By Bahar Ferguson
Cloud computing can seem scary to many business owners. After all, in a day and age where U.S. companies collectively lose over $525 million per year due to cybercrime, transferring your data to some nebulous location called “the cloud” feels a little disconcerting.
However, there is a reason that 83 percent of company workload is now stored in the cloud. Let’s check out just some of the benefits and see why so many companies are choosing this new method of data storage.
To run a profitable business, it’s important to save money where you can, and cloud computing is an excellent way to do it.
Physical servers are expensive. First, buying them is already a significant investment. Then, you have to pay to keep them running (a large system uses a lot of electricity). Plus, you’ll need trained personnel to perform maintenance and updates. All that doesn’t include the cost of upgrades.
Protection from Hardware Crashes
Technology is great, but it doesn’t work perfectly 100 percent of the time. Even with redundancies and backups, it is possible to lose data because of corrupted hard drives or other types of hardware malfunctions. If you neglect regular maintenance or the personnel you hired to do it doesn’t know their stuff as well as they should, this can be a bigger risk.
Protection from Environmental Factors/Disasters
Hardware malfunctions aren’t the only things that can damage your physical servers. No matter how unlikely, just imagine what would happen if your server room was flooded or building was flattened in an earthquake? Physical equipment is a significant point of failure. The physical damage caused may be enough to destroy the data for good, dealing a heavy blow to your business.
Working in the cloud gives your company a greater degree of mobility and flexibility. Employees can work and collaborate on projects from anywhere. All they need is an Internet connection.
Considering that remote work has gone up by 44 percent over the past five years and 99 percent of surveyed workers said they would like to work remotely, at least part of the time, this is something for businesses to be aware of.
As your business grows, you will need access to more and more storage capacity. If you host your own servers, this means expenses as you have to buy new equipment or upgrade your existing hardware. With cloud computing, getting extra storage is as easy as upgrading your plan.
You don’t have to worry about updates or hardware upgrades when your information is stored in the cloud. Your provider will handle all that. Not only is this convenient, it also helps to keep your information more secure. Security updates that protect against the latest hacker threats are instantly put in place.
Cloud computing is the wave of the future. By choosing a big player in cloud technology like Microsoft Azure or Amazon Web Services, business owners can rest assured that their data is being protected as much as possible.
Bahar Ferguson is president of Wasatch I.T., a Utah provider of outsourced IT services for small and medium-sized businesses.