Business Benefits of the Cloud
The ever-changing nature of businesses usually results in successful years that are followed by few years of quiescence, during which previous leaders of the market tend to slip out as they will be required to adapt and match with the new trends set up by upcoming businesses. Cloud computing is one such new trend or technology that is being adopted by most new business organizations, as it is proclaimed to be the next big innovation in businesses of all industries, enabling organizations to enjoy several benefits that are usually comprehended very little. Therefore, more and more business leaders tend to give importance to this new technology basically for these reasons: because cloud computing platforms can help the organization gain more from enterprise IT, which is inclusive of better strategies for business innovation, more efficient spending of IT, and bring about new capabilities. This article discusses the various benefits that business organizations get to enjoy by moving to the cloud computing platform.
Cloud Platform: What is it?
As per the general IT terminology, a platform is something that has the ability to run applications as well as store business data. For instance, the data centers of a business organization would usually comprise of computers that run different software which serve as a platform for their in-house applications. A cloud computing platform is a similar concept: it is typically an infrastructure that is designed to run applications and store data. The major difference between the in-house data centers and cloud platforms is that the cloud runs in data centers that are owned and operated by an external or third party service provider.
Benefits for Businesses
The most important benefits provided to businesses by this emerging technology can be brought together into the following four categories:
- Agile distribution of new capabilities for business
- Business innovations that are of low risk
- Global reach and global scale
- Astute IT spending
Let us now have a closer look on all these benefits.
Agile Distribution of New Capabilities for Business
Deployment or distribution of new capabilities pertinent to enterprise IT, whether to develop a new aspect for your business or to enhance an already existing one, usually consumes a lot of time. In certain business organizations, requesting for new servers and other resources of IT is practically unwelcome unless and until an upgraded or new application is ready to function. In addition, internal deployment of a new application will generally take weeks or even months. All such processes consume more of a business’s valuable time that can be utilized for making available new business capabilities.
However, when business organizations choose to build their applications on a cloud computing platform, this delay in deployment or distribution will be minimized to a greater extent. In contrast to the data centers maintained in most business organizations, cloud computing service providers enable businesses to put out a business application and have it running immediately. The organization need not waste any of its time waiting for the application to deploy.
Business Innovations that are of Low Risk
Innovation is the bottom line for the successful operation of any business. If a business organization does not introduce new methods to keep its customers satisfied, then it would probably lose its competitive advantage to its competitors. But, it is also important to note that innovation is a risky task, and most attempts tend to end up in vain. This will cost huge sums to the organization, in addition to constraining its ability to innovate.
Cloud computing platforms let businesses to do more by making innovations less risky and less expensive. Every business would look for a low-commitment and low-cost method to evaluate the value of its business ideas. This can be easily obtained from cloud computing platforms because of the following reasons:
- Cloud providers usually set their pricing on a pay-as-you-go basis. This means that organizations will be charged only for the space used by their applications and not more than that. This lets them to evaluate the functioning of their applications at a lower cost, minimizing their financial risk.
- As cloud platforms carry pay-as-you-go pricing formats, they do not usually require a commitment from the organization using them. If the organization is not satisfied with the application’s functioning, it can simply shut it down and stop making payments. On the other hand, if the application ends up being a huge success, then the organization can expand it by simply requesting for more resources from the cloud computing provider.
Global Reach and Global Scale
Cloud computing services or platforms are generally offered by large business organizations. For instance, the Windows Azure cloud platform of Microsoft operates in large data centers located in the North America, Asia, and Europe. Business organizations that use this platform can hugely benefit from its global reach and global scale.
In addition to allowing organizations to scale up depending on their needs, cloud platforms also enable them to scale down whenever necessary. An organization can request for more resources from the provider when it is in need and then release the same when it is done with the usage, and it gets to pay only for what it has used. Thus, cloud platforms provide new business possibilities.
Astute IT Spending
IT leaders of most business organizations are provided the direct responsibility when it comes to IT spending, rather than business leaders. However, it is still a major cost to the organizations. By using a cloud platform, the organization can spend on its IT more astutely. As the organization will be charged only for the amount of resources it uses, it does not have to make upfront investments in software and servers when using a cloud service. This provides the organization with direct visibility of all its IT spending.