Among other things, 2020 will be remembered as the year digital transformation became essential to business continuity in a world where working-from-anywhere-except-the-office became the new normal. Now, digital transformation means different things to different people—but one ingredient that any digital transformation worth its gigabytes includes is some type of cloud computing implementation.
The cloud is the like the gasoline of digital transformation—it’s what everything runs on. And that “everything” is becoming inclusive of an ever-increasing list of business processes and information management systems that are revolutionizing how companies operate by introducing a variety of benefits to the organization.
These benefits are the whole point of digital transformation. It’s not just changing how you do things for the sake of change. It’s the pursuit of competitive advantage, pure and simple. And competitive advantage comes in a wide variety of flavors…
The Pure and Simple Benefits of Cloud Computing
- Disaster recovery. Keeping your data in the cloud guarantees that even if your computing devices get damaged, or there’s a fire at your office, your data is safe and easily recoverable. Disaster recovery is a primary element of a comprehensive business continuity plan.
- Instant scalability. Big companies have different IT requirements than small companies, but with the cloud, a small company can more easily grow into a large company, and a large company can scale down just as easily. This level of agility is a real competitive advantage and also mitigates risks associated with operation and maintenance of in-house IT.
- Remote work. Cloud computing enables anywhere access to corporate data, and with smartphones, tablets and laptops, anyone can stay in the loop from anywhere. Resources in the cloud are easily stored, retrieved, recovered, and processed in a matter of clicks. In addition, software updates automatically, which reduces the workloads of IT team. In fact, you may not even need an in-house IT team anymore.
- Become more efficient. With cloud-based IT infrastructure, the major capital costs of purchasing and maintaining equipment go away. Outside of individual PCs, laptops, and mobile devices, no longer do you need your own enterprise computing hardware, facilities, or utilities. Neither do you need to hire those people to run them, as they come with your cloud service. For most companies, owning and administering their own IT resources had been a necessary divergence in focus from their actual mission and purpose.
- Better data security. These days, most organizations are concerned with the security of their data. Data breaches have the potential to ruin a company and its reputation. One of the biggest benefits of cloud computing is the integrated and highly advanced data security systems. Every reputable cloud provider includes baseline data security protections for their platforms and the data they process, such as authentication, access control, and encryption. From there, organizations are free to add additional protections as needed.
- Permissions-based data controls. Plenty of business documents contain sensitive information that could be compromising if it got into the wrong hands. The cloud allows for complete visibility and control over your data. You determine which users have what level of access to what data.
- Enhances collaborations. Quite simply, since one version of a document can be worked on by different people simultaneously, creativity and collaboration is free to happen, and the collaborators can be anywhere in the world with an internet connection.