Demand for cloud storage functions is growing. It is the latest technological advancement in global business, which is changing how business approach data, communication, storage options, and organization. While relatively new, service providers are constantly improving services which give businesses a range of cost benefits if employed correctly. These options are suitable for businesses of all sizes, but perhaps aid start-ups the most because they can fit seamlessly into a cloud working system then scale up the services as their business grows and expands. Here’s how cloud storage can aid all businesses.
Cost Benefits of Using Cloud Computing
Many of the functions provided by data entry employees and administrative staff can be assuaged using cloud service providers. For example, many businesses do not realize how much they lose each year financially from lost data. One example of a saving is having to pay a $20 an hour employee $80 for a 4 hour project. If that project is then lost, the company has lost $80. Scaled up this can work out at a major loss. Already cloud computing is reducing data loss because it backs up everything which is saved on a computer. Instead of asking the employee to re-do the work, simply pluck the backed up file from the cloud, and continue.
Efficiency savings move beyond this to other areas as well. One of the greatest organizational faults is non-communication and miscommunication. The larger the organization the more vertical channels there are between leading executives and ground employees. Furthermore, inter-office, inter-store, and even intra-team communication is hampered by separated data and separated mindsets. Cloud storage offers the ability for each group to share common data and provide instant feedback without having to make requests to other teams and then waiting for them to reply.
More savings come in the form of hardware. Previously, larger companies and even medium sized ones, needed to buy computers, local area networks (LANs), integrated systems for employees on site, and data storage centers with related cooling systems, employees, and ground space. All of those costs add up. With cloud offering all of these things off site as part of a super computer, super storage facility, businesses do not need to invest in these pieces of hardware. They also require fewer employees.
Instead, the modern business has the flexibility to store information on a single offsite device which is accessible by all employees. Of course, this can be stratified to certain employees only have access to the correct sets of data. As noted above, this makes data sharing and intra-office and inter-office sharing and data synchronization easier, but it also means that someone working from home can still access the same information as can operatives in the field. For example, Sales Representatives can access real time data to help them make sales pushes, can find out what other reps in different areas of the country have found successful, and can provide instant feedback.
Scalability: It’s There When You Grow
Most businesses want to grow, whether it’s just to make more sales locally or to expand across the region or nation, maybe internationally. All brands started somewhere, Marks & Spencer’s in England was a 19th century market stall, while other businesses like Facebook grew out of a dorm room or someone’s basement bedroom.
Each business built on its own physical resources needed to purchase additional hardware be it more stalls or more computers, eventually they had to buy new brick and mortar offices, shop spaces, factories and so on. Many aspects of your business may need this hard scaling too, but in terms of the cloud functions mentioned above, all can be scaled without you having to purchase a single extra computer or space. The cloud is built for near infinite storage and its capacity grows as you grow.
The Future of Cloud Computing
It is expected that in the future prices will drop as competition and market demand increases. This will only increase as more companies trust service providers, as encryption and data safety improves, as the number of services offered via the cloud increases, and businesses understand how much can be saved by using cloud service providers.
Trends are likely to change too in the near future toward smaller electronics as individual devices need less on-device storage capability, and also toward more people instinctively backing up data or cloud service providers automatically backing up information on behalf of their clients. For example, this article has been written on the cloud via Google Docs. The writer has not saved it once, but the document is saved any time something is written.
Expect customization to increase in the future. The world is slowly moving away from one-size fits all solutions to practical, flexible services tailored toward each customer’s needs. In this case, solutions and services which match your individual business’ needs. To be at the forefront of future cloud storage, you should prepare your business for auto synchronization, increased storage capacity, and to better organize and combine your storage. If done wrong, a cloud can be just as choked with paperwork as an old filing cabinet.
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