If the past 17 months have taught us anything, it’s that technology is a saving grace. The COVID-19 pandemic quickly forced every company to adapt to new technologies, giving many organizations the ability to continue running their operations, keep their employees gainfully employed, and avoid a near catastrophe. A lot of this was possible due to the power of cloud computing. Cloud-based solutions enabled corporate America to quickly shift gears and operate in a remote setting. This is something that would have been nearly impossible 20 years ago.
In its simplistic form, cloud computing is all the things you can access remotely over the internet. Companies now host their services on remote servers the rest of us can access using pretty much any device. Because of this technology, companies like Zoom and Salesforce helped connect workers across the globe. They gave them the ability to continue their daily routines, albeit with the occasional Zoom fatigue.
Cloud computing has transformed people’s traditional behaviors. Entertainment, finance, and retail have all been majorly disrupted. We now live in a world where we binge-watch shows on Netflix, listen to large music catalogs on Spotify, and shop for groceries online. It has also transformed how companies do business and has changed the game regarding how they run their operations. The cloud has introduced many new ways to cut costs, bring new applications to market faster, and drastically improve overall digital security. Today, we will discuss how cloud computing has changed the game and its positive impact on businesses.
Cost savings and reduced operational burden
One of the most significant well-known benefits of cloud computing is cost savings. Before the introduction of cloud computing, when a company conducted business over the internet, it had to buy and maintain the software and hardware required to do business online; think of a room full of servers and networking cables that power online applications and services. The business also had to hire skilled people to maintain, upgrade and monitor the new equipment; think of the IT guy you used to bump into in the hallway but had no clue what he did. Cloud computing has changed all of this. Businesses now can leverage massive data centers provided by big cloud providers, like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google’s Cloud Platform (GCP).
This cutting-edge technology helps cut costs as companies no longer need to own the software and hardware required to support and maintain their online products and services. Instead, they can utilize the big cloud providers’ infrastructure and pay for only what they use — freeing up
When a company no longer needs to worry about security, backups, operating systems, power and cooling that comes with a data center by shifting operations to the cloud, it frees up resources to focus on its own applications. The burden and management of the hardware is the responsibility of the cloud provider. Focus can shift to improving a company’s own applications and services, giving it the ability to provide a better customer experience, which is invaluable and will pay off down the road.
At Acxiom, we believe in a cloud-first approach; the cloud helps us improve our infrastructure and helps our clients operate more efficiently. Acxiom can host clients’ marketing and analytical solutions in the cloud, and pass along the benefits.
Provide a better user experience for customers
The cloud helps companies move much faster and allows for more efficient operations. New technology and capabilities offered by the big cloud providers have resulted in better experiences. Edge computing, a new capability of the cloud, enables a company to provide a better user experience by reducing latency when customers visit their websites. In technical terms, it brings computing and data storage closer to the location where it is needed to help improve response times.
Before the cloud, if a business had its data center in the United States, users in Europe had to traverse the Atlantic Ocean to access its website and services. This sometimes caused latency and a less than desirable user experience, meaning the user had to wait for the page to load before viewing the content. With cloud computing, companies can now set up edge servers in Europe that deliver web and video content much closer to their users, reducing latency.
Also, the cloud provides scalability, which allows businesses to always have enough resources to handle increased demand for their services. This means if a company has a significant surge in demand to their website, think of a Super Bowl commercial that brings hundreds of thousands of people to their website, scalability allows the website to handle all the additional traffic in real time, seamlessly adding more servers to handle the increased traffic. This is a game-changer! Companies never have to miss a sales opportunity and can provide their users with a fantastic experience every time they visit their website.
Access to new innovative tools
Cloud computing provides access to a vast array of new tools and services that are easy to buy, test and deploy. Cloud providers have digital marketplaces where other software companies provide applications and services that help support the business’s operations. There are financial tools to help control costs, security tools that protect data, analytic and machine learning tools that provide advanced analytics and machine learning capabilities.
There are also data marketplaces that provide quick access to third-party data sources. For example, companies like Dun & Bradstreet, Foursquare and our very own Acxiom data are available in AWS’s marketplace. Companies can now find, license, and use these data sets leveraging APIs that simplify bringing in new data sources, used for enrichment, marketing campaigns, analytics, and machine learning.
Cloud computing has revolutionized business. Companies that have adopted cloud technologies are out in front of those that have not. Taking advantage of these technology advancements helps companies stay competitive and find new ways to innovate, cut costs and remain relevant in an ever-changing world. At Acxiom, we strive to provide our clients with the best cloud solutions available to help them transform their business.
We don’t take going to the cloud lightly, and neither should you. That’s why Acxiom is the partner you can trust to bring you the agility and scalability the cloud delivers with the customer understanding you’ve come to expect.
Your success is critical to us, and we are not successful unless you are.