If you are an eCommerce store owner, the success of your business relies on the server that your site is hosted upon. As competitors upgrade to the latest cloud technology with all the capabilities it has to offer, this can leave you at a distinct disadvantage. In this article, we’ll discuss why the cloud is the best solution for eCommerce hosting and why you need to give it serious consideration.
Operational agility and scalability
One of the biggest advantages of using cloud hosting for eCommerce is its scalability. In terms of capacity, cloud gives store owners exactly what they need when it’s required, whether that’s bandwidth, CPU, RAM or storage space. If your needs increase, either over the long term with a steadily growing business or over the short term, to cope with peaks, scaling up is quick and easy – as is scaling back down when the demand is lower.
This operational agility gives eCommerce businesses a real competitive edge; your store won’t slow down during the Black Friday rush because cloud servers let it cope with high traffic far more efficiently than in-house applications or servers.
Pay per consume cost effectiveness
One of the other benefits of cloud scalability is that it is financially more cost effective. As cloud resources are charged for on a pay per consume basis, you only pay for what you use. If you compare this to a dedicated server package, where you would pay full price for the service even when you rarely needed full capacity, you can see how financially advantageous cloud can be,
For those companies which use an in-house system, the savings are even greater as there is no need to invest in hardware, software or maintenance.
Security and business continuity
Cloud hosting offers a wide range of security benefits that all eCommerce businesses can take advantage of. One of these is disaster recovery. Should a website get hacked and taken down or the server develop a fault, the consequences could be enormous. However, cloud servers provide easy back-up and recovery solutions that are inexpensive to implement and leverage the expertise of their hosting company.
Another security feature of the cloud is that it is a managed service. This means that software is automatically updated for you, immediately eradicating vulnerabilities from legacy versions, and hardware is maintained by the host. In addition, hosts have their own security measures including vulnerability scanning and intrusion detection and prevention.
One of the biggest areas where cloud hosting can help eCommerce security is with data protection. When an organisation moves to the cloud, all its data is stored on the cloud servers, not on individual devices. If a device is lost or stolen, the company can still access the data from the cloud; at the same time, data can be remotely erased from the lost machine, preventing it from being accessed.
One of the benefits of the internet is that it allows businesses to assemble teams of workers from around the world to work together on projects. By enabling these teams to collaborate in easier ways you are able to bring projects to a conclusion far quicker, which can have a huge impact on your business.
Cloud hosting offers increased collaboration capacity for eCommerce businesses enabling team members to access, edit and share working documents at any time no matter where they are based. Using cloud-based workflow and file sharing applications, members can see real-time editing of their collaborative work, ensuring that every member has the most up-to-date version. As the work is stored in the cloud, it is also secure, reducing the chance of intellectual property, personal data or important business information being leaked, stolen or lost.
When it comes to competition, cloud hosting is having a dramatic impact on eCommerce. The economies of scale advantages that big companies once had are being eroded. The cloud’s scalability and pay per consume model is enabling smaller retailers to be much more competitive. They now have access to the same enterprise-class technology but in cost efficient ways and, being more agile, they can move faster than the retail giants.
The ability of the cloud to cost efficiently analyse big data is another reason by why many eCommerce businesses are seeing it as the way forward. The results of data analyses are enabling companies to better understand their business and their market, helping them develop new products, services and applications and gain significant advantages over their competitors.
Those who haven’t yet started using cloud hosting (78% of British companies already have) will find their competitiveness reduced as migration increases. It is estimated that by 2017, 85% of UK business will have moved some of their operations to the cloud and 63% are likely to migrate their entire operations.
However, if you are considering moving, the news is good. The deployment time taken in cloud computing is virtually zero and many of the critical applications used in eCommerce can be more efficiently deployed with cloud hosting.
Cloud hosting is the way forward for today’s eCommerce businesses and more and more enterprises are making the transition. Cloud brings increased efficiency, tighter security and improved collaboration. It opens doors to better data analyses and more productive ways to work, speeding up project completion and making companies more competitive.
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