Cost savings. Efficiency. Agility. Scalability. These business goals are key concerns for small-to-medium companies building their technology platforms. Increasingly, business and IT leaders are moving their workloads and data to public cloud providers. From cost savings to supporting mobility needs, cloud computing makes it easier for SMB organizations to meet their fast-evolving computing needs in an affordable, strategic way.
According to D!gitalist Magazine, 78% of small businesses will adopt cloud computing in some form by 2020. Public cloud providers leverage the Internet and make resources such as storage, servers, and computing power available to customers on demand. If you’re considering whether the public cloud might be the right choice for your business, here’s a closer look at five of the key benefits.
1. Save Money with the Public Cloud
Moving applications and data to the public cloud offers a major benefit—cost savings. For many organizations, that’s the first and most important driver. As ZDNet explains, “The public cloud is provided over the network by an external organization that offers services via their own data center infrastructure. Businesses can buy public resources from these providers on-demand, scaling their investment up or down as required.”
With the public cloud, there’s maximum flexibility even when you’re operating on a tight budget. It’s possible to scale up or down the resources needed and pay only for what resources the business is using. As your business requires access to a server or additional data storage space, on-demand public cloud computing delivers that without the need to purchase, configure, house, or maintain new or additional hardware. Your team isn’t tasked with the ongoing maintenance and management of those systems. Eliminating hardware purchases and maintenance helps growing companies save time and money, while also ensuring that the resources being paid for are fully leveraged.
2. Simplify Software Management
Hosting applications on the public cloud eliminates significant management requirements. Not long ago, if your organization wanted to use a new software platform, there were several steps involved. First, you’d purchase the software and the appropriate number of licenses. Then you’d obtain the hardware needed to host it, manage the installation, and deal with any data migration and security issues. It was a major undertaking and, in many cases, would need to be repeated regularly as software updates demanded.
Public cloud computing makes it easier to embrace Software as a Service (SaaS) models. Applications hosted on the public cloud offer simple management. Upgrades and updates are handled by the cloud provider, eliminating significant work for your IT team. You’ll always have the ability to access the latest software features or ensure that an updated patch has been installed, while your team is free to focus on higher strategic areas.
3. Increase Your Ability to Innovate
Your IT team is busy. They have competing demands for their time and often operate with lean budgets and resources. As a result, innovating can be a challenge. Experimenting with new applications isn’t easy when your data centers are entirely in-house. It takes significant time to configure, test, build, and roll out these resources, even if it’s only on a provisional basis.
Public cloud resources make it easier to experiment and innovate. For example, if your organization wants to trial new software tools, it’s easy to purchase the server and storage resources needed to run a pilot. The resources can be obtained quickly, and the software can be deployed in a much shorter period of time. If you decide the solution isn’t right for your growing business, it’s easy to delete everything and scale your usage down accordingly. Agility is crucial in today’s technologically-driven environment, where your ability to identify opportunities and quickly respond to changes can be critical. The public cloud gives your IT team the resources it needs to be smart, agile, and responsive to business priorities.
4. Enhance Your Mobile Capabilities
Today’s employees need to be productive on the go, and powering mobile experiences requires more than just a laptop, tablet, and smartphone. Growing companies also need strategies in place to make critical applications and data available to mobile users.
Cloud computing makes applications, data, and connectivity to key systems available. Whether your team is checking in from a business trip, completing work after hours, or responding to an emergency when they’re out of the office, access is key. With public cloud computing, you can be assured that you have a strategy in place to where customers, employees, and vendors can access the information they need—no matter where they’re working from.
5. Meet Reliability and Uptime Targets
Choosing the public cloud can also help deliver higher uptime for critical applications. Consider the following: You’re rolling out a customer-facing application that needs to be available 24×7. If the application is hosted internally and experiences a failure, you’re stuck relying on internal backup systems or IT talent that may be out of the office to get everything back online.
Using the public cloud helps ensure that your applications and data remain online and accessible. Copies of your applications and data are backed up and mirrored at other data centers around the world. Users in different time zones or with off-hours needs will know that your most important applications and data are available to them as needed. Your technological platform is a critical piece of delivering the customer experience, employee productivity support, and digital experience today’s market demands. Increasingly, small and midsize businesses are turning to the public cloud to save money, make it easier to innovate, and streamline their IT teams’ workloads. In an on-the-go world, a cloud infrastructure offers a foundation that can grow, scale, and evolve as your business expands.