Cloud computingOtherwise known as ‘cloudware’, cloud technology is being exploited by more and more businesses owners because it can enable them to dramatically reduce their IT Support and overall IT costs, and improve their flexibility.

    1. Your employees can work from home: Because employees don’t need to log in to a work computer to access files and data, they can perform many of their work-related tasks from the comfort of their own homes. For example many working mothers and fathers now work from home, either part-time or full-time, to be able to spend more time with their children and reduce their child costs. Due to the rising costs of childcare, it is reasonable to conclude that businesses that enables workers to telecommute may have a larger pool of candidates to choose from when a new position needs to be filled.
    2. Cut your costs: With lower hardware and software costs, you can significantly reduce your capital costs, which will leave you with more money to spend on other business ventures like new recruitment campaigns or advertisements. As your project costs fall, you can achieve a wider economy of scale.
    3. All the information you need in one server: Rather than having to download attachments, distribute files to employees and clients, and only allow one person to edit a file at a time, cloud technology enables everyone to access data simultaneously, which can help improve a business’s productivity.  Tired of chasing files? Consider all the time that businesses waste having to chase files from different computers, find memory sticks, connect them and disconnect them, and wait for data to be downloaded and uploaded. It could add up to many hours of lost productivity.
    4. No administration: The cloud provider is responsible for administering and managing the data, which means you can save a great deal of time and money on administration costs. Of course, many people have still expressed concerns over the safety of cloud computing and the potential for drastic data loss.
    5. Don’t forget to back-up important data: Moving large volumes of data to a new cloud can also be very time-consuming; however, the key to maximising your security is to recognize which data you can’t afford to lose and back-it up. Today, there is an almost limitless variety of cloudware to choose from, which you can customize to your industry and business size.
    6. Cut your carbon footprint: In 2013, it was revealed that new algorithms could help significantly reduce the carbon emissions of cloud computing. Scientists at Dublin’s IBM Research and Trinity College were able to create algorithms called ‘Stratus’, which adopted the Amazon Elastic Computer Cloud model and reduced its emissions by 21 percent.
    7. A more versatile business: Because employees can access your data anywhere with an internet connection, you could be in a better position to expand your business overseas. Theoretically, you could hire independent contractors working from home abroad without having to rent any additional space, although it is important to consider how this will impact on your tax obligations.

In conclusion – is the future with the cloud?

According to Forbes, the cloud Enterprise Software Market expanded by 3.8 percent in 2013, an increase of the 2.2 percent growth recorded in the previous year. As more companies are beginning to recognize the benefits of cloud-based systems for their cost-efficiency and versatility, the cloud market share should continue to grow in 2014 and 2015.

*This blog is a guest blog from Damian Coates, who is the Commercial Accounts Manager for Utilize IT Support, which is based in Essex, UK and provides IT support services and solutions to businesses in London, Kent and Essex