IT professionals are looking to cloud computing for more than off-site storage. Cloud computing has opened up huge opportunities for businesses to expand, increase productivity and save money, making cloud computing an $80 billion business. According to an online survey by Silicon Angle, 82 percent of companies reported that using the cloud saved money and 80 percent saw an increase in efficiency, while only 14 percent used it for downsizing.
So, how are businesses using cloud technology to save money and expand their reach? Below are a few ways.
Freeing Up IT
One of the first cost saving uses for cloud computing is that it offers an IT department without the cost of a full staff. There are many people who tout the benefits of cloud computing, but few give a true cost analysis. Most small- to medium-sized businesses do not have an existing IT department, so it’s hard to make the case that a hypothetical department would be cheaper if moved to the cloud. Large companies are using this technology to free up IT staff for other duties and not to downsize a department.
Instead of making this a cost-to-cost comparison, cloud usage is an ROI analysis. When businesses look at the potential revenue from implementing an idea, they are looking at the ROI of the time and money needed to make the new concept work. To determine the best option for your business (i.e. the option with the highest ROI) start by reading reviews of different cloud storage providers.
The return on implementing a cloud program is the revenue generated by expanding services and the expense decrease created from freeing up staff time. Anything that returns cost plus ten percent is a good ROI.
Developing A Global Workforce
By using cloud technology, a small business can become a global corporation. There are both revenue benefits and expense reductions associated with redesigning your management structure to be global in scope. Looking at cost of living throughout the United States, the island of Manhattan in New York is 120 percent more than the national median. A New York business that hires locally would need to pay New York rates. Compared to a place like Harlingen, Texas — where the cost of living is 18 percent lower than the national average — clearly, a New York-based business would rather pay a remote employee in Harlingen than an in-house employee for double or triple the cost.
Using cloud technology to share documentation and marketing material, the company could save an annual $20,000 on salaries alone. This same business now has a virtual office in Texas with feet on the ground in the country’s middle states at a fraction of the cost of creating a brick and mortar office.
Increasing productivity is putting money in the bank. The faster you can churn out products and services, the more revenue you can bill. In an article published in the International Journal of Business and Social Science, a case was built that using cloud technology to run data-intensive functions in parallel could double productivity of the information staff. While one system is crunching numbers for marketing, another could be formatting executive reports at the same time.
If you’re using the cloud, you’re saving money. From IT support to expanding across the U.S. to boosting productivity, there are several ways the cloud will help you maintain your bottom line and increase ROI.