The cloud is changing how businesses operate through allowing for increased efficiency, productivity and other benefits.
Rackspace (News - Alert) has recently identified several benefits to business by use of the cloud, according to a company blog post.
For instance, because the cloud lets data become more easily shared – that saves money and improves efficiency. In fact, the prominent London School of Economics released a study which shows that use of the cloud leads to lower costs and an easier process by which to achieve innovation.
This also means it is less expensive to start a business. That has led to more entrepreneurship.
Also, by using the cloud, independent businesses can share infrastructure costs. Rackspace has a business startup program that uses cloud-related technology.
Similarly, the cloud lowers the cost to partner with other businesses, and makes it simpler, as well, as it becomes easier to use APIs of other applications. It is easier for businesses to collaborate, too. That leads to more small business partnerships.
In addition, bigger businesses can make a more modular organization via the cloud. By using the cloud, large organizations – such as businesses – are less hierarchical, as well. By using the cloud, non-technical employees can direct or just work on information system efforts as well. Because it becomes easier to share data, there is growth in global business operations.
Moreover, businesses reach customers easier no matter which device an employee is using – with the cloud. The company is accessible – all of the time.
The cloud is also leading to a more mobile workforce. In fact, Michael Goodenough, a global director of field engineering at CenturyLink, said in an article appearing on the Forbes website, “Cloud computing has made it easier for remote employees to enjoy all of the benefits of working in an office (collaboration, Hosted Exchange email, access to documents, etc.) while they are working from home or even on the road.”
Cloud computing is also encouraging the increasingly popular trend known as bring your own device (BYOD) in the workplace, Goodenough said. And organizations are becoming learning centers, which allow for more educated employees – thanks to the cloud.
There are some technology advantages with the cloud, too. “You never have to worry about running out of storage or server capacity, resulting in major cost savings,” Goodenough added. “While you still need to forecast the amount of storage or server capacity that you may need, you no longer have to be overly concerned about the capital expense of scaling up your needs if you do require more space or capacity. It’s far less expensive and less of a hassle to increase cloud storage and cloud server needs than on-site infrastructure. You still need IT for many functions, but cloud computing may actually result in less of a need for a full-blown IT staff. You’ll be outsourcing most of your activity to a cloud vendor.”
Tech employees find their work is easier with the cloud. “The cloud provides a low-cost way for engineers, product developers and even marketing folks to experiment with new ideas and test their feasibility within a short timeframe so that they can quickly move forward with successful ones,” Werner Vogels, chief technology officer of Amazon Web Services (News - Alert), said in a recent article.
Looking ahead, Jeff Jaffe, CEO of W3C (News - Alert) (the World Wide Web consortium), a Web standards organization, says cloud computing needs to see standards in the technology associated with cloud services.
Some examples are Software-as-a-Service, Platform-as-a-Service and Infrastructure-as-a-Service. Jaffe confirms it is a challenge to agree on standards or which technology associated with cloud services should be standardized. But the standards should still be put in place.
“Cloud computing is disrupting the traditional way of doing business and the old way of thinking,” Vogels concluded. “As the cloud continues to level the playing field for businesses large and small, we are seeing fast adoption that has helped to unleash great ideas and innovations by organizations from start-ups to large outfits.”
Edited by Jamie Epstein