Exploiting the Potential of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is undoubtedly the most significant breakthrough to hit the world of IT for some time but despite its rapidly increasing use, the technology is really still in its infancy.

Whilst many companies and individuals have utilized the new possibilities which cloud computing provides, the full potential is almost unknown.

To provide your business with the benefits and savings that cloud computing can offer, it’s essential to keep up to date with the latest developments and make changes sooner rather than later. Here are some ways in which cloud computing could help.

Here and now
Cloud computing has meant the business model for many companies has changed radically; no longer requiring hefty amounts of capital in order to either set up or expand.

IT equipment and staff are both expensive and are overheads many new businesses have historically struggled with. However, with the introduction of the cloud, it is possible to more or less discard any huge costs, with most of the capacity and expertise held externally. The only cost which needs to be factored into any business plan is the maintenance charge which will be just a fraction of the price of holding everything in-house.

But quite apart from changing the business model from capital-intensive to one with an operational cost, cloud computing also provides greater possibility for expansion.

Gearing up for a greater amount of work requires a lot of time, money and effort in advance to ensure the capability is in place to deal with the increase. Utilising cloud technology means that there is no need to invest or make expensive upgrades before the expansion takes place; the flexibility is already built in. Providing you select a cloud provider which has enough capacity to deal with potential increases in demand, you need only let them know about an impending surge, no further action is required. This flexibility is also great for companies who have seasonal peaks and troughs; releasing them from the need to hold expensive equipment which is redundant for large parts of the year.

The future of cloud computing
Because the introduction of cloud computing is so new to the world of business, companies using the technology are faced with migrating their existing frameworks onto the new system. This can present some challenges, with changes required to procedures and aspects such as compliance and data protection needing to be properly considered.

Moving forward, applications will be designed specifically with the cloud model in mind, which will make the work flow far simpler to

Cloud is already here even if it isn’t always obvious.

implement. New businesses being set up can start with cloud computing rather than having to transfer their existing fledgling company onto a whole new way of working. Depending on the lock-in agreement with the cloud provider, in-house systems can even be designed to integrate seamlessly with the external platform.

Cloud computing is set to revolutionize the way data is stored and despite the idea seemingly being quite alien to many people, the

concept has already integrated itself into society. The social networking site Facebook is a form of cloud, with users uploading photos and videos. When radio was introduced, it took 38 years to reach 50 million users. Facebook added 50 million accounts in the space of just nine months.

As fears over transparency, handing over control and security are slowly overcome, cloud computing will become an integral part of

businesses all over the world. A generational change will help to drive this shift as those known as ‘digital natives’ reach senior positions within companies, or start their own businesses. Hybrid cloud solutions are likely to become an increasingly popular option, creating true partnerships between customers and cloud service providers.

Cloud computing is already here and many people use the technology without realising what they are actually accessing. But aside from leisure pursuits, cloud has innumerable advantages, not just from a cost perspective, but also in terms of flexibility, governance and control plus stability.

Switching to a cloud solution could help you expand your business without having to spend a penny more and free up valuable space and processing capacity, allowing your employees to be more effective. Cloud computing is a revolution which is set to take the world by storm; plugging in sooner rather than later will provide your business with a competitive edge without costing you a fortune.

Image credits: Lennysan and Rocio Lara

About the author: Sally Rogers work for the London based IT Support company Cheeky Munkey . and helps them to reach out to communities interested in IT.

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