Most businesses use some form of cloud computing service already, whether it’s sharing files with employees on Google Drive or storing multimedia using an app like Dropbox. The simple act of online banking uses the cloud, as does most social media. Yet as telco companies become more involved in cloud computing services, the array of options for businesses is becoming increasingly varied and affordable. Telco cloud services may include platform as a service, infrastructure as a service, or software as a service. So what are the benefits of using cloud computing services like these? Here are a few reasons to consider joining the telco cloud.
1. Back up for sensitive files
A business of any size must think about how to protect sensitive files, and backing up data has long been a major concern for any IT department. This can be time-consuming, particularly if you run an ecommerce or retail operation. Backing up data can involve maintaining your various drives, collecting these and then finding a physical location to store them. There are many opportunities for losing sensitive information along the way, so no physical backup is completely fool-proof. This is why one of the primary cloud services is backing up files and data (http://www.computerworld.com/article/2500640/data-center/dat...). Storing data in the cloud gives you an automatic backup, which you can then choose to supplement with physical storage as well. Cloud services let you automatically backup all new data or files, without the physical transport issues you’d normally experience.
2. Disaster recovery
Similarly, storing important data in the cloud gives you an added layer of protection when it comes to disaster recovery. Should one server go down, you should have your data stored in additional physical locations as well as in the cloud at a lower cost than a traditional disaster recovery site.
3. Telco cloud security
Security is a major issue for businesses, particularly when it comes to dealing with sensitive financial information. If you work on a physical laptop, if it falls into the wrong hands this can mean you lose all of your hard work as well as important data. Telco cloud security services allow you to access your data even if you lose your physical machine, and you can also remotely wipe the sensitive data to ensure that it doesn’t get misused. Just be sure to compare telco cloud services carefully to be sure you find one with the right security features in place. Whether you subscribe to large providers like Nokia Networks (http://networks.nokia.com/portfolio/solutions/telco-cloud) or smaller providers, you’ll want to look for everything from two-factor authentication to sophisticated layers of encryption.
4. Improved access to data analytics
Another unique aspect of cloud services is that they allow you to gain access to big data. You can potentially have access to and analyse large quantities of data from consumer buying patterns, and then use this to create more highly targeted marketing campaigns. For retailers or ecommerce business owners in particular, gaining access to this type of data can put you squarely ahead of your competitors. Social networking platforms are examples of the types of cloud services which can alert you to new behavioural patterns to analyse.
5. Improved testing options
Another potential use of cloud computing is the ability to use the cloud as a testing environment. Businesses can formulate new plans and set up test environments, trying out projects in a virtual space instead of the physical one. Testing new business programs in a cloud environment lets you save a bundle of money as well as time. This is a more advanced function of the cloud computing service, so you’ll want to find a platform or infrastructure that is well-suited to testing.
6. Flexibility for businesses
Perhaps one of the primary benefits for small businesses is the fact that cloud-based services can be scaled up or down as needed. When you’re just starting out, you won’t need access to large amounts of storage or bandwidth. Yet as you grow, with cloud computing it’s easy to scale up your capacity thanks to remote servers. In comparison, if you were relying on physical servers of your own, you’d need to invest quite a bit more time and money into scaling up. In most cases, flexibility is one of the primary selling points of telco cloud services.
7. Energy efficiency
Hand in hand with flexibility comes efficiency. The cloud is potentially better for the environment in that it reduces your individual carbon footprint, and corresponding energy bills (http://mashable.com/2013/09/06/cloud-save-money/). Your server capacity is capable of scaling up or down as needed without using any extra energy, so that you can boost overall efficiency for your business’s computing needs.
8. Freedom of movement
The modern entrepreneur often conducts business on the fly, and you may find yourself travelling all over the world and relying on apps to stay in touch with colleagues and clients. Cloud computing services can be used anywhere that you have an internet connection. They can give you remote access to your files and data, along with that extra level of security mentioned above. You should be able to access the best services from any device, provided that they make use of mobile apps. You’ll also be able to hire the most talented freelance workers, who can telecommute to help grow your business.
9. Automatic updates
No matter what industry you work in, it’s important to stay up-to-date with all technological updates. As any business owner knows, this can be easier said than done! With cloud computing services, the servers are located off-site and are maintained by someone else. You don’t have to worry about making sure that they’re always kept up-to-date, or about installing the latest software updates as soon as they become available. Someone else will do this for you, and it should all be included as part of your subscription.
10. Greater team effort
Cloud-based services inspire collaboration across a team, because they allow your full team to access documents and share in joint editing duties. They can work from anywhere, at any time, meaning that if inspiration hits in the middle of the night an employee won’t have to wait until the morning to edit a document in the office. Cloud-based services can make it easier to create and share to-do lists and manage projects more efficiently, with real-time updates and feedback.
For all of these reasons, an increasing number of businesses use cloud services in some form, with more jumping on board every day.