Cloud computing is simply the delivery of computing services over the Internet. These services include databases, analytics, software, servers, networking, storage, etc. You can store/access information, programs over the Internet for personal or business use, and to perform numerous tasks on PC or mobile.
Only few startups or small businesses have their own in-house IT departments and when something needs to be fixed, outside onsite services are always needed. These services are usually expensive and time-consuming. While waiting for the technician, systems may be down, resulting in a loss of productivity and revenue. Cloud computing solves many of these issues over traditional IT infrastructure.
With easy-to-use implementations and customizable features, cloud computing services providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) provide long-term business processes and transformations. However, in Nigeria, some cloud hosting companies include Rack Centre, MDXi, Excelsimo Networks, and Medallion Communications Limited.
As a startup owner, do you really understand the key benefits of cloud? Let’s talk about the major advantages of cloud computing:
Lower IT infrastructure cost
Cloud-based software applications can often cost less than their on-the-shelf counterparts. They can significantly lower the cost of online backup, data storage, and IT infrastructure. There are far less operational costs with a cloud service as compared to traditional, on-premise infrastructure.
Typical items associated with on-premise infrastructure are servers, operating systems, licensing fees, and network switches. There is also the cost of maintaining the physical, tangible hardware, like powering them with electricity and installing security systems to protect them.
With a cloud-based solution, there are none of those costs involved. A system administrator is able to oversee included and automatic processes that would otherwise be more manual work to put in place. Not only is money being saved from not having to purchase hardware, the IT team member has more time to spend productivity-wise on other projects.
Cloud computing evidently means less memory is utilised on office machines, increasing the lifespan of machines. Some of the space needed for network routing is also eliminated.
Like Google Cloud, particularly G Suite, with an internet connection, anything related to a company could be accessed at anytime and anywhere. Crucial documents that may need to be viewed outside of work hours is available, if needed. There is no need to wait until you’re back in the office to connect to the on-premise server. Many companies set up Virtual Private Networks (VPNs), so that access to files are limited to certain IP addresses or locations. This is not a limitation for access to documents using the cloud.
Another benefit for cloud-accessible items is the allowance of flexible hours and locations for business operations. A company is free to hire more remote employees, full-time, part-time, or freelance, if it would best fit its business needs.
Flexible IT infrastructure capacity
There is no need to consider any changes to a cloud service’s capacity. If extra resources are needed, you can get them when you need them. If you run out of storage when adding files, you can add more storage, and only an amount that is needed.
Capacity in regards to on-premise IT infrastructure is not as flexible as the cloud. If you have a server that stores 2TB of data, and the files you have need more storage than that, you may need to buy a new server altogether.
Unlike cloud computing, there is no way to add more storage onto hardware. This is because it is built to only support a certain amount.
Latest and inexpensive versions of software
There are no expensive software upgrades. For instance, you can set automatic updates from a certain product, i.e. Oracle for databases. You could also have it customized so that only certain versions of that product are upgraded.
The process of upgrading software for on-premise infrastructure tends to be more complex. If a software update is released, a system administrator typically needs to manually download and implement it. Once it is installed, the system administrator needs to test it to ensure nothing has been broken.
This entire process could take up to an entire day. But if it needs to be done when no employees are accessing the service, the system administrator needs to spend time on the weekend or late at night in order to fix the issue. In the end, productivity goes down for all employees.
Do you always need to visit the server room to troubleshoot issues? With cloud computing, you can put the administrative tools in the cloud and actually concentrate on what is important for your business.