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Why demand for cloud technology is surging – the story

it’s easy to see why over three-quarters of enterprises use some form of cloud technology to help them run their businesses.

Image: CloudMonter

Cloud technology, or the transfer of significant computer-based services such as networks and file sharing over the internet, is on the rise in the US and elsewhere. Once you know the immense benefits that this real innovation can deliver for modern, forward-facing firms and businesses of all shapes and sizes, it’s easy to see why.

Cloud technology enables firms to manage distributed, cost-effective teams across a number of locations, for example, while it also means that they can analyze their data more effectively. This blog post will highlight several of the key commercial benefits of switching to cloud technology – and explain why, if it hasn’t already, your firm ought to be the next to do so.

Data analysis

A common misconception about data analysis is that the era of drilling down into figures or other data has only just dawned. This, of course, isn’t the case: data analysis existed long before computers, and both individuals and organizations have been inferring insights from data for centuries. A more accurate view is that data analysis has changed dramatically thanks to cloud computing, rather than suddenly appeared.

In the past, an analysis was often carried out in a static environment, such as in a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet located on a single computer. Now, however, the existence of cloud-based dynamic data dashboards that can be accessed by the whole organization means that a data culture is much easier to create.

Staff members in the client services team, for example, can quickly view the finance team’s revenue data to get a handle on which clients are the most lucrative to the firm. Thanks to the automated, web-based nature of such a system, this can be done without having to ask colleagues for the relevant information – which in turn saves staff time.

Team collaboration

Firms looking to ramp up the levels of collaboration within their teams, the potential that the cloud industry offers is second to none. Relying on SMS messages, phone calls and even emails leads to wasted time: now, the rise of instant-access messaging systems that are tailored around idea sharing, stimulating discussion, and knowledge exchange mean that collaboration can fit seamlessly around work. Also, the existence of document upload solutions means that important pieces of work can be accessed anywhere, which is great both for remote teams and for anchored teams that need to work on the same task at once.

The exact nature of the required team collaboration tools will change from industry to industry. Opting for cloud providers that offer industry-specific platforms – including Infor, run by Charles Phillips and with tens of thousands of clients under its belt – can be useful here. A firm of architects, for example, is likely to need a cloud-based document storage service that can handle large, detailed images such as floor plans. However, a finance firm, on the other hand, might need a spreadsheet-oriented cloud collaboration solution that offers precise mathematical functions.

Better security

Among some people, there’s a belief that cloud computing isn’t very secure – and that it faces a number of safety problems that traditional data storage or file transfer methods wouldn’t experience. In part, this is down to a number of news stories in recent years that have exposed some of the security vulnerabilities in old cloud systems.

However, the reality of the situation is that cloud computing is secure – and it can in some cases be even more secure than the alternatives that it is replacing. Say that all of a firm’s data is written on paper and stored in filing cabinets. While those filing cabinets may be in a security-guarded office, they would be gone in an instant if a fire or other disaster occurred.

The same goes for data stored on a private server in an office. Cloud-based systems, however, can be set up so that they back up on a regular basis, meaning that no incident or problem could cause the data to be lost. And with developments such as intrusion detection systems and data-at-rest encryption now on offer, it’s now the case that cloud-based solutions are on the whole highly secure.

With cloud technology offering so many benefits, it’s easy to see why over three-quarters of enterprises use some form of cloud technology to help them run their businesses. From the potential that it offers to cut costs and increase profitability to the security benefits that it can bring, cloud technology is in demand for modern firms left, right and center.

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