It’s no secret that cloud computing has become a mainstay among most digital users – resulting in a cumulative productivity benefit of $9.4 billion to the economy in the last five years. The technology has been proven to give companies strategic competitive advantage, greater data security, and higher employee productivity (up to a 40% potential increase) – among other benefits.
Despite these attractors, businesses continue to face barriers to adoption, namely in lack of skills and awareness. As of 2019, less than half of all Australian businesses (42%) are using some form of paid cloud service.
By overcoming these obstacles and moving to the cloud, however, companies can reap massive improvements in customer service and worker performance.
Below, we explore the various ways that cloud computing can help improve workplace operations and team synergy.
Cloud computing streamlines collaboration
According to a Forbes survey, 64% of respondents noted faster performance and task execution through cloud-based collaboration tools, with 87% of surveyed business leaders labelling the technology a “true breakthrough in collaboration”.
The cloud provides a centralised platform for storing and managing data; accessed by all permitted employees anytime, anywhere. The advanced file-sharing tools of the cloud also allow for document updates to be made in real time, boosting the convenience and efficiency of teamwork like never before.
This central repository and hub for shared services (also known as “groupware”) allows for a more unified, organised workforce wherever employees may be. Since the cloud is simply accessed from any permitted device with an internet connection, employees can remain productive and openly communicative on shared projects when working remotely.
These strong collaboration and project management features allow for the faster completion of tasks – leading to higher productivity.
Having all files available in one location also reduces the need for sending documents over e-mail – meaning less hassle with sending the wrong files or having messages buried and left unopened in one’s inbox.
IT teams are relieved of extra workloads
The cloud and its various tools and services help alleviate the extra pressure on your IT team to manually update servers, computers, and software.
Cloud providers generally carry out any required system updates or software upgrades themselves. In other cases, they may allow for instant push notifications on these updates, helping your IT experts implement any changes as necessary. Additionally, a cloud’s management system can organise any support requests by their ability to fix or resolve issues remotely; helping IT teams save time and productivity.
Businesses can also enjoy the general low-maintenance nature of cloud computing, as such solutions require no specialised hardware or equipment. Managers can thus significantly lower their capital costs, while IT teams are freed of the need to maintain these devices and on-premise software.
Cloud computing allows business owners to outsource routine, day-to-day operational IT tasks, allowing their workforce to concentrate on bigger goals and more pressing objectives. With your IT teams relieved of these extra tasks, they can then shift their energy and focus on other key areas of business.
Cloud computing offers greater security
Shifting your workflows to the cloud allows for greater protection of data; reducing any downtime associated with security breaches and virus attacks.
Most reputable cloud providers have made extensive investments in their security system, providing plenty of built-in security tools and consistent platform monitoring. The larger your cloud service provider, the more they stand to lose in damaging customer trust; thus, a substantial amount of their money and resources are often put into providing the highest-grade security possible. (Some providers, such as Amazon and Oracle, even outline their security methodologies and responsibilities for greater transparency.)
Protection methods can include role-based authentication, ensuring only authorised employees are granted access to specific sections of data. This can greatly reduce incidents of human error and prevent malicious insiders from breaching critical company information. Network firewalls are also a fundamental feature of reliable cloud security, as well as regular security updates, encryption, and vulnerability assessments.
It’s always important, however, to take extra measures yourself in further securing your data. Experts recommend performing regular data backups and enabling two-factor authentication for that extra layer of protection.
Disaster recovery made easier
Through cloud-based solutions, business owners can perform and maintain their data backups with greater ease – resulting in more effective disaster recovery plans.
With traditional disaster recovery (DR) methods, one can either store their backup data onsite; manually transport their backups to an offsite location; or automate their backups to an offsite location. While typically more inexpensive in its options, traditional DR often requires continuous monitoring and manual management. Business owners may also need to invest in new hardware systems (i.e. storage devices, servers, and network infrastructure) to maintain their own on-site DR storage.
Disaster recovery through the cloud, however, effectively eliminates the extra costs of a secondary data site; reduces IT downtime through automated backups; and allows for easily scalable storage and backup options.
Data can easily be replicated and backed up across multiple geographical locations – leaving you with numerous copies of your files should one data centre fail. This helps your workforce get back on their feet much quicker amidst disaster, saving your business hours of valuable productivity.
Additionally, the cloud providers typically run on a pay-as-you-go pricing model, allowing you to pay for only the storage options and services you need – with options to expand or minimize these features according to future disaster recovery needs.
Cloud computing offers greater agility
Finally, shifting to the cloud allows your business to better (and more quickly) respond to rapidly changing market needs. Due to its scalable features, companies can efficiently adapt to evolving market conditions in ways that often prove difficult with on-site physical solutions.
As such, optimising the cloud has granted plenty of businesses with greater competitive edge. In a study for the Harvard Business Review, 74% of organisations took note of this; discovering how the cloud gave them the ease and speed required to capitalize on opportunities as they emerged.
By scaling their needs on the cloud to align with changing goals and demands, workers will be better equipped to deliver high-quality results with greater speed and agility – resulting in greater workplace productivity and a sharper business advantage, overall.
Train for cloud adoption (or a cloud computing profession) today!
Reap the many benefits of cloud computing today with the right professional training. By upskilling your workers in the cloud adoption and optimization, your business can enjoy faster worker performance, greater agility, stronger data protection and an overall spike in productivity.
Lumify Work (formerly DDLS), Australia’s largest provider of corporate IT and process training, offers a wide variety of courses in cloud computing and virtualisation. Students can learn the basics of migrating to the cloud or specialised areas in cloud development, architecture, and administration.
Through our Lumify Anywhere platform, students can also choose to undertake these programs online; helping them tailor their studies according to personal needs, schedule, and preferred pace of training. Boost your business with the cloud or join the growing profession of cloud computing – and enquire with us on a course today.