The internet is, without a doubt, the most disruptive piece of technology that we currently have. There is not a single day that we do not access the internet, whether it’s to check our social media accounts, read the news, or to even search for a recipe.
All these things are made possible because of the internet, but there’s another aspect of the internet that allows us to do so much more. We’re talking, of course, about cloud computing.
Let’s establish the fact that not every business owner is going to be able to afford to have a physical IT infrastructure. This entails purchasing a lot of computing hardware, renting a space to put the equipment in, and let’s not forget the utilities that need to be paid, such as water and electricity, in order to sustain the equipment and the people running it.
And even if you, as a business owner, could afford the initial costs, you also need to consider progression. What happens when your company reaches a point where it needs to scale up in order to be able to meet new demands and for it to be able to function at an optimal level? This is going to bring new problems as well as new expenses because now you need to buy new equipment, find a new space if the old space is too small, and pay for the utilities for two locations or a bigger location.
It’s one thing to know what cloud computing is, and it’s another to know what it can do for your business. The latter aspect is our focus here. So, how exactly can cloud computing benefit your e-commerce business?
As previously mentioned, businesses aren’t going to remain the way they are forever. Progression (or regression) will definitely mark a need for a change in infrastructure, and this change is going to be money- and time-consuming. Or at least, that used to be the case. It’s easy to scale up or scale down your cloud capacity in order to support your business. This is especially true with Amazon Web Services. And while AWS is a relatively easy concept to understand, this AWS Podcast provides a deeper look into this array of services.
Not all businesses are able to invest in disaster recovery methods. Some are limited by money and others by expertise. Cloud computing is able to provide a direct solution to this. Vital processes are run through the cloud and thus they cannot be disrupted. Cloud computing services often have multiple servers that are able to share the load, guaranteeing that operations will not be affected by factors like natural disasters.
Increased Team Collaboration
A team that has access to all files at any time and in any place is going to be able to work with each other better since they are able to make updates in real time. They are also able to track the work that each member is contributing to the project so that they are better able to determine what needs more work and what aspects of the project can be finalized.
This makes the workflow smoother, especially when your team is able to make use of a project management system.
Document Control and Accessibility
Because updates on the cloud are made in real time, changes to documents are tracked accurately and are easily visible to every member of the team. There used to be a time when workers had to send files back and forth as email attachments to be worked on by one user at a time. With this many hands working on the same document, people could end up with a mess of conflicting file content.
Cloud computing ensures that all members see the same version of the document because all files are stored and managed centrally. This allows for a more streamlined workflow and it allows workers to focus on actual work instead of trying to agree on which version of the document is correct.
Cloud computing applications are regularly updated by the service providers, which means that business owners don’t have to trouble themselves with the updates. This is especially important when you talk about security. System updates are often disruptive because this means that there’s a need to cease operations momentarily in order to perform these updates.
Automatic updates allow you to focus on what truly matters, which is growing your business.
The prime example of cloud computing services comes in the form of AWS. This platform makes use of the subscription model, which means that you only pay for time when the services are in use. This can potentially save businesses a lot of money as they can simply opt out of the services when they aren’t needed. You pay for what you use, no more, no less.
One aspect that many small businesses may be lacking in is adequate security. It’s easy to see why. Security is expensive, especially when you’re talking about the need to buy security software, as well as the need to hire someone to maintain and apply your security protocols.
Not only does cloud computing mean that your files are protected by the same high-level security measures that your cloud service provider uses, but it also means that you don’t have to bother keeping that system updated. Small businesses can enjoy high-end security without restrictive expenses.
The best part about cloud computing is that it has a platform for almost every need. Whether you need data storage, content delivery, or even software deployment, there’s bound to be a service that’s going to cater to your needs. This also means that you don’t necessarily have to choose to go completely cloud-based. This allows business owners to select which aspects of their business can be managed by cloud service providers.
Another perk is that because cloud applications are browser-based, they can also be accessed through mobile devices. This allows business owners to manage operations on the go.