Cloud computing is rapidly becoming the new norm for many software applications. The main difference between cloud computing and on-premise applications is that cloud applications store data on a remote server, instead of the user’s local server. There are a number of benefits of cloud computing over on-premise applications.
Automatic data backup. Because cloud computing applications store data on a remote server, accidents, hacks and other mishaps won’t wipe out your data. If your system is wiped out by malware or another attack, you’ll still have access to your data from any location.
Affordability. Because multiple organizations are pulling resources for development and IT maintenance, cloud-based applications are often more affordable than traditional software solutions.
Flexible configuration. Applications run in the cloud can be easily configured to meet the needs of a specific organization. You’re only using the space and resources you need, so you’re not paying for any added extras. Your services and space can be adjusted up or down to adapt to your company’s changing demands.
Easy collaboration with internal and external stakeholders. Rather thanspend excessive resources developing a proprietary data-sharing system or intranet, cloud-based applications by nature provide the ability to collaborate across units and teams, and even communicate with external stakeholders.
Ease of maintenance. Continued updates and security patches are handled remotely, by the application’s developers, reducing the strain on internal IT teams to stay on top of potential vulnerabilities.
Less stress on internal IT infrastructure. When on-premise solutions are utilized and local servers used to store data, it can result in slower system run times, slowing the productivity of your team. The remote data storage feature of cloud-based systems means no matter how much data you’re storing, it won’t affect the on-premise performance of your systems.
Remote work made simple. Cloud-based applications make it simple for team members to work remotely, without storing access information to sensitive internal resources. Should a team member’s laptop or smartphone be lost or stolen, your company’s data is still stored securely in the cloud. Hackers who gain access to internal frameworks on an employee’s device won’t have access to any data stored within that application unless that system is also breached.
Around-the-clock availability. Most cloud-based applications offer round-the-clock availability. Not only can users access important data from anywhere, but when internal systems are down due to necessary security updates or other IT measures, team members are still able to perform any functions with capabilities built into the cloud.
Minimized IT department needs. Sure, cloud computing reduces the stress on an existing IT team in a number of ways, but it offers an even bigger benefit for small companies who don’t have the resources to have an in-house IT department at all. In fact, cloud-based systems can often be run with zero IT input on the user’s end, making it an ideal solution for smaller companies.
Little human-error margin. On-premise systems require software to be installed and continuously updated on each user’s computer, which can lead to errors and improper data management if users are inexperienced. Cloud-based applications, however, don’t require any installation at all. This feature keeps your team focused on their core job functions, instead of taking time to sidetrack and update an on-premise program.
Cloud computing has a multitude of features which make these remote programs the most logical solution for many businesses. With the increasing threat landscape, data can be more secure in the cloud than on-premise, and the reduced IT demands combined with low costs are ideal for small- to medium-sized businesses.
Robert Stanley is a content producer at ClickSoftware, a field service management software company which also offers a variety of resource capacity planning options and mobile business apps.