Cloud computing has the ability to democratise IT, because it will no longer be only the biggest and best financed companies that can enjoy the latest tools and solutions.
Part of the reason for this is that the cloud is incredibly scalable, allowing small businesses and major multinationals to harness the same platform while only paying for the level of service they require.
Just as a bigger company will pay more for its electricity because it consumes more, so a smaller firm can save money by migrating to the cloud and only spending what is required on this utility-like IT setup.
But why is the cloud able to offer such benefits when other alternatives cannot and how will this impact performance and productivity at your business?
The Scale of Success
Businesses face a number of potential restrictions on their ability to operate effectively, many of which can result from a lack of IT resources.
Building an in-house system that can keep up with your needs today while also having good prospects in the long term is difficult, particularly for companies with limited budgets. But by adopting the cloud, you can gain access to a service that is completely scalable, responding to your requirements on a minute to minute basis.
Cloud data centres are packed with the latest hardware and because companies can operate in a virtualised environment, there is no need to be limited by a particular allocation of kit.
Instead you can purchase things like data storage and processing capacity on demand, with no need to worry about equipment costs or the expense that is generally associated with maintenance of on-site IT solutions.
Even if your business does have the funding to support a comprehensively capable service in-house, it is unlikely that you will be able to use it particularly efficiently. Since capacity requirements will vary, most of the time you will find that your system is lying largely dormant, thus only operating at its full potential in exceptional circumstances.
This practical inefficiency translates into increased costs, because you may not be able to afford any capacity deficit when you do need your system to be working flat out to cope with demand.
The scalability of the cloud can come to the rescue once more, because with storage and processing power on tap, you can adjust the flow to suit your business without paying any more than is necessary during off-peak periods.
Companies from a range of different industries will find this arrangement to be convenient because it means that daily, weekly or seasonally-influenced periods of intense processing requirements will be manageable even if on-site resources are not up to the task.
Aside from the financial benefits that the cloud can offer, it makes sense for businesses to choose this type of solution today because of the competitive advantage it gives them over their less forward-thinking rivals.
Speed and responsiveness can determine whether you are able to win clients or find your customer base shrinking, particularly in a market that demands more and more from companies because of expectations built up by digital services.
Being able to cope with this and live up to clients’ demands means that firms will need to harness the performance and scalability of cloud computing sooner rather than later.
Most of the complaints about the cloud made by sceptics are based on misconceptions, so there is no need to be cautious about approaching this type of technology. That caution could end up costing your company cash through lost business. In short, the cloud can be the great equaliser, eliminating bottlenecks and inefficiencies in its wake.