8 benefits of cloud computing

Cloud computing is the provision of computer services over the Internet. There is a lot of excitement around this as several organizations are looking to integrate cloud technology into their IT management practices.

Before the emergence of cloud computing, companies bought, installed and maintained their own servers. They would run everything on-premise, with departments procuring and operating the data centers.


This approach increased IT overhead costs and companies were unable to sustain changes in demand. Let’s find out how cloud computing addresses the challenges of on-premises systems.

1. Variable expenses

man making budget on paper with calculator on side

Before cloud computing, companies raised capital to build IT systems. Expenses would include data center hardware and software and other resources.

Traditionally, procurement of equipment depended on expected capacity. IT departments invested in equipment before using it. This approach was risky because the equipment sat idle if demand never increased. And if demand exceeded capacity, they would have to source more equipment.

Cloud computing counters this challenge with variable expenses. Variable expenses eliminate capital costs as customers pay only for the resources they use.

They do not have to purchase equipment or incur security or electricity costs. They also don’t need to hire staff to manage their IT; a cloud service provider can offer them as services.

2. Scale upon request

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On-demand scaling is difficult for on-premises systems. This is because the physical infrastructure limits its capacity. A sudden increase in demand would force you to buy more infrastructure. This process takes a lot of time and money.

When demand decreases, the additional infrastructure sits idle until the next peak in demand.

In a cloud-based model, you don’t have to guess about your capacity. You can scale in response to the question in seconds. On-demand scaling means you can scale resources in response to demand. And you only pay for what you use.

For example, when you use storage services offered by cloud service providers like Google Drive, you can pay for access to additional storage space. You can get this extra space in less time than it would take to purchase a new hard drive.

3. Lower operating costs

Having your own data center means purchasing and managing on-premise infrastructure. An on-premises data center is ideal for organizations with sensitive data. But for small businesses, running one can be quite expensive.

With cloud computing, you can reduce data center operating expenses. Cloud service providers host huge numbers of customers. By spreading the costs among the customers, they can afford to offer lower costs. It’s easier to manage resources in the cloud on a pay-as-you-go model than it is to manage your own data center.

4. Infrastructure management

man trying to multitask

Your IT infrastructure requires around-the-clock management. You buy equipment, hire staff, and pay for overhead costs like electricity and space. You also have to spend continuously to manage the data center.

With cloud platforms, the cloud provider maintains the physical and software infrastructure. They also manage the procurement, maintenance and security of your assets.

You pay for no maintenance, only for the resources used. So you have enough time to focus on innovating your business.

5. Global exposure

global map drawing on two palms

It’s not easy to deploy an application with a global audience. First, you need to set up the infrastructure and staff to manage the implementation. Second, you must comply with the compliance procedures governing the host countries.

With cloud computing, the cloud service provider takes care of all of this for you. They provide you with the infrastructure to quickly build, deploy and scale your application. Depending on the type of assets you choose, you can literally go global in minutes.

Most cloud providers have built regional data centers that give you global reach. Your application will also live in a supported and secure environment.

6. Advanced security

key on the door

If you have an on-premise data center, you need to invest in protecting your sensitive data. You need to hire staff and buy systems that protect your investments.

In the cloud, your provider takes care of security for you. Cloud service providers have systems in place to secure the network and the flow of information. You still maintain control of your data, platform, applications and private networks. This support allows you to scale and innovate while paying only for what you use.

While cloud security has always been in question, most cloud service providers have invested in measures to counter security threats. They have systems that detect hacking, prevent fraud and other system interference. They also have firewalls and other measures to deal with cloud malware. You are only responsible for what you put in the cloud.

Also, all reputable cloud service providers have best practices that every customer adheres to. You must comply with these operational policies and processes. Cloud service providers have expert teams and security measures that ensure maximum safety.

Combining your security measures with those of the cloud provider protects your resources. Pay less to set up and manage security in the cloud than in an on-premises data center.

7. Greater agility

woman dancing dance

Agility is the ability to move and change rapidly in response to stimuli. Agile systems recover quickly from failures, human errors or natural disasters.

Cloud systems design their infrastructure to cope with all types of outages. They have data centers in different regions and Availability Zones with redundant data.

Ideally, when configuring a resource, you should deploy it across multiple Availability Zones. Distributed data centers ensure data redundancy. Data redundancy has its pros and cons, it’s a great option to protect against data loss. You can use data centers in other regions when a data center fails.

Storing data across different regions and zones ensures agility for your applications. Your application will not suffer downtime; if so, the interruption would be short-lived.

8. Accelerated innovation

High angle photo of the robot

Cloud platforms like AWS offer innovative technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence as a service. You can incorporate these concepts into your workflow within minutes of setting it up as an asset.

By themselves, that level of innovation will likely take years to develop and implement. With cloud technology, you get the latest technology on a pay-as-you-go basis.

How to use cloud-based systems

Cloud-based systems offer deployment models that you can choose based on your use case. A public cloud is a cloud-based implementation where you design and run applications in the cloud.

You can also have a private cloud hosted on-premises that you manage independently. Alternatively, you can use hybrid cloud, which combines public and on-premises infrastructure.

Hybrid connects on-premises resources to a public cloud, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS). Here you can deploy some data to the cloud and keep the rest in an on-premises data center.

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