You might already know that cloud computing is huge right now.

According to Statista, the total size of the public cloud computing market is projected to be worth ~$160bn dollars in 2020. The total value of cloud computing services is expected to grow by 21% in 2018 alone.

LogicMonitor’s Cloud Vision 2020: The Future of the Cloud Study states that 83% of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020. Specifically, 41% will be in the public cloud, 22% in the hybrid cloud, and 20% in the private cloud.

Based on Gartner’s technology trends report, 62% of SMEs have already migrated to the cloud, while 33% are planning or going to implement cloud in their organization in the near future.

That basically means the following:

If you have not migrated your infrastructure, software, and data to the cloud yet, most likely you are considering the move. And the good news is, you still have time to jump on the cloud bandwagon.

If you are still not sure about the potential benefits of cloud computing for your business, this article is definitely for you.

Below are the top five cloud benefits for business. Enjoy!

1. Cost-Efficiency

According to Direct2Dell’s report on cloud computing, up to 20% of surveyed businesses are concerned about considerable upfront investment in cloud-based servers.

And while their concerns are somewhat legit — you do have to invest in the cloud initially (i.e. utility costs, service costs, etc.) — cloud alternatives are much more expensive and less cost-efficient in the long run.

Rather than focusing on the initial investment (which is pretty minimal, considering you do not have to purchase your own servers and hardware), you are better off thinking in terms of ROI.

Just consider the following factors of cloud computing in business:

  • Redundancy
  • No time delays
  • Pay-per-use and pay-as-you-go models
  • Volume pricing discounts
  • Independent pricing for services

Cloud computing converts capital expense for variable expense and utilizes economies of scale. You pay only for what you use (storage, compute, services, etc.) and only when you need to.

On top of that, you enjoy lower energy costs and maintenance fees.

These factors allow businesses to save more and spend less with the cloud.

2. Elasticity

Agility and instant elasticity are cloud’s bread and butter.

Scalable cloud infrastructure has been one of the hottest technology trends since 2016, and it is no wonder why.

Too many businesses suffer from unpredictable server loads and inconsistent waves of traffic, which result in overloads and downtime. And this is too costly.

According to ITIC’s survey:

98% of organizations say a single hour of downtime costs over $100,000; 81% of respondents indicated that 60 minutes of downtime costs their business over $300,000. And a record one-third or 33% of enterprises report that one hour of downtime costs their firms $1 million to over $5 million.

This is where cloud excels. Since it allows to automatically scale up and down your solution, it means that you can:

  • Quickly deploy new software and applications
  • Experience no downtime when the workload immediately grows
  • Rapidly shut down resources when they are not required
  • Avoid paying on non-used infrastructure

Simply put, cloud computing significantly improves user experience while allowing you to pay only for what you use.

3. Flexibility

Cloud is increasingly flexible.

It gives organizations the freedom to utilize their existing programming models, operating systems, databases, and architectures. It allows employees to be more flexible in their work practices.

cloud computing benefits

Businesses are free to select and customize infrastructure settings, storage and control options, tools, and security features.

All of that means several things:

  • Reduction in IT costs
  • Increased collaboration efficiency
  • Ease of access to data
  • Flexible work practices
  • Business continuity

In other words, cloud empowers your business and allows it to rapidly change to meet customer demands without being dragged down by IT infrastructure maintenance and related activities.

4. Security

According to Bitdefender’s survey of 250 IT professionals, at least one-third of companies in the U.S. were breached in 2016.

With this background, it is clear why security is concerning businesses that consider moving to the cloud — they are afraid to entrust a third-party with their business and customer data.

If your business- and customer-sensitive data is not kept on your own servers, how can you be sure that it is safe? How can you rely on some obscure concept of remote access when it comes to data security?

Well, it turns out, you totally can.

To begin with, security is the number one priority for cloud service providers. They realize perfectly well that any data breach will be their fault and do their best to protect themselves and their clients.

Then, cloud vendors rely on best of breed solutions and certifications to protect every layer of their infrastructure. Security monitoring and constant checks are basically embedded into the system.

And finally, cloud vendors enable businesses to set up and manage their layer of responsibility, which regularly concerns customer data, identity and access management, firewall configurations, and so on.

Here are a few data cloud security predictions by Jay Heiser, research vice president at Gartner:

  • In 2018, companies that properly set up their visibility and control tools in the cloud will have at least one-third fewer security issues.
  • Up to 2022, IaaS-based businesses will come across 60% fewer security challenges than businesses that host their software in traditional datacenters.
  • Through 2022, no less than 95% of all security problems will be caused by customers.

All of that basically means that your business- and customer-sensitive data is more secure in the cloud rather than on your own servers.

Note: Did you know that ~58% of companies that had security incidents in 2017 reported that insiders were to blame?

5. Sustainability

And last but not least of the benefits of cloud computing for business is sustainability.

Since cloud relies on economies of scale, it encourages businesses to become more environmentally-friendly by cutting down on power consumption and, therefore, reducing carbon emissions.

Not only do you free your business from purchasing hardware, managing servers, cooling them down, and paying for their maintenance, but also help the planet.

Here is why:

  • Cloud requires fewer servers
  • It uses less electricity due to better infrastructure
  • Cloud servers have a high utilization rate (i.e. have no idle capacity)
  • Cloud data centers are located closer to customers, which reduces energy losses

Conclusion

The benefits of cloud computing for business are many.

Cloud makes your company more competitive, allows for smooth and rapid software releases, reduces the number of security issues, improves data insight, and increases collaboration between employees. It makes your business more mobile- and user-friendly.

No wonder that companies are increasingly moving their infrastructure, applications, and data to the cloud. Cloud computing skills are in high demand.

Make sure that your company takes advantage of cloud computing this year. You still have time to reap the benefits.