The Vanson Bourne report identified eleven advantages of cloud computing that organizations are experiencing today, leading to quantifiable improvements in their businesses:
1. Fresh Software
With SaaS, the latest versions of the applications needed to run the business are made available to all customers as soon as they’re released. Immediate upgrades put new features and functionality into workers’ hands to make them more productive. What’s more, software enhancements are typically released quite frequently. This is in contrast to home grown or purchased software that might have major new releases only once a year or so and take significant time to roll out.
2. Do more with less
With cloud computing, companies can reduce the size of their own data centers — or eliminate their data center footprint altogether. The reduction of the numbers of servers, the software cost, and the number of staff can significantly reduce IT costs without impacting an organization’s IT capabilities.
3. Flexible costs
The costs of cloud computing are much more flexible than traditional methods. Companies only need to commission – and thus only pay for – server and infrastructure capacity as and when it is needed. More capacity can be provisioned for peak times and then de-provisioned when no longer needed. Traditional computing requires buying capacity sufficient for peak times and allowing it to sit idle the rest of the time.
4. Always-on availability
Most cloud providers are extremely reliable in providing their services, with many maintaining 99.99% uptime. The connection is always on and as long as workers have an Internet connection, they can get to the applications they need from practically anywhere. Some applications even work off-line.
5. Improved mobility
Data and applications are available to employees no matter where they are in the world. Workers can take their work anywhere via smart phones and tablets—roaming through a retail store to check customers out, visiting customers in their homes or offices, working in the field or at a plant, etc.
6. Improved collaboration
Cloud applications improve collaboration by allowing dispersed groups of people to meet virtually and easily share information in real time and via shared storage. This capability can reduce time-to-market and improve product development and customer service.
7. Cloud computing is more cost effective
Because companies don’t have to purchase equipment and build out and operate a data center, they don’t have to spend significant money on hardware, facilities, utilities and other aspects of operations. With traditional computing, a company can spend millions before it gets any value from its investment in the data center.
8. Expenses can be quickly reduced
During times of recession or business cut-backs (like the energy industry is currently experiencing), cloud computing offers a flexible cost structure, thereby limiting exposure.
9. Flexible capacity
Cloud is the flexible facility that can be turned up, down or off depending upon circumstances. For example, a sales promotion might be wildly popular, and capacity can be added quickly to avoid crashing servers and losing sales. When the sale is over, capacity can shrink to reduce costs.
10. Facilitate M&A activity
Cloud computing accommodates faster changes so that two companies can become one much faster and more efficiently. Traditional computing might require years of migrating applications and decommissioning data centers before two companies are running on the same IT stack.