Of all of the recent advancements in technology, businesses can arguably benefit the most from cloud computing. Data storage, backup, and recovery used to be one of the greatest challenges of any business. However, 94% of businesses have now adopted cloud services for their data storage.
If you have yet to use cloud technology in your enterprise, don’t worry. The benefits don’t stop there. Here’s what you need to know about cloud technology and how it can increase productivity in your enterprise!
What Is Cloud Technology?
We hear the term “cloud” all the time, but what exactly does it mean?
In a nutshell, cloud technology allows you to store and access data through the internet rather than through a hard drive. Cloud computing is available on-demand for computer system resources without the need for active management by the user.
However, it isn’t just for storage. There’s also cloud collaboration, allowing for secure file sharing and more.
While this may sound more vulnerable than a hard drive, it’s by far the safest data solution. These systems use high levels of encryption to secure stored data.
No, not all cloud storage solutions are created equally, but if you choose the right program, it’s far more secure from digital threats than any other solution. More on that later.
Types of Cloud Storage
While we discussed the general umbrella term for cloud solutions, there are plenty of different types of cloud services to choose from. Here are the four that most businesses use.
A public cloud is a set of computing services extended by a third-party provider that is accessible to your business over the internet. This is the most common type of cloud storage, accounting for 31% of business data, but it’s not the only option.
A dedicated cloud system is a single-tenant option for organizations that already have a data center. In this case, you can use your own network infrastructure, keeping all of your data localized and off of the public internet.
Cloud collaboration allows those within your enterprise to work together on digital tasks, stored off-premises, and outside the company’s firewall. A collaborative cloud system is a great option for multinational enterprises and remote/hybrid workforces.
A hybrid cloud system allows you to work on certain projects publicly and others in a dedicated setting. Essentially, this is the best of all worlds, allowing you to use the right system for the right project or task.
5 Ways Cloud Technology Can Improve Productivity
When we think of cloud technology, we often think of it in terms of simple security. We set it, forget it, and let it back up all of our files.
While this is an important feature, let’s look at cloud technology from a new angle. Here are just a few ways the right online technology can help increase productivity in your enterprise.
1. Speeding Up Filesharing and Backup
Do you remember the days when we’d have to manually back up our data and remember to do so every week? Fortunately, those days are long gone!
With the right cloud services, you can back up your sensitive data every few seconds. The best part is that this is done entirely through automation, so if your computer shuts off in the middle of your work, you can restart it and pick up right where you left off.
Moreover, this is especially beneficial for securing and improving your filesharing practices. The right online platforms will make it easy for your workers to share sensitive data in a secure way.
Also, this is especially beneficial if your enterprise is bound by HIPAA or other privacy laws. Cloud technology is the fastest and easiest way to securely share data.
2. Picking Up Where You Left Off
Not only can you pick up where you left off on your computer, but potentially on any device. Some cloud platforms allow for what’s called “remote desktops”.
Essentially, if you shut off your work computer and head home to your personal laptop, you can simply sign into the platform and access your work desktop, exactly as you left it. If you or your employees work remotely, if you have a hybrid workforce, or if anyone travels a lot, this can dramatically increase productivity.
With a remote desktop, users won’t have to worry about remembering which files to send to themselves, how to secure them, or leaving work at the office. They can access their work from anywhere, saving your company plenty of time and resources.
With the right cloud solutions, you can seamlessly integrate and synchronize many of your most widely used platforms. For example, with Microsoft 365, you can easily and reliably collaborate with your workforce from anywhere and at any time.
Enhanced security, ease of use, and automatic synchronization will help increase productivity for any enterprise. This is true whether your workforce is remote, hybrid, or digital nomads!
4. Easy Collaboration
By now, you get to the point where cloud computing helps improve remote work. Well, even with everybody in the office, it’s much easier to collaborate with a centralized set of data.
Moreover, this is especially important for multinational businesses, as you may need to work with business partners or clients in different parts of the world. Higher collaboration means more productivity.
5. Seamless Expansion
The cloud grows with your enterprise. Depending on your pricing structure, this may slightly increase your monthly fee, but you can seamlessly grow your enterprise and data collection over time.
An added benefit here is that you can reduce the carbon footprint of your enterprise. Rather than expanding servers and wasting materials, which have high energy demands, your cloud program is elastic. This means you can continue expanding without excessive waste or expensive materials.
Other Benefits of Cloud Technology
Beyond simply increasing productivity, the right cloud platforms can offer a lot of other benefits to you, your workforce, and even your customers. Here are just a few examples.
Securing a Remote or Hybrid Workforce
One of the greatest challenges of having remote or hybrid workers is the variable security measures of each user.
If you have some employees using their personal hotspots and others using unsecured hotel WiFi, there are too many variables to keep track of. Believe it or not, you can even trace back a whopping 72% of breaches to an unsecured device or network.
While a VPN and other measures can help you, data is most sensitive during storage and transport. If you have all of your data securely stored in one location, it won’t matter how secure one specific device is.
Essentially, by storing your data in the cloud, you centralize your sensitive information in a far more secure location. This way, breaching or stealing one device won’t necessarily lose your data.
Secure Backup When You Need It
Again, the right cloud services will offer automatic backup. This will ensure that your data remains up-to-date and secure.
From there, a fire, a physical theft, water damage, or a lost hard drive won’t matter. You can access your sensitive data from anywhere at any time.
Ease of Use
As we’ve mentioned, you set it up and forget it. Once it’s set up, there’s little to no work needed on the user’s part.
With the right services, you’ll have a team managing your data security that will alert you about any attempted breaches or issues with your data. However, there is effectively no risk of losing your data, as there will always be backups.
More importantly, this makes data recovery a breeze. Once data is lost, due to an attack or mistake, you can always gain access to it afterward and recover essentially everything.
Otherwise, data recovery can take weeks or months and cost thousands of dollars to hire professional IT services. This is why ransomware attacks are so devastating to businesses. Fortunately, with the right systems in place, you can always have backups available when you need them.
Cloud technology is much cheaper than buying hard drive after hard drive to store your data. Not only is it the most secure option, but it’s now the cheapest option to manage your data. This is just another reason why so many businesses have already adopted cloud computing to some extent.
How to Choose the Right Cloud Services
Now that you understand why cloud technology is so helpful for businesses, you may want to invest in your own platform. Here’s what you need to know before choosing cloud services.
Learn About Security Standards
You wouldn’t choose a bank that didn’t secure your funds, so don’t choose a data storage solution that won’t secure your data. In 2023, data is the heart of your business, and when it’s lost, it’s not easy to recover from.
Don’t take it from us. 60% of businesses fail within six months after one breach, and cyber attacks are only becoming more common.
Also, small businesses are the prime target for cyber crimes. In the eyes of an attacker, small businesses carry the highest reward-to-risk ratio. More worthwhile than attacking an individual but not as secure as a tech giant like Apple.
Consequently, you need to ensure that your cloud technology can offer the security services you need. At the very least, you should look for updated encryption, an intrusion detection system, and two-factor authentication.
A strong firewall and encryption system is an obvious choice, but we don’t expect you to be technical experts. It’s okay to read reviews before choosing a cloud service, as you would with any other business product.
For intrusion detection, let’s again use the bank example. Would you put your money in a bank that won’t notify you about a breach? If not, your cloud solution should come from professionals offering managed cybersecurity services.
Finally, two-factor authentication is the best way to ensure that only the right eyes have access to your data. You’ve probably used this before, where a sign-in requires a verification code or biometric entry on top of a pin or passcode. This is the most secure way to protect your data.
Choose the Right Features
Make sure your cloud platform offers the right features for the needs of your enterprise. Different organizations will have different needs, depending on your workforce, the size of your company, and more.
At the very least, look for cloud services that offer multi-platform collaboration, the right security features, and instant access to your most sensitive data. From there, it all depends on your needs and preferences.
Choose the Right Pricing Structure
Most cloud technologies rely on a subscription payment structure. This works in your favor, as you’ll only have to pay a steady, predictable fee every month or every year.
If you plan on hiring other digital services, including managed IT or cybersecurity services, you could save even more money by bundling. Check out our pricing to learn more!
Choose the Right Cloud Technology Today
Now that you know how cloud technology can improve your enterprise, why wait to adopt it? The sooner you do, the sooner you can start saving time and money on your daily business operations. Just make sure you choose the right technology that fits the needs of your enterprise and that your staff knows how to use it to its fullest extent.
From there, stay up to date with our latest tech news to help grow your business, and don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or for help finding the right cloud solutions for your needs!