Businesses of all sizes, industries and locations are turning to cloud services to expedite tasks, enhance communication and streamline social media and content sharing. Many benefits are built into cloud software, in particular, the fact that programs are available for use within a matter of minutes versus weeks or months.

Even with all that cloud computing has to offer, it accelerated faster than previously believed. According to Goldman Sachs, spending on cloud computing is expected to increase at a 30% compound annual growth rate between 2013 to 2018.

If you are thinking about implementing cloud software into your business, consider the following benefits.

Fresh Software

With Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), you can enjoy fresh software. As soon as an update is released, you can take advantage of it and upgrade your business accordingly. Upgrades put new functionality and features into your hands, making you more productive. Also, with the ease of installing new updates, software companies launch them more frequently.

Reduced Footprint

You can easily reduce the size of your data center or eliminate it altogether with cloud services. With SaaS there is less need for servers, software and IT staff, which all cost money and require the space of your data center. Best of all, you can reduce your data center without impacting your IT capabilities.

Depending on your industry, you may also see sporadic changes that are hard to account for in advance. Fortunately, cloud technology makes it possible to accommodate these changing needs. For instance, a sales promotion may be popular and lead to an increase in traffic and sales. You could then add more capacity to prevent servers from crashing and sales from being lost. When the promotion is over, reduce your capacity.

Flexible Costs

The costs of cloud computing are much more economical than with traditional software. Companies only need to cover the commission server and infrastructure capacity when it’s needed. You can purchase more capacity during peak times, and then let the capacity sit idle for the rest of the time, saving your business expenses.

Additionally, cloud software reduces the need for equipment and a data center. Your business can save lots of money on hardware, facilities, utilities and other operations. Traditional computing forced companies to spend thousands or even millions of dollars before they saw any value. In a still-unstable economy, it’s helpful to have a more flexible cost structure.

Reliable Services

Most cloud providers are very reliable in the services they provide, which means you have access to the programs you need 100% of the time. With immediate access to key programs, you can be more efficient in your own operations. The only thing required is a reliable internet connection. Some applications even work offline, so you can access them anytime, anywhere without the need for a connection.

Improved Mobility and Collaboration

Whether you’re at the office or traveling on business, cloud software makes it possible to access any documents at any time. Using your smartphone, tablet or laptop, you can take your work anywhere and stay in touch with your coworkers. Another benefit to this increased collaboration is the ability to share real-time information. Groups of people can meet virtually anywhere and access information from the shared storage. This greatly reduces miscommunication and keeps everyone productive.

Greener Image

Having a more efficient business is never a bad thing. Not only can you enjoy all of the benefits listed above with cloud computing, but also you can reduce your carbon footprint. With more companies taking advantage of SaaS, there are fewer data centers and more efficient operations, which puts less stress on the environment. You can also show off your “green” credentials that can boost your image and strengthen existing green strategies that you might be employing.

Is There Anything to Worry About?

The biggest issue with cloud technology at this time is security. In fact, it’s the number one reason why some businesses are hesitant to adopt this technology. The Cloud Security Alliance has identified that 73% of companies are concerned about the security of their sensitive data. Thirty-eight percent are worried about the loss of control over their IT services, and 34% have reservations in regards to the knowledge and experience of IT and business managers. While there is no foolproof way to protect cloud data, there are new advances being made at all times to better secure it.

If you have been considering incorporating cloud technology into your own business, we hope the above information has helped you better understand the benefits and risks. Overall, cloud computing is an excellent way to streamline tasks, enhance communications, backup data and keep your business productive.