To use the cloud or not to use the cloud? That is the question many business owners are wrestling with as cloud computing becomes more popular than ever before. While most companies have come to the conclusion that moving to the cloud is ultimately beneficial, others remain hesitant to make the leap. Some of that unease may come from cloud security fears, but many concerns are also related to the benefits of cloud computing. Many of the cloud’s benefits are well documented, so it may come as a surprise that businesses, even the big ones, remain unconvinced. In these cases, it’s important to look past the commonly cited advantages of the cloud and instead focus on those benefits that may go unnoticed.
By now, most organizations are familiar with the benefits of the cloud. Better scalability? Check. Reduced costs? Check. Having a more agile business? Double check. To many companies, these benefits register as little more than buzzwords, marketing lingo designed to entice but offering little in substance. Besides, those are the advantages that anyone can gain. What about a big business? The answer to that question requires a bit more digging into what are often called “hidden benefits.” That usually means getting past the surface benefits and focusing on what can be gained with substantial investments in cloud computing. While it may take some added research, the benefits are there and they can be even more intriguing than what’s usually touted.
One such benefit is added flexibility. Yes, that may sound just like one of the common benefits found on any cloud website, but this type of flexibility has more application for big businesses. One of the main appeals of the cloud is how it frees up time and resources, allowing a company to shift its focus and strategy. In the case of added flexibility for big businesses, the cloud enables them to create and test out new products and services. This is in part accomplished by providing the right amount of on-demand resources, helping businesses create new configurations in a shorter amount of time. In this manner, businesses will find it easier to try out new ideas with less risk compared to those organizations that are not using the cloud.
Cloud computing can also facilitate the globalization of a big business’s workforce. Large companies tend to be spread out over multiple countries. Before the cloud, collaboration was difficult and often featured delays on projects as separate divisions and groups tried to get on the same page. That all changes when it comes to the cloud. With cloud computing, the entire global workforce of an organization can access the exact same data, information, projects, documents, and other essential materials no matter where they are, provided they at least have an internet connection. That means a project manager in London can submit an important document to the cloud, which can than be accessed by a team leader in Chicago or the CIO in Buenos Aires. That means no delays, fewer miscommunications, and easier access for all those with the right authorization.
Another benefit of the cloud that often goes unmentioned is the energy savings that come with it. Of course, reduced costs is one reason many adopt cloud computing, but energy savings are rarely brought up since they’re easy to miss. These savings can happen in a number of different ways, from using fewer machines to using the remaining machines more effectively with higher utilization rates (around 60 to 70 percent). Energy savings can also be gained by using more efficient layouts for cloud servers, basically consolidating climate control costs needed to keep the servers cool. Using the cloud also often leads to improved resource allocation, which is achieved as organizations distribute resources on the fly to those machines and systems that need them.
Energy savings, improved globalization efforts, and experimental flexibility--these are just a few of the valuable benefits that cloud computing provides that are rarely talked about. Big businesses looking to invest in the cloud will soon find that the benefits can be just as important as those often promoted. Some take a bit of time to see, but in the end, the advantages become clear. With a better understanding of all that cloud computing offers, big businesses will no longer have to struggle with questions about whether the cloud is right for them.