Imagine if cloud computing didn’t exist when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. If storehouses packed with banks of servers went dark, offices locked their doors, and employees headed home with no way to connect and collaborate while working.
For many businesses, it would have been the end of the road. Fortunately, we’re living in the era of digital transformation. Even though the pandemic threw up plenty of unforeseen challenges, it also highlighted the benefits of cloud computing.
The digital imperative is very real, and as we move towards a more connected tomorrow, businesses that don’t adapt will be left in the shadows of an older, slower world. But the economic benefits of cloud computing are just the beginning of something greater for businesses. Cloud computing promises to connect workforces in new and exciting ways. Agility, resilience, flexibility, and connectivity. These are the prizes of the New Normal.
But what is cloud computing? And what are the top benefits of cloud computing? Let’s lift the bonnet and take a look at the engine that’s driving digital transformation.
Cloud computing refers to the process of storing and managing data on remote servers, rather than on-site servers or personal computers. Users can access this stored data via Internet-enabled devices, providing them with easy and secure access from anywhere they may be.
Using an outside party to store and secure data in the cloud has many advantages over storing data locally. Here are just a few ways that cloud computing comes out ahead.
The advantages of cloud computing are numerous, including:
The ability to make the physical office obsolete
Empower workforces to succeed from anywhere
Provide businesses with unlimited flexibility and scalability
Below, we’ve listed the top 5 top benefits of cloud computing:
Since cloud computing doesn’t depend on personal computers or localised servers to store data, users can access their data at any time, and from anyplace. This not only transforms the open road into a 24/7 office, but it also encourages real-time collaboration by remote teams.
It’s easy for businesses to customise cloud-based applications and scale them to fit their needs. You can even remotely access and launch your app on virtual marketplaces, like the Salesforce AppExchange. These marketplaces give your brand great exposure and visibility, allowing you to generate thousands—even millions—of users. Learn how to build apps on the Salesforce Platform.
One of the top benefits of cloud computing is how cost-effective it is. Since cloud computing is subscription-based, businesses only pay for select features that are necessary to their daily tasks.
As cloud computing uses outside parties to handle data storage and security, businesses can rely on hassle-free software updates, maintenance, and troubleshooting.
Cloud computing relies on services delivered through data centres. These data centres are constantly being upgraded for maximum speed, protection, and performance. And since this data isn’t held in a single location, it’s not vulnerable to natural disasters or catastrophic hardware failures.
The benefits of cloud computing are clear. It’s been a transformative process for many companies, especially in the wake of COVID-19. In the latest IDC white paper, The Impact of Digital Transformation During Times of Change, professionals in the healthcare industry reflect upon the importance of cloud computing during a global pandemic.
“Being on a cloud platform when the pandemic struck and everyone had to work from home, we were able to mobilise within three to four days.”
Laurence Girard, CEO of Fruit Street Health, leaned on cloud computing to create an entirely new product for physicians in an incredibly short period of time.
"We couldn't have built a product in 60 days if we weren't on the [Salesforce] cloud,” Girard states. “It would have been almost impossible to make a system scalable enough to handle a million users.”
With so many businesses discovering ways to innovate and reach their potential through cloud computing, it will be relied on more and more going forward. But how exactly does cloud computing fit in with digital transformation?
Digital transformation was a hot topic even before the pandemic hit, but the fallout from COVID-19 is certainly hastening the adoption of new technologies.
“We know that in order to continue to lead in our space, we have to heavily prioritise digital transformation. I expect that level of investment and effort is only going to continue to grow.”
Griffith is far from alone in this expectation, as business leaders across the globe are moving towards accelerating their digital transformation (DX) journey in the wake of COVID-19.
It’s evident from the IDC survey that digital transformation is becoming a top priority and bringing a heavy investment in cloud computing along with it.
Cloud computing and digital transformation are intertwined, with the former needed to successfully support the latter.
Digital transformation relies on four pillars:
Data & analytics
The cloud services pillar is the cornerstone, or as the IDC report puts it, “the pillar of pillars”. With that in mind, it’s easy to see why investing in cloud computing has become the top priority in the new climate.
Most of the post-pandemic investment in cloud computing will be to support digital transformation initiatives, which have become an imperative. Spending on cloud-based technologies is expected to increase from less than 25% of all DX spending in 2019 to almost a third by 2024. By then, the majority of DX software will be cloud-based.
Cloud computing enables businesses to be more efficient, streamlined, and connected, saving them both time and money. It also enables IT departments to develop more innovative and effective tools. In turn, increased innovation in IT leads to increased business innovation, which leads to increased revenue, which creates new jobs — and this is happening around the world.
Based on its Economic Impact Model (EIM), IDC estimates that the use of cloud computing in digital transformation projects generated more than $1 trillion in worldwide revenue in 2019.
The study also predicts that Worldwide Salesforce clients can expect a net increase in revenue of $375 billion from year-end 2019 to year-end 2024, including $53 billion in Western Europe.
With so many benefits to cloud computing, there’s no reason to sit on the sidelines and watch other businesses accelerate towards the future. For instance, get ahead of the game by creating an app with zero experience!
Check out the IDC white paper, The Impact of Digital Transformation During Times of Change, and start your journey towards digital transformation today.