So far as IT services delivery is concerned, cloud computing has indeed ushered in a new era of efficiency and responsiveness. With a huge potential to expand business horizons, offer cheap yet productive IT resources along with room for business flexibility, cloud computing is increasingly becoming an organizational favorite, thanks to vendors like Microsoft, Google and Amazon. With premier companies such as Salesforce, HP and IBM gradually adopting this technology, it has rapidly climbed the growth ladder from being a simple cottage industry. Now the major challenge for businesses is to leverage this technology for cost reduction and improvement of agility, along with access to numerous other advantages.
The major organizational benefits of adopting cloud computing
- Enhancement of flexibility-The moment a company thinks of expansion, a cloud-based service is the immediate recourse, owing to the tremendous capacity triggered by remote servers. According to a survey report, many organizations admit that the capability of promptly catering to business demands was one of the primary reasons why they shifted to cloud computing.
- Efficient disaster handling- Companies adopting cloud computing are capable of handling adversities without intricate disaster recovery plans. The providers of cloud-based services take care of such issues, which are usually resolved rapidly. A survey conducted by Aberdeen Group revealed that companies powered by the cloud technology underwent disaster recovery around four times faster than their counterparts who did operate within a cloud-based services environment.
- Free from capital expenditure-Cloud services are arranged on a pay and receive basis, hence there is no requirement for capital expenditure on the part of organizations. Since the deployment of this technology can be carried out rapidly, there is no huge startup cost.
- Enhanced collaboration and productivity-With cloud computing, employees have the freedom to work from anywhere, which triggers flexibility and enhances collaboration. Every employee is empowered to work on shared apps and documents concurrently, which ensures real time updates. Moreover, productivity is increased and work-life balance can be maintained through multiple entry points.
- Effective document management-Control over documents is a serious necessity given the fact that within an organization, collaboration between employees takes place in varied time zones. Cloud computing allows files to be stored in a central location this simple process, enables everyone to work over a single central copy. This leads to effective and secure control over documents, thereby promoting organizational efficiency.
- Increased competitiveness-With the adoption of cloud computing, enterprise-class technology can easily be accessed by SMEs. It allows small business owners to respond and act more quickly than their larger competitors. This is one of the greatest benefits considering the cut-throat competition that the marketplace offers in the SME environment.
- Endorsing a greener earth-Cloud computing reduces the carbon footprint of businesses, since only the required server space is used. Compared to on-site servers, the cloud offers 30% less energy utilization and subsequent carbon emission. Here too, smaller organizations lead the march with 90% reduction in energy usage as well as carbon emissions.
Empowering the education sector
Education comprises a significant sector, both locally and globally. Besides organizational empowerment, cloud-based services benefit the education sector in a number of ways. First of all, universities, schools, colleges and other educational institutions are empowered with a low cost option for leveraging high end computing systems, through a simple internet connection. Moreover, cloud services promote a paperless system which allows sharing of work between teachers and students. There is no need to worry about software updates, licensing issues or security, as these are all taken care of by the service provider. Another important aspect is that the cloud can be leveraged by emerging or underdeveloped countries to impart education to children who generally do not have access to the same. Be it a business environment or the education sector, the cloud remarkably offers many economic benefits. Time will tell how this viable technology will proliferate and bring in seamless operations for increasingly different businesses and sectors.
Kevin Dittmer is well equipped with over 23 years of extensive experience in managing and providing data information strategies and solutions. He is presently working with Cognition Education as the Senior Training & Information Manager in the project senior leadership team, involved in delivering strategies to enable links between and within information management systems. His core competencies include: Personnel management, Process redesign and Implementation, Software integration, Data analysis and Project management.
(Image Credit: George Thomas)