Cloud computing: It's a phrase that has given new meaning to the current IT landscape. For years, the industry was defined by the hardware and software used throughout businesses. Today, cloud services have made it more about the end-users accessing the technology on a daily basis, effectively changing how firms purchase IT products and support their workforce.
What makes cloud computing so unique compared to on-site hardware and software? The answer is simple yet a defining characteristic of how personnel operate. The cloud is available through the Internet, allowing employees to use their laptops, tablets and even smartphones to access work-related documents and content anywhere at any time. This capability is why the current IT model is more focused on the users than the physical hardware in place.
The influence of the cloud goes even deeper in how organizations, regardless of size, can maximize their investments in IT solutions. Rather than managing on-site hardware and software - both of which require constant maintenance and upgrades - firms now offload these tasks to cloud vendors. These service providers handle any and all of the management tasks of cloud environments, allowing clients to focus more on operations and their users instead of technologies they are not experts in.
Cost-efficiency is another calling card of the innovative technology. Service-based pricing means that businesses only pay for the services they consume, rather than spending an upfront capital investment on tools that may never be used to their full capacity - an environment especially welcome among small firms and startups.
Employees demanding companies offer cloud solutions
With so many benefits at a company's and employees' disposal, it is not surprising that cloud computing is expected to remain at the top of the IT mountain for years to come. In some cases, a company's adoption of the technology is driven directly from its own workforce. A CDW survey of 1,242 IT professionals found 73 percent believe staff member requests to use cloud and mobile devices influenced their organizations' decision to implement cloud services. In a two-year period, nearly 70 percent of respondents reported such pleas from personnel have increased.
The desire among employees to leverage cloud solutions appears to be paying off. The survey discovered that nearly 40 percent of businesses had adopted cloud environments or were planning to do so, up from 28 percent from a study conducted in 2011.
Stephen Braat, general manager at CDW, highlighted the advantages organizations can expect to experience when adopting cloud solutions.
"By aligning cloud services with critical applications and preferences of employees that use mobile devices, organizations can better capture business value that includes cost savings, increased efficiency, improved employee mobility and an increased ability to create innovative new products and services," Braat said.
Adopt the cloud with confidence
Companies interested in supporting a more agile and productive workforce should strongly consider starting with a cloud environment to achieve this goal. First-time adopters may not fully understand the ins and outs of cloud technologies, but that is why they can contact Beringer Associates for guidance.
We have been helping clients get the most out of their IT departments for more than two decades, and have a team of devoted support staff who analyze companies' unique operational needs when implementing the best tech products have to offer. If your business wants to learn more about great cloud tools such as Microsoft's Office 365, click here to discover how we will help your firm achieve a successful deployment from start to finish and receive continued support 24/7.