With the fast-paced age of information upon us, businesses are accelerating their digital transformation journeys to improve their agility, innovation and security to keep up. Cloud services, in particular, are becoming one of the most significant business priorities – public cloud spending is anticipated to rise by 23 percent this year for a projected total of US$332.3 billion – and for good reason.
The advantages of cloud services
Workplaces are going digital as more people are now working from home (WFH), and it is expected that businesses will continue to adopt some form of flexible working arrangement in the long-term. The cloud will be integral to this shift as it can securely store data and systems and enable remote access to them from anywhere at any time.
Cloud services have changed the game for organisational call centres. Prior to COVID-19, 90 percent of businesses were using on-premises solutions. But as WFH became mandatory and call volume rose, making contact centres cloud-based enabled businesses to re-route calls to home-based agents, who could then assist customers by accessing their data in the centralised pool hosted on the cloud. This ensures that customers experience the same quality of service while agents remain safe at home.
With cloud-based productivity applications, the cloud also enables better real-time digital collaboration between employees and with clients. Changes can be made live and be reflected on the same document, which increases productivity, improves communication and eliminates unnecessary back-and-forth processes. This is especially useful for multinational corporations working on cross-border projects, or businesses partnering for an event or announcement.
Increased cost savings
Cloud services are a pay-as-you-go system, enabling businesses to tailor their usage and be charged accordingly. This is especially valuable for small businesses and start-ups, which do not have a large IT budget and often have fluctuations in sales volumes, which affects their usage from month-to-month. Not having to buy and maintain physical hardware reduces capital expenditure and overhead costs, as well as freeing up manpower and financial resources for use elsewhere.
When businesses undergo mergers and acquisitions, they would previously have to undergo an extensive IT system integration process, which could disrupt operational productivity and incur high operating expenses. Having cloud-based systems significantly improves and simplifies integration, minimising disruption during the transition period and thus saving both time and money. Future updates can also be easily downloaded onto the cloud, ensuring that companies always have the most up-to-date systems at the best possible rates.
As more businesses start their digitalisation journeys, combating cyber threats must be a priority. Many clouds have data security services that cater for even hybrid and multi-cloud environments, ensuring that critical data is better protected in a virtual setting.
For instance, cloud services allow the healthcare line to store files and reports in one centralised location but have providers access them through separate networks and only when required. This ensures that providers can deliver quality healthcare without running the risk of leaking sensitive personal information.
Cloud backups are also necessary to improve business resilience. For businesses that need to be always-on, such as financial services, any prolonged downtime can be catastrophic to end users. To mitigate the impact from distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, natural disasters and other disruptions, cloud backups can be created in multiple data centres for these critical services to bounce back more quickly and ensure end users always have access to their funds.
Cloud is the future of digitalisation
It is nearly impossible to broach the digitalisation topic without also including cloud services, which help companies make the most out of their digital shift. They are a natural addition to most business digital transformation strategies and will only become more robust to adapt to the changing needs of the business world.
Companies today need to evolve and adapt at speed to face new demands and challenges. With the cloud as a cornerstone of digital transformation, cloud services may very well be a necessity to do business in the digital future – which is why companies should start embracing them at once.
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