Cloud computing is almost commonplace among most companies these days, but many are still confused about what cloud computing is. When people refer to cloud computing, they are referring to the use of shared computing resources. Additionally, this provides an alternative to having On-Premise servers to handle your files.
As many workplaces are currently working remotely, and perhaps considering staying remote permanently, the switch to cloud computing could make your workplace more efficient.
What Is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is a generic term used to refer to multiple cloud-based services that are located within a remote data center. These services normally include database storage, virtual machines, software hosting and management, networking, and artificial intelligence.
Switching To Cloud Computing
There are several benefits to making the switch, but many business owners don’t fully understand these benefits or don’t want to change how they currently run their business. For them, the hassle of implementing and learning new software outweighs the benefits.
However, cloud computing is quickly becoming the new best business-standard, with companies like Microsoft offering software like SharePoint and Microsoft Teams for group collaboration to make cloud computing a breeze. Adopting it into your workplace can make both remote and regular in-office workspaces more efficient.
Cloud computing offers many benefits making your workspace more efficient, such as:
- On-demand & Scalable Resources
- Quick Implementation, Installation & Configuration
- No Upfront Infrastructure Costs & No Need For On-Premise Maintenance Staff
- Easy Installation, Upgrades & Maintenance
With that said, cloud computing is much more scalable and affordable than the traditional on-premise server setup and maintenance. Essentially, you only pay for what you consume. In most cases, maintenance and management of servers are taken care of by the cloud computing provider depending on what type of product you use. Most general businesses will typically use SaaS, Software As A Service.
SaaS refers to applications that are hosted in remote data centers and can be accessed through a browser. For example, Office 365, where you do not have to have the software downloaded onto your computer. SaaS allows users to work collaboratively online, and stores it all on the cloud, often incorporating automatic saving so you never lose anything you’re working on.
Advantages Of SaaS
Because SaaS delivers applications through the browser, this eliminates the need to have someone preload software onto every computer. This allows your team to access work-related documents and apps quickly. The SaaS vendors also handle all potential technical issues, meaning you won’t have to deal with maintenance and will always have support for upcoming issues.
Having applications and data storage on a public cloud also means that your employees will be able to access work-related documents and software from any computer. If they were working from home, or away from their work computer, they could still open the portal for Microsoft 365 and access what they need from their browser. With traditional documents and software stored on an individual’s computer software or on a local on-premise server, this wouldn’t be possible. Solutions like Microsoft 365 allow you to completely eliminate unwanted VPN connections.
Working With Clients Using SaaS
SaaS solutions can also provide a tremendous advantage when working with clients, allowing them an easy way to exchange files quickly and seamlessly. By using applications like SharePoint or OneDrive, clients can get data to you promptly without dealing with compressing them to get them through email.
Potential Drawbacks of Cloud Computing
Like any new technology, the biggest drawback of cloud computing solutions is the learning curve in using and understanding it. Researching to understand cloud computing capabilities and how to improve the efficiency of your workspace will take time! Your employees will also need time to learn how to use these new technologies and adjust to using SaaS services rather than software installed on their computers.
Cost Of Cloud Computing Solutions
Cloud computing solutions can be cost-effective because it can cut out the need to host your own server or pay upfront for licensing costs. Investing in a traditional on-premise server infrastructure requires an upfront cost, whereas SaaS systems operate on a monthly subscription basis, which leads to extra operating expenditure.
On-premises options also require routine maintenance and a technical support aspect. You likely would have to hire I.T. support for maintaining, installing, and downloading software on local on-premise servers.
It’s essential to consider the total cost of ownership (TCO) associated with an on-premise system and weigh the benefits of investing in a system or just paying for a SaaS, PaaS (product as a service), or IaaS (infrastructure as a service) solution. You can calculate the TCO and compare on-premise versus SaaS using this calculator and make the best choice for your business!
Choosing The Right Option For Your Business
Whether you are trying to switch over from an on-premise solution to a cloud computing solution, or are in the process of starting a new business and considering which route to go, it’s important to understand how both systems work. Choosing the right solution for your business ultimately rests on what your business service or product is, and which solution works better and is the most cost-effective!
While cloud computing is ultimately becoming normal in most modern workspaces, especially those that are currently working remotely, traditional on-premise systems can also be effective for certain business models.