Uncovering the hidden benefits of the cloud

At this point, you'd be hard pressed to find an enterprise decision-maker who wasn't familiar with the cloud or the benefits that come along with it. Countless experts and industry writers have espoused the virtues of cloud computing, from improved scalability to reduced costs. But there are a number of other advantages that are rarely discussed when talking about moving to the cloud, and they are just as relevant if not more so to today's businesses.

When most people talk about flexibility in relation to cloud computing, they're talking about the ability to be more mobile and complete work from anywhere. And while that is offered by the cloud, this type of flexibility has more to do with allocating resources and easily changing business strategies. The cloud is able to free up time and resources, enabling organizations to create and test out new products and resources with minimal upfront investments. This is made possible by providing the necessary amount of on-demand resources and helping enterprises create new configurations in a shorter amount of time.

One of the untapped benefits of cloud computing is the ability to more easily and effectively enter new markets, even those halfway around the world. Deploying a workforce to another country used to be incredibly difficult, but with the cloud the entire staff can access the same files and data no matter where they're located. With increased global accessibility, delays are eliminated, miscommunications are reduced and collaboration is increased, making it much easier to expand a company.

Energy Savings
This is perhaps the best kept secret in technology. So many companies focus on the cost benefits of cloud storage services that they never mention that there are environmental advantages as well. The energy savings associated with cloud computing can come from a variety of places. Fewer machines are needed, and the remaining machines can be run more efficiently with higher utilization rates. Virtualization offers a reduction in the amount of equipment and energy necessary to run an operation, dramatically decreasing a business' carbon footprint.