Believe it or not, cloud computing has been around for a lot longer than most people think. The concept of being able to access data anywhere at any time is believed to have been invented in the 1960s. A lot has changed in cloud computing since that time.
Changes in technology, including the emergence of new technologies such as machine learning and artificial intelligence, have transformed cloud computing into a powerful resource that businesses can leverage so they can excel, grow, and stay ahead of the pack.
But beyond this, cloud computing is providing positive impacts to the way we live, work, and the way we look after our planet. Cloud technology is the way of the future.
What is cloud computing today?
Today, cloud providers like Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft provide technology resources on-demand to businesses. They take care of the hardware side of things and offer services which are housed on the cloud, such as:
- Software as a Service (SaaS): Prepackaged software you can access through the cloud, like Microsoft Office 365.
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS): IaaS is like running your own datacenter. You can spin up virtual machines, or manage network connections between virtual systems.
- Platform as a service (PaaS): Cloud platform services that allow you to build applications without having to manage any of the underlying networking or operating systems.
Businesses rent space on the cloud and pay for the resources they consume on a monthly basis. These providers spend billions of dollars a year in keeping up-to-date with the latest in cybersecurity protection to keep their servers and data centre secure. They have servers all over the world and they are powerful. Once you connect to the cloud, you are accessing the speeds of the cloud.
With cloud technology, private and hybrid cloud options are available for those businesses that want to have control over more sensitive data. A hybrid option allows you to have the best of both worlds. Whatever set-up is chosen, it can all be managed with cloud-based products, such as Microsoft Azure.
Flexible IT infrastructure
Cloud computing supports a remote workforce. Businesses need to be flexible and adaptable to remain competitive. With cloud computing, office space can be reduced or eliminated altogether. Business IT infrastructure can now be accessed from anywhere in the world, from any device, even from a mobile phone through a mobile app or web browser.
Eliminates hardware, reduces carbon footprint
Cloud technology helps to reduce office space and on-premises hardware such as servers, traditional phones, and PCs. With public cloud options, a business can choose to have less on-premises hardware. Or if they choose a private or hybrid cloud option, their servers can be housed and managed by a Managed Service Provider (MSP) which still reduces on-premises hardware.
Incentives can be provided to employees to bring their own device to access business IT infrastructure. The introduction of the virtual PC means that every employee can still have a standardised desktop which they can access when they log into the company network via a browser.
Telephony technology that uses VoIP (Voice Over Internet Protocol) and Unified Communications as a Service means businesses can also eliminate old PBX on-premises phone systems. All they need is an internet connection, a device and headset, and a business can still display the same professionalism as a traditional phone system. Their customers won’t be able to tell the difference.
The reduction of office space and hardware reduces the carbon footprint of a business and helps to save the planet. Not only do they not need to purchase hardware, they don’t need to replace it when the technology becomes outdated. It’s also a cost saving as it reduces the need for staff to maintain this hardware. Instead, this is all managed by the cloud service provider. In the future, office spaces may be a thing of the past, and instead, the virtual office will be the new norm.
A more efficient workplace
Setting up and attending in-person meetings, including domestic and international conferences, used to take much back-and-forth communication. With cloud computing, a business exists in a digital, central location. Many of these meetings can take place online, making it easier for all parties to attend. Powerful collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams support video and voice calls and meetings. Files are shared and edited in real time, which makes for highly efficient collaboration. With a centralised communication channel, business departments are working closer together than ever before.
The administration of the virtual desktops, and of a business’s entire IT infrastructure, can be done remotely. With appropriate access controls, an entire supply chain can be supported by cloud technology so business partners can work together faster and more efficiently to get products to consumers. Cloud computing removes geographic barriers and allows businesses to go global.
Access to powerful data supports innovation and growth
Cloud computing provides real-time data across business processes and brings the customer closer to the business than ever before. Powerful analytical tools and machine learning tools that study trends can be fed to management for quick decision-making. Reports can identify weaknesses in processes before they become big problems.
Coupled with the scalability of cloud technology, businesses can quickly take advantage of opportunities they would have otherwise had to forgo. With cloud technology, you can add resources with just a few clicks, as opposed to traditional methods of needing to purchase and install hardware.
A cloud platform can help serve your customers better and faster which can lead to an increase in profits and company brand. The money saved in purchasing hardware can also be reinvested into the business, not to mention the savings in associated maintenance costs. Time savings can also be reinvested so staff can spend more time focusing on priority tasks, like customer service, which only further serves to strengthen brand and grow your business.
Together with the powerful data available, and the fact that the entire world is available to you since geographic location is no longer a hurdle, cloud technology supports growth and innovation in a way that has not been available to businesses before.
These are just some of the benefits of cloud technology and how it is changing the world, and the way forward for the future. Many services and options are available for businesses. Experts in cloud technology can assess your business needs and current IT infrastructure and advise on the best way forward. They can also help to configure your security correctly so your data and infrastructure are protected. Talk to the experts at Linktech Australia to find out more about how cloud technology can help your business to thrive today and well into the future.