Cloud collaboration is rapidly becoming an indispensable part of modern business. Once hailed as a service relevant exclusively to the IT industry, Cloud Services have become integral to SME’s, hospitals, major pharmaceutical chains, and even disaster response services. As the cloud continues to grow in reliability and efficiency, its part in day-to-day business operations is flourishing. Let’s take a look at why:
Centralized Project Management
Thanks to Cloud collaboration, the days of document emailing are finally behind us. Instead of employees using a weary chain of email forwarding to share information, relevant documents and data can now be centralized through the cloud. Since the cloud can be accessed remotely by any employee with the necessary security clearance, business projects can be completed and stored more efficiently than ever before. As Cloud providers continue to offer improved project management services, the Cloud is well on its way to becoming an unparalleled asset to workflow optimization.
Contrary to popular myth, Cloud storage is generally many times safer than local storage. The dedicated security teams involved in the management of Cloud services are almost guaranteed to exceed the resources of your own IT department. With Cloud storage, business data is not being transferred through various means of dubious security. Instead of risking document loss through computer outages, flash drive damage, and compromised email accounts, all data is centralized and secured by the Cloud. Although concerns over temporary Cloud outages have yet to be entirely resolved, many Cloud providers are working on implementing failover systems. Such systems would ensure continued Cloud accessibility, even through power outages and inclement weather.
Affordable IT Expansion
Instead of buying a $500,000 IT system, SME’s can now expand their computing power affordably. With Cloud computing, even start-up businesses can maximize their IT performance in a way that was once only possible through the supercomputing systems utilized by military and research facilities. Cloud computing technologies can even function as energy-saving tools. In fact, studies show that through adopting Cloud services, businesses have reduced energy consumption and lowered carbon emissions, all whilst decreasing capital expenditure on IT resources. One report published by AT&T in 2011 predicted annual Cloud computing energy savings of up to $12.3 billion
IT support has long been a nightmare for small and large businesses alike. But with Cloud Computing, that nightmare can finally be outsourced. Instead of relying upon in-house IT support, companies can turn to the external IT services of their Cloud provider. That means 24/7 IT support from on-call IT specialists who are trained in the Cloud. For small businesses who do not have an on-site IT support team, this provision is of particular value, providing insurance against data loss through employee error. Cloud services IT specialists will often even help businesses with problems that are not directly related to the Cloud–failure to establish a network connection, for example.
One of the greatest advantages of the Cloud for business owners is the ease with which it enables remote employment. In fact, as a direct result of Cloud services, remote employment is a growing trend amongst big and small businesses alike. Where once project sharing with remote employees was a process too convoluted to be consistently effective, the Cloud allows off-location workers to access up-to-the-minute project updates and information. By permitting such employee collaboration, the cloud contributes to increased workflow and productivity in businesses all across the globe.
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