Cloud computing has a number of benefits compared to more traditional approaches, including:
- reduced IT costs
- scalability of service
- access to new technology
- greater opportunities for flexible working practices
- enterprise-level back-up
- better environmental impact
Reduced IT costs
Using cloud computing can help your business reduce its IT expenditure. For example, having your business applications provided over the internet means you would no longer need to install and set up that software across your business yourself.
You can also reduce your hardware and software requirements and your ongoing costs - maintenance and other upgrades can be managed off-site by your cloud computing service provider.
Operational cost savings can also be made to your staffing requirements. By outsourcing your IT needs your business may no longer need the same levels of in-house technical expertise - allowing you to focus more on your core business.
Cloud computing allows your business to easily upscale or downscale your IT requirements as and when required. For example, most cloud service providers will allow you to upgrade your existing package to accommodate business needs or changes to market conditions. This would support your business growth without needing expensive changes to your existing IT systems.
Access to new technologies
Cloud computing can help ensure that you always have access to the latest technology. You would no longer need to worry about updating your software or investing in new back-end technology - as your service provider could manage this on your behalf. This can also give you access to software, hardware and IT functionality that would be too expensive to buy outright.
More flexible working practices
Cloud computing allows your employees to be more flexible - both in and out of the workplace. Employees can access files using web-enabled devices such as smartphones, laptops and netbooks. The ability to simultaneously share documents and other files over the internet can also help support both internal and external collaboration.
Cloud services can provide your business with enterprise-level back-up. While there are some concerns around data protection, cloud computing can give your business access to professionally managed back-up for all of your business information. For more information, see the page in this guide on data protection and cloud computing.
Cloud computing can offer a more environmentally friendly way of fulfilling your IT requirements, by helping reduce your energy consumption. Cloud service providers invest in large-scale data centres that often offer businesses a greener alternative to the more traditional approach to IT.
It can also help you reduce equipment wastage, since any reduction to your hardware needs will limit future redundancy.