Understanding Cloud Computing and Is It Worth the Spend?

If the latest data are to be trusted businesses are increasing their spending on cloud and all indicators point to the undeniable fact that for now there will be no cap on the amount spent in the coming years.According to some experts, cloud business process service spending has been increasing at staggering rates in the past few years. Between 2011 and projections of 2016, the CAGR of SaaS for business intelligence apps is at 27.4 percent, 16.3 percent for CRM, 23.4 percent for ERP, 34.0 percent for content creation, 25.9 percent for content management, and an astounding 49.1 percent for office suites.But why are businesses embracing cloud solutions with such fervor? Why are end-users spending on cloud computing services projected to cross $180 billion by the end of 2015? Reasons for this shift to the cloud are many, but the ones that make the most sense for businesses to adopt cloud are few.AccessibilityBusiness owners and decision makers have access to files, data, and software from anywhere, using virtually any machine. This improved access allows quicker, more accurate decision-making.Global WorkforceThe biggest byproduct of this increased accessibility is better, streamlined collaborations between global workforces. Departments and employees can easily share information in real-time, reducing unnecessary bottlenecks and accelerating productivity of the organization.Rapid Development & DeploymentCloud business solutions have seen much faster development compared to standard data storage and computing technologies over the past few years. The rapid deployment of these solutions by cloud computing companies has meant that businesses have access to latest technology at all times.Cross Platform AdaptabilityAdaptability of devices to cloud computing services adds to the advantage of the CTOs, maximizing flexibility of the system. The cloud is already geared to enhance consistency across platforms even as organizations adopt a BYOD structure for their employees.Enhanced securityEarlier, people were worried about the possible susceptibility of the cloud to data breaches and security threats. With progression of time, businesses have realized that the cloud computing security systems are much safer.Risk MitigationThe worst imaginable thing for large organizations with around the clock customers from all parts of the world is a server crash. Sadly, physical data storage systems fail regularly. Cloud computing is far less risky as most cloud computing companies guarantee 99.995 percent uptime.Cost savingsThe cloud is undoubtedly cost-effective, especially for small businesses. It allows a business to scale with its needs, and within its means. Cloud service providers take care of all software licensing, system upgrades and maintenance without any burden on the in-house IT teams shifting capital expenditure of a business to a more use-as-you-go model.This is just the tip of the iceberg that cloud computing has proven to be thus far. As the CIOs and CTOs get free to work on matters of strategy for their respective organizations, the world is a playground for cloud computing companies of the future.It’s too early to predict the future of cloud computing industry and how it will continue to transform businesses. However, there certainly are some strong opinions by those close to the matter. As businesses shed the brick-and-mortar approach, organizational structure is likely to be affected the most. With employee’s eager to tele-commute, businesses will decrease their reliance on large facilities and invest in employee hives working in different remote locations, increasing staffing flexibility and reducing costs.While cloud technologies are relatively safe, security will continue to remain a concern with hackers and cyber criminals turning their focus to these technologies over the course of time. The industry’s response will be crucial to its lasting success.Business owner and decision makers will have to decide on acceptability of the cloud within their organizations. If they haven’t already adopted cloud technology, the risk of falling behind looms large on businesses in an increasingly global market. With cloud computing becoming the norm over the next five years, businesses that aren’t willing to adapt will become inefficient and unreliable for their customers.

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