How Cloud Computing Can Help Your Business Grow

Ditching traditional high-maintenance corporate data centers for more efficient cloud computing is kicking rapid pace. 38 percent and 67 percent of small and large enterprises are already invested in cloud computing for daily operations. But the real catalysts behind this growing trend can be traced to the unprecedented rise in cybersecurity risks, relatively lower cost of adoption, greater flexibility and accessibility turned into reality by cloud computing, and the perpetual fear of data loss.

Cloud computing is often touted as a strategic investment enabling teams to tackle process bottlenecks while providing readily accessible resources (infrastructure, networks, devices, data, and services) that your organization needs to grow. The extent to which cloud-powered solutions are deployed as viable solutions ties back directly to your business needs, budget, workflows, and constraints. Here, we explore how cloud computing can be leveraged to drive business growth.

What is Cloud Computing?

The continuous availability of IT resources (computing power, networks, storage, and other infrastructure) as services delivered over the internet is cloud computing. For comparison, think about cloud computing as traditional on-premises infrastructure made available via the Internet. Only that instead of hosting servers and infrastructure on the premises, cloud services are made available to the public user by a third party.

Cloud computing can take on three major categories:

  • Private cloud – A private cloud environment is owned and managed by the organization for its own internal use. Hardware and software resources are made available to corporate users internally and not for public use.
  • Public cloud – Hardware and software resources under the public cloud are made available on-demand to a host of users by third-party providers.
  • Hybrid cloud – A hybrid cloud environment merges the properties of both private and public cloud environments.

Regardless of category, cloud computing allows organizations to get more done with greater flexibility, accessibility, and security than a traditional on-premises IT environment.

Driving Business Growth with Cloud Computing: Key Focus Areas

Before you can harness the power of cloud computing for your business growth, it’s essential to grasp the fundamental working principles in a digital ecosystem. At its core, cloud computing allows you to access and store data over the internet, eliminating the need for heavy capital investments in physical hardware.

This shift can be a game changer in the following ways:

Automating Repetitive Manual Tasks

The infiltration of automation systems that we see today, for a long time, has been a reverie for enterprises looking to cut costs and free up more time and resources for more strategic activity. The true extent of cloud automation becomes evident with software development and testing. DevOps teams in an Agile project are able to develop, debug, and release new features more quickly when operating in the cloud environment.

Still, 50 percent of the world’s current work activities can be automated according to McKinsey Global Institute. These include:

  • Billing and invoicing
  • Customer service
  • Inventory management
  • Applicant screening during the hiring process
  • Threat detection and monitoring

In regulated and sensitive fields such as those of medical and banking, automation helps reduce human error. Automation further aids in the reduction of cybersecurity threats by 70%!

More Efficient Contract Management

More contracts will be signed between your company and different vendors, clients, freelancers, and employees as your business grows. Dependence on archaic contract management solutions translates to tens of hours wasted searching on-premises databases for vital records. Additional time is wasted on the back and forth between remote and on-site stakeholders, i.e., businesses are no stranger to the tedious activities of scanning, printing, signing, and emailing sensitive documents every time a new stakeholder comes onboard.

Handling sensitive documents through outdated means adds another gaping hole to your security strategy. Confidential user and company data handled this way risks falling into the hands of malicious actors.

But there is a better way.

Cloud contract management enables business managers to process, store, and share sensitive contract information with authorized parties across multiple devices and locations in a more secure environment. Additional features embedded within most cloud contract management software introduce a wealth of customized deliverables that further ease the contract lifecycle management process; e.g., powerful search features enabling teams to locate and retrieve PDF scans, images, and other copies of relevant documents stored in your digital contract repository.

Safe Data Access and Storage on Non-Traditional Media

How Cloud Computing Can Help Your Business Grow image (2)

Believe it or not, legacy data storage devices still have a place in the modern business arena. Despite the many challenges surfaced by physical devices – e.g., hard disk drives are easily prone to corruption through physical damage or theft – some businesses still prefer storing important data on these devices. 

But this is an unnecessary gamble on the safety and resilience of your business against cyber threats. Cloud computing service providers go to great lengths to ensure that your data is stored behind multiple walls of protection welded together by strong passwords, custom firewalls, military-grade encryption, multi-factor authentication, and 24/7 monitoring, to mention a few.

Stringent access controls are established for authorized users only. Even so, data remains encrypted at rest and in transit and this forms a labyrinth of robust security controls that often lack in the premise’s data centers.

Building Scalable Business Solutions

One of the most strategic advantages experienced as your business grows is the ability to dynamically adjust resources based on your current needs and without significant upfront investment. This benefits business leaders by enabling them to increase storage, computing power, and resources on demand.

Cloud computing also exists at the heart of customer relationship management. Omnichannel customer engagement is one of the leading forces behind impactful customer interactions. Every day, customer-facing teams leverage cloud-based CRM software for more efficient customer acquisition activity, managing interactions with customers, and ultimately delivering swift service to their satisfaction.

How a Managed Services Provider Can Help Transition Your Business to the Cloud

Transitioning to the cloud can weigh heavily even on the best in-house IT staff. The role of a managed IT services provider as your guiding partner in the migration process can never be disregarded. Managed IT services in Baltimore like Shipshape IT are well-positioned to take on the transition burden by breaking the workload into three key milestones:

Comprehensive Business Needs Assessment

This step largely involves identifying the workflows that would benefit the most from the transition. After thoroughly assessing your existing infrastructure and the size of operations, IT consultants can develop a customized migration strategy that delivers on its promise, whether that includes hosting your applications and data or running temporary activity on rented infrastructure. At the same time, it is important to evaluate your risk tolerance posed by potential violation of vendor contracts during and after migration.

Choosing the Right Cloud Services Provider

Typically, third-party cloud providers offer the cloud resources that small businesses need to scale and drive operations at equal pace with larger enterprises. But, with the growing number of cloud providers, it can be difficult to identify the right provider for your needs and budget.

An MSP is well-positioned to help you pick out the right provider based on three critical factors:

  • Compliance with statutory and industry standards – How well the provider executes the cybersecurity measures required to protect user data from unauthorized access is vital to the company’s reputation.
  • Ongoing training – As new technologies emerge, it becomes increasingly important to equip your team with the skills they need to adapt quickly.
  • Optimization – Cloud resources must be allocated efficiently to minimize waste and maximize production.

Cost concerns should be raised at this stage of the process.

Actual Migration and Integration

Migrating to the cloud is no easy feat. The risks may quickly escalate when you have less experienced in-house employees overseeing critical configurations. MSPs start with creating a detailed migration plan, highlighting each milestone from setting up the new environment, migrating applications and data to the new cloud environment, to testing and deployment.

Regular security audits and compliance checks are non-negotiable at this point in time. Migrating to a new environment can leave security gaps. Proactive MSPs help you identify vulnerabilities within your cloud infrastructure and fortify your defenses.

Conclusion

Cloud computing strategically positions your business for long-term growth. Remember, you’re not only cutting down on infrastructure costs but also enhancing team collaboration regardless of geographical barriers. The strict data security measures implemented on a multi-tier level bolster data security and safeguard your assets while you focus on what you do best. 

However, to get the most out of your infrastructure, don’t hesitate to consult with a managed IT provider for professional guidance.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does cloud computing impact a company’s sustainability and environmental goals?

Cloud computing shapes a company’s sustainability and environmental goals by providing more flexible site setup options. Here, businesses migrating to a cloud environment can choose sites where their newly deployed solutions would have minimum impact on the environment. With cloud infrastructure comes more efficient operations, which translates to less energy wastage.

Can cloud computing services integrate smoothly with legacy systems already in place within a business?

While cloud computing services can integrate with some legacy systems, the experience may fall short of expectations due to the inherent limitations of older IT infrastructure. For more robust business practices, consider partially or fully migrating to the cloud.

What are the common compliance challenges businesses face when transitioning to cloud computing, and how can they be addressed?

Unplanned downtime, data privacy, and security are some key issues that must be addressed when transitioning to cloud computing. Address these by choosing providers with a strong compliance track record and consider adding an extra layer of security with robust data governance and encryption practices.

How does cloud computing influence customer experience and engagement strategies?

Cloud computing boosts customer experience by delivering personalized interactions over the internet. Seamless interactions with customers over cloud-based engagement software support customer-centric service delivery. These tools support information exchange at different customer touchpoints and this promotes meaningful engagement between customers and teams.

Are there specific industries or business types that benefit most from cloud computing, or is it universally applicable?

Cloud computing’s benefits aren’t limited by industry. They’re universally applicable. However, some industries such as tech, finance, and healthcare thrive in a cloud environment. The security, scalability, and unlimited accessibility deliver unique strategic benefits over traditional IT delivery models across the board.

Recent Posts

Recent News