When polled, 88% of UK and US users said that their business saved money by turning to the cloud. It's understandable: A cloud deployment makes it possible for an organization to pay only for the virtual resources that it needs, without any of the physical infrastructure it would otherwise have to maintain.
Cloud computing improves productivity and agility, and whether your business is large or small, it's likely to benefit from cloud solutions. Let's explore the advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing for any size of business.
For SMBs: the Many Benefits of Turning to Cloud Solutions
SMBs often need to operate on particularly lean budgets – most small-to-midsized businesses that fail will do so due to poor cash flow. Cloud solutions let SMBs remain agile while reducing their overall expenses.
Here are a few of the major benefits for a small business:
You don't have to maintain your own servers and hardware. Otherwise, you need to spend money on the upfront cost of hardware, maintaining and repairing it, and eventually replacing it. This includes time spent troubleshooting issues and investigating replacement parts.
You have lower upfront costs for licensing and upgrades. SaaS software is generally available at a low monthly subscription price, whereas on-premise software solutions usually have high per-seat licensing costs. SaaS software will almost universally be a fraction of the cost of an on-premise solution.
You have greater levels of security and reliability. Cloud-based solutions can leverage their virtually limitless resources for advanced security and reliability features, such as automatic load balancing and AI firewalls. Further, many cloud-based solutions come with their own security and monitoring services.
You can scale easily by provisioning resources on-the-fly. It's often difficult for SMBs to safely scale their business. Rather than having to invest a significant amount into scaling, a business can instead provision the resources it needs as needed. This is especially useful for businesses that have intermittent waves of activity.
You can collaborate around the world. SMBs can outsource their operations to more affordable locations throughout the world, rather than having to rely upon a local talent pool. Further, SMBs can more easily offer their talent "work from home" or "flex-time" options, which can help them attract top employees.
Through cloud-based solutions, an SMB can remain agile while improving its operations — and more liquidity means a greater potential for success.
But are there downsides to cloud computing?
For SMBs, the core downside to cloud computing relates to managing and securing cloud-based applications that they don't have experience with. If cloud solutions aren't properly secured, they can become dangerous. This is an issue that can be neatly sidestepped by working with an expert partner.
For Enterprise-Level: the Benefits of the Cloud at Scale
For SMBs, the benefits of cloud computing relate primarily to cost-effectiveness. These are still major benefits for enterprise-level companies, but at a different level of scale. For enterprise-level companies, SaaS productivity tools help in coordinating large, global workforces.
Here are a few of the core benefits of enterprise-level cloud solutions:
Reducing the amount of travel for high-level employees. Rather than having to pay for a large amount of travel, enterprises can instead connect employees through software. With these superior collaboration tools, companies can react with greater agility to shifts within the market, emergencies, and support requests.
Avoiding business disruption. For a large enterprise, a business disruption of just an hour can cost tens of thousands of dollars. With redundant resources, comprehensive data backups, and built-in protection for issues like DDoS attacks, cloud technology reduces the chances of a disruption occurring.
Improving the customer experience. Customer experience and the customer journey is increasingly important to enterprises attempting to grow. Cloud-based solutions provide for better customer relationship management, making it easier for employees to track customer relationships and provide responsive support.
Increasing productivity. A major selling point for enterprise cloud solutions is the improvement of productivity across the organization. With cloud-based solutions being accessible from anywhere and facilitating a large number of tasks, consolidated solutions can make it far easier for a business to leverage its human assets.
Of course, most enterprises have already seen the tremendous benefits of cloud technology. However, businesses can still cut costs if they’re already in the cloud. Enterprises can streamline their cloud-based operations by relying on all-inclusive SaaS like Microsoft Teams and the Office 365 suite. This further reduces licensing costs and boosts productivity, making it possible for an enterprise to streamline its expenses.
Large scale enterprises may be spending thousands of dollars per day on duplicate or redundant services, as they may have not optimized their infrastructure in some time. Learn how you can cut your cloud computing cost and eliminate duplicate technologies with services like Microsoft Teams with CWPS’ free webinar.