Is Cloud the Answer for Business Sustainability During Economic Downturn?

By Harald Nuij, Chief Executive Officer, EMEA of Pax8.

Cloud computing has revolutionised the way in which people access, use and share information, with approximately 94% of all enterprises using cloud services in their organisations. In an ever-changing and developing world, cloud-based computing offers a fast, secure and efficient pathway for businesses to conduct their day to day operations from anywhere in the world. What’s more, the transition to cloud-based services also poses a tremendous environmental benefit for businesses in helping them improve their sustainability initiatives and reduce their energy usage by up to 87%, significantly decreasing their carbon footprint.

The pandemic caused businesses to adapt, and many organisations relied on the cloud to remain operational throughout lockdowns and the mass adoption of remote working. However, in the years following the pandemic, ongoing geo-political conflicts have heavily impacted the global supply chain. Yet, despite short-term financial uncertainty, the cloud continues to help businesses operate in a cost-effective manner.

As the world enters into a period of elevated inflation rates, the question arises: what role can the cloud play in maintaining business sustainability? With the existing global supply chain issues, as well as additional rising overhead costs caused by inflation, businesses are placed under even more pressure to continue turning a profit. Despite these heavily constricted budgets, the cloud provides a cost-effective solution while still improving organisational performance.

The Cloud - A Cost-Effective Solution?

Through the seamless operation and management of numerous systems at once, the cloud helps businesses to lower total IT expenditures, therefore eliminating the need for physical on-site data storage. This saves businesses a tremendous amount of financial resources by removing the installation, maintenance, and operating costs of hardware. Additionally, since data is routinely backed up and secured via the cloud, operating virtual servers rather than physical ones eradicates the risk of data loss due to human error or hardware damage.

With the addition of effective collaboration and flexible working arrangements, the move to the cloud also boosts productivity. When applications are run through the cloud, they can be accessed, used and shared by multiple employees simultaneously, enabling staff to work from anywhere as long as they have internet access. This greatly increases flexibility, creating the possibility for a more efficient hybrid model.

A Scalable Transition

Organisations can scale up and down their licences for a variety of different solutions to accommodate changing demand thanks to the cloud. Businesses no longer have to forecast their future capacity needs, laying the groundwork for endless expansion. In more archaic on-site solutions, extra storage servers would need to be acquired, installed, and maintained, whereas in the modern cloud era, organisations can seamlessly scale up and down with ease.

Enhanced Data Analysis

The cloud offers tremendous value to businesses through improved data analytics and insights, enabling them to store, access, and analyse information in real-time. This greatly enhances company agility, and enables businesses to quickly respond to changes in the marketplace. Real-time data collection and processing also enables businesses to make stronger and better decisions, enabling them to identify and address any potential problems at a much faster rate.

In cloud-based solutions, data is stored through the internet as opposed to earlier storage systems, where it was distributed over numerous servers and locations. With cloud technology, businesses are able to avoid the risk of information silos, allowing them to have access to all information at any moment.

The centralisation of data storage and the enhanced data analytics created by the cloud enables organisations to be far more flexible and sustainable, as it provides them with additional insights and information, which can be utilised to better improve and refine their products and services, to cater to the ever-changing needs of customers. The ability to make more informed decisions, at a rapid rate, puts businesses in the best possible position when challenging circumstances arise.

A Greener Alternative Using the Cloud

In addition to its numerous financial and performance-focused advantages, the cloud possesses immense environmental benefits for businesses. In comparison to on-premise data centres, research conducted by S&P Global Marketing Intelligence records that cloud servers are far more efficient and sustainable, saving businesses up to 85% of energy usage, substantially reducing their carbon footprint.

Through swapping hardware for software in the transition to the cloud, organisations will only use the capacity that they require, resulting in the elimination of unused space on servers. Furthermore, the flexibility and accessibility of the cloud enables the possibility of greater home and remote working, reducing the need for commuting and greatly lowering total emissions.

Is Cloud the Answer?

Cloud computing has undergone incredible advancements in recent years, with its popularity and widespread adoption increasing significantly. The technology brings with it a myriad of benefits for businesses, including reduced operating costs, increased flexibility, improved channels of communication and enhanced data analysis, all contributing to sustainable long-term business growth. In times of economic downturn, cloud-based technologies are a reliable solution for organisations that are looking to increase efficiency, reduce costs and alleviate economic pressures.

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