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What is Cloud Computing and How is it Changing the Future of Business?

Cloud Computing at its heart is the delivery of computing services (servers, storage, processing power, software, etc.) over the internet. The main benefit of cloud computing is that a business, organisation or consumer doesn’t have to rely on computing infrastructure or data centres and instead rent access from a cloud service provider. Numerous applications exist on the cloud, including email, data storage, streaming video and audio, social media and today 90% of companies use some form of cloud computing. 

The shift to remote work driven by the COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to invest in cloud computing, increasing spending by 37% to $29 billion during the first quarter of 2020. Overall, the cloud computing market is expected to reach $700 billion by 2025 and continue to grow 20% year-over-year over the next five years.  

Even before the pandemic cloud technologies were an essential part of the workplace, however, as the way we work changes because of the pandemic, we wanted to examine how cloud computing is impacting the future of business.

alt=""Enabling greater flexibility and accessibility 

During the pandemic, remote working became part of the norm and as we look at life post-pandemic, 80% of company leaders plan to allow employees to work at least part of the time from home. The transition to remote work was enabled by cloud computing, which allows organisations to support remote workforces regardless of geographical distance.  

Employees can access company files on a shared drive across laptops, desktops or mobile phones and through programmes like Microsoft Teams and Zoom, employees can collaborate and communicate in real-time. Plus, administrators can establish secure identity and access policies to ensure that employees have the correct permissions for what they can access to ensure integrity of security. 

There are several advantages to the remote working model, which underscore its importance in the future. In a study of telemarketers, remote workers were found to be 35-40% more productive than their office counterparts, with 40% fewer quality defects. 

alt=""How the cloud reduces infrastructure costs and optimises business 

The rise of the remote working model demonstrates the biggest benefit of cloud computing - namely that the cloud does not require physical space. For start-ups that cannot afford offices and established businesses with considerable overheads, cloud computing offers a cost-efficient option. Using cloud services such as AWS, businesses can reduce their infrastructure costs and invest more capital into growing their business. 

One of the other benefits of cloud computing is its ability to allow for scalability. By moving away from a physical storage such as a server room, businesses can increase or decrease their computing or storage resources without having to buy new server hardware or physically install them. Cloud computing allows administrators to accommodate for changes in their business, both long-term and immediate, variable scenarios in a cost-efficient manner. 

alt=""Improving security and storage 

As cloud data is stored in non-physical locations, data is safer from the effects of hardware failure, natural disasters or other unexpected problems that can lead to data loss. Using cloud means that important data is safe in the advent of these causes. 

And by not having to rely on physical storage, greater quantities of data can be stored and processed in the cloud, which removes the worry of factoring in the costs of increasing on-site server space if the business needs to scale up their data capacity. 

Plus, as cloud data is not kept onsite, to mitigate concerns that cybercriminals are not remotely accessing the data, cloud hosts such as AWS spend a significant amount of ensuring security is up to date and effective. Plus, the online nature of cloud computing means that saying up to date with compliance rules is easier and faster that processing compliance with physically stored data. 

Drive Digital Change with Northumbria University 

If you’re interested in being at the forefront of tech innovation, taking our Computer Science Masters could be the perfect next step. With two pathways, Data Analytics and Artificial Intelligence, you will be primed to build an understanding of machine learning and data sciences as well learning about the cutting-edge technologies drive innovation.

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