Discover the Benefits of Cloud Business Solutions

Cloud business solutions have changed the way we conduct business dramatically and how employees accomplish day-to-day tasks. The zero upfront costs and extensive scalability of cloud environments are enabling business leaders to explore innovative ideas, reduce time-to-market, and expand to new frontiers. At the same time, the accessibility and global reach of cloud solutions are enabling users to work wherever they want, whenever they want.

In this post, we’re going to take a closer look at the benefits of cloud business solutions and share with you a solution that can take your cloud business initiatives to the next level.

What Do Cloud Business Solutions Offer?

At a glance, cloud business solutions might appear similar to traditional on-premises business solutions. They still improve productivity, facilitate data exchanges, inform decision-making, enable communications, and so on.

However, if you take a closer look, you’ll see several advantages that simply can’t be had if you stick with traditional solutions. Cloud business solutions will always be more flexible, scalable, affordable (from a capital expenditure, or CAPEX, standpoint), and accessible than their on-premises counterparts. In the next section, we’ll enumerate and elaborate on the major benefits of cloud-based business solutions so you can understand why many businesses increasingly favor solutions running in the cloud.

What Are the Benefits of Cloud Business Solutions?

There are so many advantages of cloud business solutions. Look at the chart below to learn about them and why your move to the cloud may be just what your business needs.

Benefit Description
Speed and flexibility Cloud business solutions eliminate many time-consuming IT processes. Software as a Service (SaaS) business solutions, for example, don’t require physical hardware or even any software installation and maintenance. This can help startups hit the ground running, while already-operational businesses can speed up time-to-market and focus on core business processes.
Reduced IT infrastructure costs With cloud solutions (except for on-premises private clouds), you don’t need to invest in physical IT infrastructure. By removing expensive upfront costs, businesses can enjoy a healthier cash flow. The CAPEX savings can be used to fund projects in marketing, sales, research, and operations.
Scalability Compared to traditional on-premises business solutions, cloud business solutions are infinitely more scalable. This scalability, which is accompanied by flexible pricing (e.g., most SaaS business solutions allow a monthly subscription model on a per-user-per-month pricing basis), allows you to start as small as you want and grow as the need arises. It even allows you to expand and contract spending, which is perfect for seasonal demands.
Business continuity Cloud business solutions are backed by robust infrastructure, comprising multiple datacenters in different geographical regions. Thus, even if a disaster strikes in one region, your business applications can still be accessible. You can’t enjoy that level of business continuity if you rely on business solutions that run on your own datacenter. If that datacenter becomes incapacitated, you can suffer considerable downtime.
Security When you use a cloud business solution, your data isn’t stored on your users’ devices by default. This alone reduces risk. Even if a user’s device is stolen, your data will still be safe in the cloud. Furthermore, particularly in the case of SaaS business solutions, software patches—arguably the most effective defense against known threats—are done regularly and automatically by the solutions provider. This ensures users are delivered the safest version of the solution at all times.
Collaboration SaaS solutions like Google Docs, Office 365, Trello, Asana, Jira, HubSpot and many others allow multiple users to work on the same platform, or even the same document, simultaneously. This enables users to perform collaborative work even if they’re not in the same room or country.
Storage options Many cloud solutions have virtually unlimited capacity. As long as you can afford the corresponding subscription cost, you can provide your users with all the storage they need to get their work done. Conversely, you can also reduce storage capacity once your need goes down. This storage flexibility is unheard of in traditional business solutions, where you need to forecast maximum storage requirements (even if it isn’t filled up most of the time) and purchase that capacity in advance.
Mobility and easy access Cloud-based business solutions make it possible for users to work even when they’re on the go. In the case of cloud-based VDI desktops, it’s even possible for users to access full-featured Windows applications from anywhere on any endpoint device.

Cloud Business Solutions vs. On-Premises Solutions

Now that you know the advantages of cloud-based business solutions, does that mean everyone should migrate to the cloud? Not necessarily. There can be instances when it can be more advantageous to stick with on-premises solutions. In this section, we’ll focus on three questions you need to ask yourself to determine whether a cloud or on-premises strategy is right for your business.

1. Does Your Company Have Infrastructure in Place to Provide On-Premises Solutions?

If you already have an operational IT infrastructure that can readily support additional business solutions, the cloud advantage of enabling CAPEX savings no longer applies to you. In fact, it might even be impractical to migrate to the cloud, considering you’ve invested a fortune and have yet to maximize that investment’s full potential.

2. Are Your Users Geographically Dispersed?

If your users work remotely or in multiple branch offices, it would probably be a good idea to take advantage of the ubiquity of the cloud. However, if they’re all working in the same building or facility, you wouldn’t be able to take advantage of that benefit.

3. Are You Governed by Any Regulatory Mandates?

Certain laws and regulations, such as the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), and others, have stringent storage, processing, and access requirements for certain types of data. Although many cloud service providers already have provisions in place to help you comply with some of those requirements, you should study those provisions thoroughly since there can be some business processes that just aren’t suitable for the cloud.

Parallels RAS: A Cloud Business Solution with Secure and Fast Application and Desktop Delivery

Not all business solutions are “born in the cloud”, which means that they are built from the ground up specifically for cloud delivery. What if you already have a business solution running on-premises but you want it to take advantage of the benefits of cloud infrastructure without altering its code? If you prefer not to re-architect that solution from scratch, you can take a lift-and-shift approach by leveraging a solution that will allow you to deploy that business solution as-is in the cloud.

One particular solution that will enable you to do that is Parallels® Remote Application Server (RAS). Parallels RAS enables you to host business applications on a server and then deliver them to any endpoint device anywhere there is an internet connection. So, for example, you can host Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and even line-of-business (LOB) applications on a server and then have your users access those applications from Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, iOS, and Chrome OS devices regardless of location.

How does that make it a cloud business solution? Well, Parallels RAS happens to support all major cloud service providers. That means you can deploy it on Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Google Cloud easily. Better yet, you can even deploy it on a hybrid cloud infrastructure, so you can keep applications unsuitable for cloud deployments on-premises and migrate the rest to the cloud.

Parallels RAS is already inherently secure (since data isn’t stored on endpoint devices and administration is centralized) and it already enables mobility and easy remote access. But once you deploy it in the cloud, you can realize other cloud benefits such as scalability, business continuity, and reduction in infrastructure costs.

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