How Cloud Computing and IoT Have Revolutionized Online Businesses


Back in the early ‘90s when the Internet was made available for public and commercial use, many businesses began to operate online. 

This period was referred to as the digital revolution. Ever since then, the online world has been evolving and modern technological developments have continued to reshape how online businesses operate. 

Little more than two decades ago, cloud computing was introduced to the public and by 2010, every tech industry giant made cloud services available to online businesses. 

At the same, IoT (Internet of Things) also became widely popular and we entered the age of increased connectivity and on-demand computing power. 

You can learn more about IoT connectivity here. This new technology changed everything. It basically revolutionized how online businesses and entire industries operate. To this very day, IoT and cloud computing are continuing to evolve and reshape online businesses. 

Furthermore, these technologies paved the way for offline businesses to undergo a digital transformation and join the online market. With that in mind, here are a few ways cloud computing and IoT have revolutionized online businesses. 

The emergence of co-economy

As you may already know, the online market is highly competitive and overcrowded with all sorts of companies. New businesses that entered the market had difficult times competing against well-established companies and industry giants who dominated the market. 

Digital marketing, however, made it possible for underdogs to compete in the online market effectively. But when you’re up against companies that are well-funded and have access to much larger quantities of resources than you, even digital marketing can’t help you out entirely. 

But then IoT came along and created an opportunity for SMBs and startups to gain momentum in the online market. In fact, the so-called co-economy came into being. This co-economy allowed small businesses to cooperate without directly competing against each other. 

Instead, they would share information and resources via IoT devices to present better and more personalized products and services to their target audience. Moreover, co-economy allows partnering businesses to share ideas and come up with creative solutions that will allow them to gain a competitive advantage in the online market. 

Enter the cloud storage

Back in the day, cloud computing was mostly focused on online storage. Any business could digitize their files, documents and other paperwork and upload it to the cloud. Once there, your data would be encrypted and safely stored. 

You could access these files any time you wish, form any device and from any location in the world. This technology created a paperless office landslide. This was a turning point where many companies realized just how much money they waste on filing cabinets, paper storages and poor organization. 

From that moment on, every business wanted to get rid of paper waste and move towards digital formats. This was not only an eco-friendly solution but also a much more efficient way to store and protect company information.

It also made the use of remote offices quite seamless. Companies no longer had to rely on in-house solutions. Instead, you could open up an office pretty much anywhere in the world and all the relevant files and documents would be available to you straight away.  

The evolution of cloud services

What started out as a seamless storage solution for online businesses rapidly evolved into something entirely different. Cloud-based technology evolved into cloud services that were available to companies based on the pay-as-you-go model. 

These subscription-based models revolutionized business scaling in a highly competitive market. You could easily adapt to any market change and new trend on-demand. Here are some of the most common cloud services that are being used even today.

  • SaaS (Software as a Service) – Remember when you had to purchase physical copies of software for each device in your office and install it manually? SaaS got rid of that problem and presented companies with an opportunity to subscribe to software use instead. That way you can use specific software on any device and use it as long as you’re subscribed to it. 
  • PaaS (Platform as a Service) – A lot of companies prefer to develop in-house solutions instead of using third-party ones. PaaS enabled such companies to do so with a premade platform that could be customized to meet the company’s needs. You basically subscribe to use a development platform with resources and tools you need to create in-house solutions.
  • IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) – Perhaps the most useful of the cloud services is IaaS. This is basically on-demand computing power provided to companies via virtual servers. You can boost computing power without having to procure additional hardware for your business. You simply subscribe for additional infrastructure needs. This allows seamless scaling as you can unsubscribe from the service when you no longer need additional computing power. 

Mining big data

As the online market grows so does the competitiveness. Online businesses are in a constant battle to win over consumers and convince them that they have something better to offer than the others. 

However, consumers have more power over their decisions and they’re not so easily convinced. Their behavior and purchasing decisions can change practically governing thanks to emerging market trends and new technologies. Predicting these sudden shifts was next to impossible until IoT arrived. 

With the help from IoT devices, online businesses can actually mine big data. The data is stored and analyzed in-house so that valuable insights and information can be extracted from it. Here are just some of the things this information can help companies with.

  • Helps predict upcoming trends and consumer behavior shifts.
  • Provides deeper understanding into consumer preferences, needs and demands.
  • Helps map out the buyer’s journey.
  • Identifies common consumer pain points.
  • Provides detailed insights into marketing campaign effectiveness.
  • Brings analytics to a whole new level.
  • Helps identify the most efficient marketing channels.

Such information is of vital importance and any business can get their hands on this data. You may have to invest in data science and analytics but the insights that could be extracted from big data will prove to be invaluable. 

Reshaping customer experience

IoT devices and cloud computing provided tremendous benefits for online businesses. Companies that operate online are now able to reshape customer experience entirely. As you may be well aware by now, consumers are no longer solely focused on product and service quality or quantity. 

They are more focused on experience than ever before. Companies that are unable to meet consumer needs will lose customers pretty quickly. Fortunately, IoT devices provide more information about consumers and their purchasing habits than ever before. 

Companies can learn almost everything there is to know about their target audience. This allows them to create unique experiences based on customization and personalization. 

That means creating better products and services, improving the effectiveness of marketing campaigns and advertisements and more efficient means of creating meaningful and more personal relationships with consumers. 

The information IoT devices can provide allows companies to make more informed and more strategic decisions. Cloud computing is there to help them realize their strategies in a much faster and more reliable way. 

Therefore, IoT provides the insights while cloud computing provides resources and means to help online businesses achieve their business goals and create unique experiences for their customers. 

Restructuring company-wide communications

Not so long ago, companies would hold any relevant information within silos. Anyone who needed access to this information had to formally request access to it. You’d then wait for your application to be reviewed and approved by someone higher up the command chain. 

As you might imagine, this is a huge delay in business operations. IoT devices and cloud computing created a solution that will remove information silos entirely. IoT devices communicate with each other and can transmit both information and data company-wide in a blink of an eye. 

At the same time, cloud storage ensures that any relevant file and document is easily accessible and available to all who have permissions to use them. This basically restructured how cross-department communication and collaboration. 

Information flows freely and employees have all the necessary data to make decisions on the spot. Any delay in information flow will have dire consequences, especially when you consider the fact how impatient modern consumers are. 

Just imagine a customer support representative placing a customer on hold so that they can ask to access specific information from the sales or marketing department. Do you think the customer would wait patiently or would they simply bounce off annoyed?  

Closing Words

The online market has gone through some significant changes over the years and so did online businesses. Modern technology, such as IoT and cloud computing have revolutionized how online companies operate. These technologies will continue to evolve and reshape the online world as we know it. 

Even today, there are many companies that have gone through a digital transformation. Fortunately, with cloud computing and IoT, digitally transforming your business is now easier than ever. As long as such technology is being developed further, businesses will continue to thrive in the online market.