The pandemic was a catalyst for many to move part or all their business to cloud based technologies to cater for a remote workforce. However, this is not the only benefit of the cloud. There are other core qualities this digital transformation offers that can help businesses to grow and excel.
What is cloud technology?
Cloud technology is an on-demand service where you pay for the resources you use per month. These resources can be anything from applications like Microsoft 365 to a virtual server or a company network. The cloud puts powerful technology at the fingertips of businesses. What’s great about it is that it can be accessed with any device from anywhere around the world through a simple web browser at fast speeds.
Generally, businesses access cloud technology from providers like Microsoft or Amazon. These companies invest billions in securing their many servers as data protection is at the forefront of their agenda. Using the cloud reduces the risk of downtime as opposed to using a traditional on-site server because if one of Microsoft’s servers happens to fail the load can be easily redistributed to one of its other servers. They have servers located all over the world.
Cloud technology supports change
In this fast-changing world, it is imperative that businesses keep up with the times or be left behind. Many companies are planning to increase their investments in cloud data warehouses and the data lakes in 2021. A survey found that over the next six to twelve months, 77% intended to migrate over to or expand an existing data warehouse. Cloud computing allows businesses to take the changes we are faced with in this new pandemic world and run with them, or rather, take advantage of them and make the most of them.
The pandemic has forced businesses to rethink the way they work and to adapt to the changing demands of the workforce. Hybrid workforces are the way of the future now and businesses need to have in place their contingency plans in case of lockdowns where employees cannot work from the office. What this has resulted in is that business processes have become more adaptable and robust, providing opportunities for growth.
Previously when a new employee started work for example, they would be assigned a desk and a PC. With cloud technology, their desk is virtual, and they can be anywhere in the world, eliminating much of the onboarding process. This makes it easier for businesses to change the shape of their employee pool to support growth. The pandemic has also normalised a domestic and international workforce which allows businesses to invest in talent they would have otherwise not had access to.
The cloud supports innovation
Cloud technology is scalable, so adding anything from a database to a virtual server to an application can be done in a few clicks. Traditionally, when a business wanted to try something new, they would have to invest in new hardware and the whole process would take time and resources. Then, if it didn’t work out, all that extra technology would go to waste.
Cloud technology supports transformation and experimentation. It allows for risk taking with minimal investment. Businesses can also take advantage of growth opportunities they would otherwise have had to forgo due to budgetary, time or resource constraints. With cloud technology it’s easy to scale up and down quickly. Resources can be ramped up during busy periods rather than investing in expensive physical hardware which would have only been purchased to support the business during these times.
The cloud supports collaboration
Gone are the days where documents are sent around via email. The cloud supports a collaborative workforce by keeping everything centralised with documents updated in real time. It provides tools for effective collaboration where the entire business can be streamlined onto one platform. The remote individual user can achieve a closer virtual connection with their team through cloud tools and the accessing of cloud resources and cloud data in a central location.
This collaboration can be extended out to business partners and the entire supply chain. With appropriate access control, business partners can be connected to each other via cloud technologies. Rather than sending documents between each other the entire supply chain process can be streamlined onto the cloud to reduce operational cost. This increases the speed of business processes, freeing up resources to focus on customers, generating revenue, and accelerating business growth.
The cloud provides powerful real-time data
The cloud collects real-time data on business processes and uses machine-learning to provide powerful data analytics and tools. Infrastructure such as machinery components, manufacturing production lines and medical devices can connect into the cloud too which can also provide real-time data. This data can be accessed by management to inform decision making and support businesses to be data driven when it comes to the direction they want to go in. It can identify weaknesses and areas of strength so businesses can decide on what they want to focus on to enhance business growth.
There is no one-sized-fits-all approach to deploying to the cloud. It’s important that the individual needs of the business are assessed to find the right cloud solution. Cloud infrastructure enables businesses to grow, transform and evolve into the future. With public and private cloud solutions available, talk to the experts that Linktech Australia about how they can help your business harness the cloud’s potential.