5 Often Overlooked Benefits of Cloud Computing
Reputable cloud providers offer a whole host of benefits that have been talked about in depth over the years, including increased security, compliance, and scalability, along with easy online access and 24/7 support from IT professionals. But there are also a number of “hidden” benefits many organizations may overlook that can make a move to the cloud even more appealing.
Here’s our top five:
1. Improved Social Media Outreach
The impact of social media for most organizations can’t be denied; it offers a way to forge relationships, boost sales, and recruit new talent. But word-of-mouth on social media is just as important as it is in the traditional marketing mix; that’s why gaining social media influencers is a key part of many company’s social media strategies. While this is normally easier said than done—even amongst the savviest social media marketers—leveraging the cloud makes it simple to automate and scale social media management, helping maximize the use of influencers. How is this possible? A cloud infrastructure can easily collect and analyze relevant videos, reviews, shares, and images from social touch points to identify influencers. Then, it can alert marketers to potential opportunities to reach and engage with them, following something as simple as a positive comment on a review site.
2. Ability to Go Global Easily
Many organizations have looked at global expansion as the answer to slowed growth at home. However, setting up business infrastructure in new countries can be complicated, involving learning new customs, processes, and regulations. One of the untapped benefits of cloud computing is the ease at which organizations can now effectively enter new markets, stationing individuals or an entire staff overseas or across borders and providing them with access to the same files and data, despite their distance. In addition, the cloud allows companies to keep some sensitive data in-country if necessary due to regulations or compliance law.
3. Reduction of Carbon Footprint
The positive impact of the cloud on CO2 emissions is huge, allowing companies to reduce their energy consumption by up to 95% and cut utility costs by up to 90%. Despite these surprising numbers, many companies don’t pay much attention to the concept of sustainable technology, believing that because they don’t produce any toxic materials, they aren’t damaging the environment. However, companies housing data on-premise can waste large amounts of energy due to continuously running computers and servers that are often not at storage capacity. And when it’s time to scale up? More machines are purchased, adding to the company’s energy usage and landfill waste down the road. With the rapid adoption of cloud computing, servers utilized by data centers have become much more powerful and efficient, and expert cloud providers have discovered ways to use more of each server’s capacity by enabling one physical server to host numerous virtual servers. While moving to the cloud is good for the environment, it may also prove to be good for business; a recent Nielsen study found that Millennials are more than willing to pay extra for sustainable offerings by nearly 75%.
4. Providing a Better Work-Life Balance
The cloud is always on, providing increased collaboration between employees from anywhere, at any time. That means that if an employee needs to leave the office when school lets out, they can head home and finish up the workday while watching over the kids. Have an appointment? No need to take off a whole day; work can be completed in the waiting room. While this may sound awfully progressive to some older members of the workforce, it’s increasingly become a way to attract the new generation of workers who have grown up with technology and find being tied down to an office counterproductive. In fact, 13.4 million Americans are now working remotely (more than double the amount in 2005), and experts believe this is due to meeting the demands of millennials entering the workplace. The cloud makes incorporating flexibility into work schedules easier, offering seamless integration through file-sharing across any device, allowing employees to collaborate on projects more effectively.
5. Preparation for the Future
This is perhaps the biggest advantage of the cloud, yet it often remains overlooked or dismissed by CFOs who find it difficult to quantify enabling future innovation. However, because technology is evolving rapidly, maintaining an on-premise infrastructure can make it very challenging to adapt. Because the cloud offers on-demand access to a pool of computing resources, it enables organizations to pivot quickly, rather than being hampered down by IT infrastructure that’s no longer relevant. This applies to a variety of scenarios, such as sudden organizational growth, new market opportunities, or a paradigm shift in the IT landscape. With the cloud, organizations can begin to deploy advanced technologies such as intelligent automation, artificial intelligence (AI) tools, chatbots, and advanced analytics. Not only can these tools reduce costs and transform business functions, they put organizations in the perfect position to adapt to changes over the short, medium, and long term.
No matter the size of your organization or your industry, the cloud offers unparalleled perks. While security, savings, and other factors are huge plusses, it’s important to be aware of all the benefits the cloud offers to make your decision easier—or help you to convince top decision-makers that now is the time to make the move.