More and more companies are moving to cloud applications to maintain, track and repair their assets both in house and out in the field. Whether you’re looking at Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), or Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), the predictions are the same: fast growth of the workloads placed in the cloud and an increased percentage of the total IT budget going toward cloud computing.
Numerous factors drive cloud adoption. One study conducted by the market research company Vanson Bourn summarized 10 drivers of cloud adoption along with quantifiable improvements achieved by deploying cloud services to improve productivity, lower cost and improve asset tracking. Vanson Bourn interviewed 460 senior decision-makers within the finance functions of various enterprises to compile the 11 benefits of using cloud applications.
1. Updated software
The latest versions of applications needed to run your business are available to your employees as soon as they’re released. Frequent upgrades put new features and functions at your employee’s fingertips to make them more productive. In contrast to home-grown or purchased software that may have major new releases annually, a cloud application is frequently updated and sent on a regular basis throughout the year.
2. Do more with less
Cloud computing and mobile applications eliminates a company’s data center footprint. The reduction of servers, software cost and IT staff to maintain them significantly and reduce IT costs without impacting an organization’s IT capabilities.
3. Flexible costs
Mobile applications using the cloud costs less than traditional methods. Companies can pay for only what they need, when they need it. Whether by subscription or pay-as-you-go, cloud applications are scalable and save money during down-time by not having to have to purchase a set amount of capacity and having it sit idle during non-peak times.
4. Always-on availability
Most cloud providers maintain an 99.99% uptime. The connection is always on as long as workers have an internet connection. The most efficient mobile applications allow working without an internet connection and the ability to sync information once back on a network.
5. Improved mobility
Cloud applications and data are available to employees no matter where they are in the world. Employees can take their work anywhere using smart phones and tablets, out in the oil field, in the warehouse, checking utility lines and so much more.
6. Improved collaboration
Managers can send documents right to the employee’s smart phone or tablet, ensuring regulations and compliance standards are met. Information can be easily shared in real time or by using storage when the employee is not within network range.
7. Cloud computing is more cost effective
Since companies don’t have to purchase equipment and build out an application or data center, they don’t have to spend money on hardware, facilities, utilities or IT staff to maintain it all. Most cloud applications provide a subscription based or pay-as-you-go method of purchase, this reduces the overall cost to your organization and allows you to pay for only what you need.
8. Expenses are quickly reduced
Cloud computing offers a flexible cost structure, so during times of recession or cut-backs, expense exposure is limited. Using a cloud application is flexible enough to be turned up, down or off depending on business needs. If you need to increase the number of workers with licenses for the software during peak season, you can easily add them and then disable them when the season is over without any additional cost.
9. Facilitate Merger and Acquisition activity
Cloud computing accommodates faster changes when two companies become one and can do so much more efficiently. Traditional computing requires years of migrating applications and decommissioning data center servers before the companies are working on the same IT stack. With a mobile solution, you can simply sign up the additional users and get back to work.
10. Less environmental impact
Fewer data centers worldwide and more efficient operations has less impact on the environment. Companies who use shared resources improve their ‘green’ credentials and reduce their carbon footprint on the environment.
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