The world has witnessed the era of punch cards, computers and Internet and now it is poised to see a time that will rely mostly on Cloud Computing. If you have not come across the word ‘Cloud computing’ before and wish to know about it then don’t put much stress on your mind because it’s simple. It is just a matter of recalling your mind. If you have used services like Dropbox, Google Drive, iCloud, and OneDrive, you are already using Cloud Technology. However, we should also admit the fact that this is not all about Cloud and there are plenty of other things that are yet to be known in it.
So, let’s start with the definition of Cloud Computing first and then we will move on to the business related aspects of Cloud.
What is Cloud Computing?
In simple language, cloud computing can be defined as a technology that enables users store and access data and programs on the Internet instead of computer’s local hard drive. So, if you have been struggling for years to put your valuable, sensitive, and huge volume of data in a centralized space so that you can retrieve and use it on the go then cloud computing could help you a lot. All we can say that if you are a fast paced individual and want every data and program to be handy on your finger tips cloud computing is the thing you are looking for. It enables user store and access data and programs anywhere, anytime and with any communication device.
What Cloud Computing is Not About?
Okay, we understood what cloud is all about in our previous part and now we need to understand what cloud is not about, as there are many individuals who get confused with ‘cloud computing’ and ‘Network attached Storage’ like Servers. Let’s say you have a dedicated server that is there at your office backyard and you are putting all your data there then it’s not cloud. It’s a kind of Local Storage. For data to be considered in cloud it should have the accessibility from the Internet itself and should be synchronizing with each modification. A company with more than 100 users can see, edit and track documents that are in the cloud irrespective of the device.
You as an individual might have used applications like Google-Drive, DropBox and Onedrive for your daily needs but there is an another aspect of the Cloud which is “Cloud for Businesses” in which there is a plenty of opportunity for generating revenue for operators and stakeholders. According to reports from Forbes the cloud computing market has reached total revenue of $110 billion in 2012 and is expecting to reach $250 billion by the year 2020. So, the potential is immense but channelizing your resources to get a cut out of this big cake could be daunting.
In next part of our article we will be discussing the benefits of using cloud and how it can help businesses scale their business up.
Real Time Data:
You might have understood the value of real time updates and data with the overwhelming popularity of social media giant Twitter. These days’ businesses and brands are trying to leverage the benefits of Real Time Data in every sphere of business. They want to see documents in real-time, they want to analyze data gathered in real time including purchase and sales, they want to update data in real-time and want to respond to their clients in real-time. Businesses want everything to do on the go and this is exactly what cloud can offer.
The data and documents stored in the cloud can be seen, viewed and modified by anyone who has access to it. Cloud can be an invaluable tool for those e-commerce companies who need to update their inventory on a regular basis. With cloud based technologies companies can identify items that go out-stock and respond accordingly and instantaneously to satisfy customers.
Scale and Cost: All companies these days are facing cut-throat competitions from their fellow brands that are in the same domain and hence it’s important for companies to get the real worth of every single penny they are investing. Hence, it is important for every company to put in place a mechanism that can help them make their operations and processes cost-effective so that they can scale their business.
Without cloud technologies companies and brands are spending a huge chunk of their total money on various fronts to keep their business going. This expense includes money invested on power, server maintenance, server-cooling cost, licensing of software and up gradation of software. With cloud computing companies can void all these expenses simply by subscribing to software based or infrastructure based cloud that will take care of all worries related to hardware, software, licensing and maintenance and thus this saved money could be utilized to scale the business by pumping it in the main operational work.
Ensuring Robust Data Back-up:
One of the worst things that can happen to a company is ‘Data loss. Loss in data can happen due to many reasons like flood, fire or any other kind f physical damage to the server. This is very true that on-site system failure or a data disaster can happen to a company anytime without any prior notice which may adversely affect the bottom line of the company which is increased revenue. Cloud can help businesses void any type of such disaster and once their data are on the cloud they can retrieve the latest version of the data without putting much of their precious time and valuable money. When you are in cloud your data get backed-up automatically so that in case of system crash or server crash you get your data as it is without any loss.
When you are in the cloud rest assured that your website will enjoy a high ever up-time as it requires less efforts in terms of maintenance.
Void Stationary POS Systems: One of the worst situations that customers are facing these days is complexities of stationary POS or Point of Sale system where they are required to stand behind counters to get their invoices or pay for the products they purchase. It is tedious not only for customers but for retailers also. Due to these complexities they are losing plenty of their loyal and valuable customers. With Cloud Technology we can bypass all these tedious requirements and make the billing process simpler.
Reduce IT Costs: The era of Information Technology is witnessing a sharp rise in overall IT Management costs wherein they are required to invest a huge chunk of their profits to managed service providers or other operators. Since the data is big, brands need to think also big to purchase and maintain various hardware and software to support their IT needs. Procuring, managing, and maintaining these hardware and software is becoming a costly-affair for businesses with various vendors, operators and service providers.
With cloud technology we can bypass all these third party vendors and all our IT infrastructure will be managed under one roof. The move will be a win-win situation for banks where the data is very big and they can unload some of their data processing related activities to the cloud service provider. Not only this but banks and other financial corporations are always looking for an infrastructure that is located centrally so that they can do business in different countries with ease of information exchange.
Revolutionizing the Medical Data Processing: In medicine and Clinical Research we have a slogan “if things are not documented, it’s not done.” The slogan demonstrates the importance of documentation and data in this segment of business and hence it is very important for stakeholders to ensure that the data captured is accurate, authentic, updated and reproducible. The cost of archiving such a big and accurate data is becoming impossible for a single stakeholder and hence Cloud could be a panacea for those businesses that are looking for a single and centralized infrastructure where their data is safe, secure, and retrievable.
Conclusion: To sum-up we can say that Cloud Computing is a technology that can help businesses unify and centralize their processes and operations which in-turn can make the IT environment easier to manage and more efficient. With this amazing technology retailers can track real-time information about customers and what they’re purchasing. This data stored in the cloud can easily be seen by anyone in the company who has access to it.