We’ve all heard about the traditional benefits of cloud computing before, and if you read about the subject enough, everyone is going to the cloud eventually.
It’s usually for the same reasons: lower costs, increased scalability, and rapid deployment of computing resources to name a few.
Those are all valid points. Sharing resources of any kind, not just computing, will typically lower costs. But I want to focus on some less obvious benefits.
Don’t get me wrong, benefits like scalability and deployment help you provision resources instantaneously vs. ordering hardware and then spending hours configuring and installing it.
These are arguments I very rarely have to make with potential customers, because they already know about the traditional benefits of the cloud. They are typically more concerned with us having the security/performance/up-time we say we have – but that is covered in my blog about taking SharePoint hosting for a test drive.
Zeroing in on the Less Obvious Benefits of the Cloud
In this blog, let’s focus on some of the benefits you may not have considered yet.
Not very many IT Managers think about intangible gains like employee productivity. IT employees, of course, become more productive when they have fewer routine activities to perform like the classic “putting out fires,” but that isn’t the productivity I mean.
ALL employees of a company can become more productive thanks to the cloud:
- Cloud services enable employees to work from anywhere they have an Internet connection. This reduces commuting stress and allows for more flexible work schedules. (happy employees are productive employees).
- Employees can continue working in the event that their primary workstation fails.
- Companies can hire employees across a broader geographic area, dramatically increasing the available talent pool.
- Moving IT services out of the office reduces downtime and allows for operations to continue in the event of disasters at the office.
Outside of employee productivity, there is another less advertised benefit of outsourcing your IT infrastructure:
The Importance of Going Green with the Cloud
If cloud is not the biggest buzz word right now, green has to be. However for our purposes, we aren’t just interested in good ‘ol Mother Nature but also in your company’s bottom line. Consider the reduced energy costs you will have when you start using less hardware and infrastructure on-premises. You aren’t just moving your energy bill to the cloud hosting provider either – providers can use dynamic scaling of cloud instances which allows systems to scale up and down in accordance with demand. This, in turn, offers energy savings.
The impact is much greater when you go beyond the individual level – the total effect of a large number of organizations consuming less can lead to a serious slashing of our carbon footprint. This Carbon Disclosure Project report finds that when a company adopts cloud computing, it can reduce its energy consumption, lower its carbon emissions and decrease its capital expenditure on IT resources while improving operational efficiency. By 2020, the group estimates, large US companies that use cloud computing can achieve annual energy savings of $12.3 billion and annual carbon reductions equivalent to 200 million barrels of oil!
Those are clearly large numbers, and to be honest, most businesses put staying competitive and saving money before the environment. And while, to an extent, that may be understandable, this data suggests that we can actually do both. When companies share resources and facilities, they reduce the need to build more and more energy-hungry data centers.
There is certainly a lot to consider when adopting the cloud. Such a widely adopted technology rarely has one or two benefits, but many. If you have questions or would like to get more information, I encourage you to reach out to us at Fpweb.net – we’re always happy to help!