if you are using a mobile device like a tablet or a smartphone. Switching a businesses over to run on cloud computing services is often referred to as “moving to the cloud.”

 The kinds of services offered by cloud computing providers usually belong to one of the 3 broad groups: infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS), and software as a service (SaaS). Today, cloud computing is recognized as a invaluable tool for any organization, regardless of its size, market niche, or annual revenue.

You know what cloud-computing is, and probably have a sense that it could benefit your business. But can you think of 10 reasons to use it in your shop? We can. Here's our list: 

1. Cost Savings

Probably the key benefit for the first companies that utilized cloud computing, and still a valid one. The business saves money by not having to pay for its own corporate data center and the staff and overhead costs that entails. 

Overall savings are further increased because the majority of cloud service providers offer a pay-as-you-go model where they charge based on the services procured (no provisioning implies no cost). The price can be determined in various ways: 

By the amount of time you use it (typical for IaaS)
By the number of users or features, or by storage capacity (SaaS)
By amount of memory consumed per hour (PaaS)

Whichever way the pricing is calculated, you never pay for more than you use. Because of the huge economies of scale cloud computing suppliers can achieve, they can sell computing power at a low cost, yet still make good profits.

2. No Need for a Plan B

The importance of a robust solution for data protection and recovery is unquestionable. Cloud computing is an ideal solution here, providing your business with both backup and disaster recovery. Cloud products typically are housed in redundant, secure data centers staffed by experts in data protection and related fields. As long as you have an Internet connection, you will be able to work.

3. It's a Scalable Solution

Businesses have traditionally maintained some reserve for unexpected growth of their computing needs. Additional servers, software licenses, and storage capacity would sit around idle so as to have it available if needed. Cloud computing solutions are scalable in that they always have extra capacity available if you need it. If your business unexpectedly adds staff, or otherwise needs additional resources, adding them is a snap. It takes just a few minutes to add them to the system.

4. The Latest Versions of Documents are Always Available

Have you ever tried to work with multiple people on a document, and lost track of who had the latest version? When you move to the cloud, this sort of problem is reduced to a minimum, because all the files are stored centrally. Whenever you open a document, you are automatically getting the latest saved version. You may even be able to collaborate on the same document at the same time. 

5. More Options

Following a trend in technology usually means the widest range of options when it comes to choosing. Ever since the cloud computing approach became a thing, the vendors have been competing with each other, trying to present the market with the best cloud solution. 

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For a client-company, this is a blessing. You have lots of options, and can can be as picky as you want. To find the right solution you can use a B2B marketplace like DiscoverCloud. They have a database of more than 3000 software tools, grouped into almost 120 categories and subcategories, and divided based on the size of the business.

6. Long-Term Investment

Instead of major IT capital investments every 2-4 years your costs will be distributed as predictable monthly or annual payments. As previously mentioned, scalability is not an issue, and it is in the interests of the cloud computing vendors to provide cutting-edge, energy-efficient, environment-friendly equipment. Maintenance and upgrades of the cloud systems are not your concern either, so the focus of your organization can be on your product and services all the time, just as it should be. 

7. Mobility

In today's working world, we expect to bring our job with us wherever we go. Thanks to the cloud, the phrase “bringing work home” no longer entails physically carrying heavy folders, or other stuff with you. Because everything you need is accessible if you have a stable connection to the Internet. 


You don't have to miss out on anything: if you like to be in loop at all times, your own device, such as smartphone, is usually  enough to use company's system. Working for a cloud-based business often means you can work from home and telecommute. This can make a major difference for employees who are struggling to balance life and work. 


8. Security

“The only truly secure system is one that is powered off, cast in a block of concrete and sealed in a lead-lined room with armed guards.”
– Gene Spafford

It seems that Mr. Spafford and the cloud service vendors don't share the same perspective, as the latter guarantee your data is safer with them than without. Although data security was often presented as the cloud's main shortcoming, it turns out cloud services can be safer than on-premise infrastructure. 
 
For a sensitive piece of measuring equipment that isn't connected to the cloud, a failure means the loss of the recorded data. In the case of a lost or stolen laptop being connected to the cloud could literally save your business billions of dollars – with the laptop connected to the cloud, the data on it can be remotely accessed and deleted to make sure the security is not breached. 


Cloud provider systems have to at least match the data security standards of the industry they server or no one will use them. For example, healthcare SaaS providers must meet HIPAA and all related standards. 

9. Collaboration Has Never Been Easier

The cloud makes you forget about the classical workflow that required everyone to gather in some conference room for brainstorming and teamwork. Independently of their physical location, every single employee can access, edit, and share their work (often in real time), exchange ideas, and follow the recent updates. Cloud based applications also eliminate needless repetition of tasks, such as data re-entry. 
 
10. All-Around Integration

Last, but definitely not least: cloud services integrate easily with other services. Few organisations use a single platform or supplier for every aspect of their business. Most search for the best option for each specific function and end up needing to be able to access and analyze data stored on different platforms. 


Consequently, compatibility between platforms is a must. Cloud solutions tend to use industry standards for data interchange and generally integrate better with different systems than non-cloud solutions.  


There are ten great reasons why you should take a leap of faith and move part or all of your business to the cloud. Have we missed any? Share your thoughts!

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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this blog article are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the official position or viewpoint of The Jerusalem Post. Blog authors are NOT employees, freelance or salaried, of The Jerusalem Post.

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