Why Use a Cloud-Based Platform?
The origins of cloud computing are disputed. Some attribute it to Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider back in the 1960s. Others attribute the term to a group of technology executives working for Compaq Computer in 1996.
But no matter where the original idea was sparked, cloud computing has seen a meteoric rise in popularity over the last two decades, including in 2006 when Amazon and Google began using the term to describe services.
Cloud computing refers to utilizing computing services housed on the internet. This can include items such as:
Software development companies and user platforms are moving their systems to the cloud. But why? What benefits can be gained from moving your computing services out of hosted, physical servers and onto the internet? How do you know if a cloud-based platform is right for you?
1. Reduced Overhead
Housing, maintaining, and operating a computer system can be expensive. And these expenses continue to grow as your company expands. Cloud-based platforms such as Salesforce are a great alternative.
Purchasing the hardware, setting up the software, and maintaining data centers come with a hefty price tag. This was the only option for years, but the emergence of cloud-based platforms has offered an alternative.
Cloud-based platforms don’t require any of this infrastructure.
Your team can utilize the programs and applications you need without worrying about constant IT assistance.
2. Accessible Anywhere
Smartphones and tablets are ubiquitous. Many people utilize these mobile devices to access and operate company accounts on applications and programs.
This gives your team the ability to get their work done in the field, at home, in the office, or anywhere else that’s conducive to completing their tasks.
Cloud-based platforms encourage this mobility because the programs aren’t anchored to a specific location.
Accessing company platforms from anywhere at any time encourages productivity and improves efficiency.
3. Facilitates Collaboration
The vast majority of companies benefit from collaboration between team members. However, combining the skills of multiple people can be difficult if everybody doesn’t have equal access to the relevant materials.
Cloud-based platforms allow team members to easily view, share, and trade ideas.
Working off the same file on the same program at the same time means nobody is playing catch-up.
Of course, collaboration can be done within any corporate system. Cloud-based platforms simply make the process easier and give your team members the tools they need to get the most from their workday.
4. Automatic Updates
Outdated technology can become a security concern. Many of these software patches secure areas of the platform that could potentially be exploited by hackers, or maybe the program could just simply operate more smoothly.
Either way, it’s always necessary to stay on top of these updates. A dedicated IT team could potentially be tasked with keeping systems updated, or maybe it’s left to each individual user to download and install the necessary updates for their devices.
Cloud-based platforms like Salesforce automatically refresh themselves with updates.
This allows your IT team to focus on more serious matters and saves the company on labor costs.
5. Increased Flexibility
Many cloud-based platforms operate on a pay-as-you-go model. This means that your company can utilize the services they need, when they need them. It also means you can separate yourself from a service when you no longer have a need for it.
This flexibility in offerings ensures you aren’t wasting any money paying for services that don’t provide direct value to your company.
Your technological demands are also scalable to your current needs. Bandwidth, for instance, can be increased should you find a need to do so from growing operations.
6. Integrated Analytics
Salesforce data and metadata can provide useful insights into your business and how customers interact with your services.
Many cloud-based platforms offer the capability to deliver customized reports based on your needs.
These reports can be utilized to spot patterns that can be extrapolated to increase efficiencies. Your company has goals, and this information can be used to create action plans to better accomplish these goals.
Built-in analytics provide as much information as you need about your cloud-based platform.
It can be difficult to maintain quality standards when team members are storing their documents and files in numerous locations. Multiple formats and numerous locations spread information and create a difficult knot to untie when it comes time to run reports or other quality control measures.
Cloud-based platforms store all files and documents in a singular location with a uniform format.
This helps keep everything consistent, reduce the possibility of human error, and create a clear path for accountability when it comes to changes and alterations.
8. Combining with On-Prem Increases Security
Cloud-based platforms have a lot to offer, as we’ve outlined above. However, there are also some drawbacks that need to be weighed against the benefits.
Cloud-based platforms are more difficult to secure than on-prem servers.
This is simply a product of being connected to the internet. There is an unfortunate number of cybercriminals that are always looking for an opportunity.
Internet connections—and cloud-based platforms—are susceptible to outages.
This means that when their system goes down, your system goes down.
These issues can be addressed by utilizing on-prem computer systems along with cloud-based applications and programs. On-prem systems aren’t susceptible to these outages, while also improving on security measures.