Modern businesses are fully aware of the importance of investment in information and communications technology, and giving employees the tools they need to maximise productivity.
In the digital age, an ever-greater number of functions are being automated, removing the burden of manual work from many employees. This allows them to focus on other value-adding tasks, helping to boost overall organisational output.
Some companies have multi-million pound IT budgets, while others have just a few thousand pounds to spend on the technology they need. Either way, money that can be saved on IT infrastructure and services can be reinvested in another area of the business.
Changing the way IT services are sourced
Historically, businesses managed all their IT on-site using in-house servers and computer rooms. Prior to the internet revolution, the on-premise model was the default - but much has changed in the last quarter of a century.
With most businesses now able to take advantage of broadband and other advanced connectivity solutions, they can source their IT in different ways.
IT services can be delivered online by third-party specialist providers, enabling programs, tools and applications to be accessible from almost any location.
The evolution of the cloud gives businesses of all sizes the opportunity to reduce the amount of money they spend on hardware, software and associated infrastructure.
Moving to the cloud
Businesses which develop their own on-premise IT setups are responsible for the outright purchase of servers, PCs, software and storage devices they need. This may require significant capital expenditure, and then further investment in terms of managing and maintaining the infrastructure.
Companies which embrace cloud computing do not face the same start-up or maintenance costs. By outsourcing elements of their IT function to the hosted services provider, they are able to switch to an investment model based upon operational expenditure.
Rather than buying technology and product licences outright, cloud users simply rent them - they pay for IT services on a scalable subscription basis, benefitting from the provider's economy of scale.
The cloud vendor may deliver hosted services to hundreds or thousands of different companies and organisations, and as such, they have significant funds at their disposal. And such is the level of competition in this market that cloud firms are incentivised to deliver market-leading solutions at affordable prices.
Which firms stand to gain?
Businesses of all sizes can use cloud computing to achieve cost savings.
Larger businesses gain the flexibility to add or remove IT services according to demand, reflecting peaks and troughs in the market. They can provide new tools and programs to employees quickly, across multiple sites, without a lengthy deployment process.
Smaller companies perhaps have the most to gain - they no longer have to over-stretch their budgets developing their IT infrastructure. They can simply subscribe for advanced IT services - those which would previously have been beyond their means - and access them over the internet.
Find out more about how Microsoft solutions can help control business costs.
Posted by Dan Smith