If someone asks me what cloud computing is, I try not to get bogged down with definitions. I tell them that, simply put, cloud computing is a better way to run your business.—Marc Benioff, Founder, CEO and Chairman of Salesforce
Competition is expanding faster than ever. Businesses are being forced to lower their prices, speed up their production, and provide a better user experience. These demands are creating the need for companies to find other ways to cut costs and become more efficient. One method that many businesses are beginning to see the advantages in is cloud computing. Here are its four main benefits:
The Paris Climate Agreement has put going green on everyone’s mind. Not only is it a kind goal for the earth and future generations, but it has also become a big selling point for potential customers. Consumers care where their products and services come from more than ever before. They want the brands that they interact with and buy from to act responsibly, morally, and ethically. Additionally, with the advance of green technology, it is now almost always more affordable to opt for more green practices.
Cloud computing enables businesses to gain all of these environmental advantages. When companies rely on the cloud, they do not have to purchase nearly as much on-premises infrastructure, which not only takes up space but also needs to be replaced and thrown out on a regular basis. Many of these parts and pieces can not be recycled and end up in a landfill. This infrastructure also requires significant energy resources to run effectively. This can put a large strain on energy providers and non-renewable sources. Cloud computing does away with all of this harm.
The trouble with on-premises computing infrastructure is that it forces businesses to make decisions about the present and the future that can be challenging to make. It requires companies to decide how much capacity and space they will need for computing for the next few years. With a world that is rapidly transforming, this is rarely a simple decision.
Some companies are startups, and while their hopes for growth might be large, realistically this could just as easily not happen, leaving them with a lot of unused computing hardware—a serious expenditure for a new and small business. Other companies might have busy seasons and slow seasons every year. So while during some months they need the full infrastructure, other months it could go untouched. And then there are the companies that grow too fast for the infrastructure that they have. The time it takes to set up and implement additional computing hardware, and software could end up costing the company if they are unable to serve clients and customers effectively.
Cloud computing is the ideal solution for all of these businesses. No additional hardware is needed, allowing companies to pay for exactly what they need. And they can acquire the capacity when they need it, as well as scale down and pay less when they do not need it.
For decades, every industry has been controlled by one or two big businesses. These giants got in early, grew quickly, and took over the sector, making it difficult if not impossible for smaller companies to compete. They simply have such an endless supply of capital and name-recognition that lesser-known businesses struggle to keep up. Cloud computing helps to level the playing field. No longer is it just the enterprises that have access to enterprise-class tech. Smaller businesses can now afford to have the top services because they are allowed to pay for the small portion of the cloud that they use, avoiding the cost that has previously been associated with the excessive hardware, software, and licensing that only the Alibaba’s of the world could afford.
The world can be a dangerous place. Disasters and crime happen. They happen to individuals, and they happen to organisations. And when they do happen, it is important to have preventative measures in place. This type of defensive setup can save a business money, help them maintain customers during difficult times, and allow them to feel confident in their ability to provide services.
When it comes to disaster recovery, the cloud is the perfect solution, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. A thorough disaster recovery system was just an idea to many of these companies in previous years. Such a system requires far too high of expertise and too much capital to be realistic for most. Cloud-based recovery systems, however, enable companies to sidestep hefty upfront costs through pay-as-needed services. Additionally, many of these services are implemented through third-party specialists, so the expertise can also be outsourced.
And then there is the issue of security. Data security is a mounting concern for every business. Governments are now legislating regulations that require companies to keep their employee and customer information secure—If they fail to do this, big fines are often the penalty. It is all too easy for hardware containing sensitive data to be lost or stolen. This is an enormous liability. But with the cloud, many of the concerns can be reduced. Companies can choose to store all of their data on the cloud, meaning that if a piece of hardware is stolen, it is only that cost of the hardware that is lost, not the cost of the data. Alternatively, the cloud can be used to wipe data from stolen or lost machines, providing another excellent solution for companies worried about keeping data safe.
Cloud Computing In Asia
The popularity of cloud computing in Asia is taking off. Everyone from professionals in IT departments to the CEOs of the biggest and smallest companies across the region is fully invested in integrating cloud technology and doing away with on-premises infrastructure. This was proven in a recent Gartner survey. Along with analytics and customer relationship management and enterprise resource planning, cloud computing is considered to be among the most effective methods for improving productivity, according to Asian-Pacific CEOs.
This type of excitement can be seen in more than just surveys. Gartner has predicted that the cloud services market globally will grow to be worth nearly U.S. $250 billion in the next year, a growth of about 18% since last year. Such growth can be attributed to a substantial increase in spending due to an increase of availability of cloud computing providers. Across Asia, more and more companies are beginning to offer excellent cloud services. These providers include everyone from Google Cloud and Alibaba Cloud to Microsoft’s Azure and Amazon Web Services. And while Google Cloud is claiming the fastest growth in the region, having just launched its services in Singapore, the others are not far behind.
Alibaba Cloud, in particular, has its eyes on the prize. Simon Hu, the company’s President, recently shared that their goal is to overtake the other top providers in the next four years. To help them accomplish this, Alibaba Cloud has announced that they will be launching data centres in Indonesia, India, and Malaysia. The company already has facilities in such far-reaching locations as mainland China, Germany, the United States and the United Arab Emirates. These additional locations will increase their data centre facility count to an astounding 17, making it pretty clear to businesses across Asia that cloud computing is the future.