Although cloud technology has been around for decades, advancements in technology have transformed it into a powerful IT service for management. Cloud computing is on-demand. Businesses can put as much or as little of their IT infrastructure onto the cloud. Depending on what resources are put on the cloud, this digital infrastructure eliminates the need for on-premises hardware, reducing the need for office space. The service is provided by companies like Microsoft who host the service with powerful servers and data centres around the world.
Cloud technology can be accessed from any device, from anywhere around the world. Once connected to the cloud, you are able to access the speeds of the cloud. All you need is an internet connection. When logging on, the user will access a virtual PC. A business’s entire cloud infrastructure can be administered remotely with products such as the cloud management platform Microsoft Azure.
With a public cloud, space is rented from cloud providers on a monthly basis and a business will only pay for the resources they consume. These resources are generally divided into Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) e.g., data storage and Platform as a Service (PaaS). There are also private and hybrid (multi-cloud) cloud service options for those that want more control over sensitive data.
The pandemic definitely did throw the business world into a spin when it came about. Now things have somewhat settled into normality, the business world has learned its lesson: plan for the unexpected. Today, a lot of the workforce works from home. Cloud environments support a remote workforce which gives employees the opportunity to spend less time commuting and more time with family.
The cloud is an adaptable technology, so whether work is needed from home or in the office, your IT infrastructure travels with you because it’s available on any device. This flexibility helps for better disaster recovery should the unexpected happen. Business owners and managers have access to cloud management tools such as Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) software no matter where they are. If business-critical problems arise, they can get straight onto them.
With cloud technology, business departments have never worked closer to each other. It creates a centralised digital location and is supported by powerful collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams where files can be modified in real time with quick meetings made possible in video and voice. With appropriate access control, your entire supply chain can be connected via the cloud. Cloud communication helps to remove traditional communication hurdles by putting staff in quick contact with each other. Quick and efficient communication by management is possible through a centralised communication channel.
With cloud computing, the customer is much closer to the business. Data can be collected to create a unique customer experience with products and services marketed-based on needs and wants. Customer communication can be done through email, phone, chat and SMS, improving customer service.
Cloud-based technology supports the reduction and even elimination of on-premises hardware like servers and PCs. It also reduces the cost of maintaining this equipment, and the staff needed to do that and to keep it up-to-date with the latest operating system and software. These cost savings can be reinvested into the business. Staff can also be incentivised with bring your own machine options.
Cloud providers offer a monthly costing structure where businesses are only billed for the resource allocation they consume. This way, no unexpected expenses come with having on-premises hardware as the hardware is managed by the cloud provider for public clouds.
For private cloud or hybrid cloud options, where the business will have their own server to store sensitive data, to keep costs predictable, this can still be managed off-premises with a Managed Service Provider (MSP). MSPs can also help with cloud security configuration with automate secure cloud options reducing the need for specialised internal IT teams.
Management decision-making is easier with the cloud as it provides real time data for any processes that are migrated to the cloud. Powerful analytical tools and machine learning can study trends, make predictions, and identify weaknesses which management can act on quickly before the situation becomes a big problem.
Cloud technology is also scalable, so resources can be added with a few clicks. Open-source cloud tools can be used by IT teams to deploy and manage environments quickly. This allows management to take advantage of opportunities quickly without cash up front. The risk to experiment and innovate is much lower which helps businesses to grow.
Cloud technology can help management do their job. Talk to the experts at Essential Tech to find out more.
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