How Can Cloud Computing Bolster Business Agility?
Business agility (the ability of your business to adapt rapidly to changing needs or objectives) is critically important to the success of your business. Being able to quickly change course to pursue new opportunities or fulfil changing customer needs enables your business to work proactively rather than reactively and establish itself as a leading contender in your industry.
Cloud computing provides a natural platform for business agility, as its flexibility, scalability, and accessibility allows business to quickly adapt their IT infrastructure as required when new business objectives or challenges arise. Here are some of the biggest ways that cloud computing can help to boost your business agility.
Faster Time To Market
One important advantage of cloud computing is that it can significantly improve the time-to-market of products, services and solutions. Since cloud computing is available on-demand, it reduces the need to provision and deprovision IT infrastructure elements.
In turn, this drastically reduces both the cost and time taken to deliver business-critical IT projects. It can take days or weeks to procure and install physical servers and hardware, but cloud computing enables you to secure the required functionality within minutes. As such, your team can start working on solutions sooner and deliver them faster.
Scalability & Flexibility
Another advantage of the cloud is that it’s much more flexible and scalable than traditional IT systems. Most cloud services run on either a pay-per-use or subscription model that allows businesses to pay only for the capacity they need. As such, cloud capacity can be scaled up during peak demand periods and reduced when no longer needed.
This avoids having to invest time, money and resources into physical infrastructure that needs to be maintained for peak periods even if most of the time it’s left unused. Where scaling physical infrastructure is a long and costly procedure, cloud resources can be scaled quickly, easily and affordably.
Cloud computing enables heightened accessibility by providing access to vital data and resources wherever and whenever they’re needed. This has proved crucial for many businesses considering the rise of remote working, as employees can use the cloud to access remote workspaces and maintain high productivity away from the office.
The cloud also enables much easier collaboration through the use of shared workspaces, and enables much easier sharing of data, documents, and internal communications using tools like Microsoft Teams, SharePoint and OneDrive.
Almost everyone has heard the term “time is money”, which adversely means, downtime is costly. Fortunately, cloud computing can massively reduce stoppages to enable heightened productivity at all times. Unlike on-site IT infrastructure which can be vulnerable to damage, hardware failure, or localised emergencies such as power cuts and fires, the cloud is much less likely to go offline. Even then, a decent cloud provider will have redundancies in place so you can still access your data in the event of an outage.
Most cloud service providers offer a minimum service level agreement (SLA) guaranteeing 24/7 access to cloud resources. They can afford to make these guarantees as they can afford to invest in much more reliable hardware and disaster-proofing systems than most businesses. As such, the cloud is a powerful means to reduce downtime and keep your business online.
More Time For Innovation
Many IT teams spend much of their time installing, maintaining and updating on-site IT infrastructure. As such, they’re left with little time to work proactively towards business objectives. The cloud changes this by taking the day-to-day responsibilities of running your infrastructure out of your IT team’s hands.
With your cloud service provider taking care of daily operations, your IT team can spend more time researching, planning, testing and implementing new digital solutions within your company or collaborating on product development with other teams. As such, they can become a powerful driver of technological innovation and advancement within your business.
Enable Global Growth
Another benefit of the cloud is that it can facilitate much faster and easier expansion into new global markets. First and foremost, cloud computing gives immediate access to the resources a new business location needs to operate and succeed, without having to expend time and money into complex on-site infrastructure.
The cloud also enables new locations to easily collaborate with the rest of your business to facilitate their initial establishment and growth. Information, resources, and expertise can be shared quickly across borders using the cloud, allowing new business locations to start from an equal footing to your other more established settings.
Cloud computing offers a number of powerful benefits to your business when it comes to business agility. Not only can the cloud help to increase scalability, reduce installation time and avoid the risk of downtime, it can also help your business to become more efficient and proactive.
Shifting towards cloud computing frees up your IT team to become drivers of innovation, while also enabling higher productivity among other employees through remote access and collaborative tools. As such, the cloud represents a powerful means of bolstering your business agility.