Switching to cloud computing can open doors to market opportunities for organisations, helping businesses to address their computing challenges and enabling them to do more with their IT budgets. At the same time, as more and more IT service offerings become cloud-based due the related cost and efficiency benefits, it’s becoming an increasingly congested and complex marketplace where competition is intense, and companies need to do what they can to make their products stand out.

Here are five ways cloud providers can benefit from ISO 9001 certification:

1. Establishing Trust

It can be a tough decision for organisations to move to cloud computing as an IT solution. Migrating to the cloud can leave business owners feeling uneasy and raises questions surrounding reliability, security and continuity.  Choosing the right cloud-computing service provider is an important process for any organisation, and there are growing expectations on the provider to have certifications addressing the specific challenges of cloud computing.  One of these credentials is ISO 9001 : 2015, which can go a long way in helping to ease any concerns. ISO 9001 is the recognised industry standard for business process quality management. It applies to all of a company’s internal processes and procedures, and as such certification indicates well-regulated management within an organisation. Being ISO 9001 certified demonstrates to potential customers that a business is reliable and can be a safe choice to do business with.

2. Increasing Customer Satisfaction

With many cloud-based businesses working on a subscription model, and with an ever more ferociously competitive marketplace, keeping your customers happy and maintaining their loyalty is paramount to success. It can be extremely easy for customers of cloud-based computing services to switch providers, and as such reliability and consistency are key to maintaining and increasing your customer base. ISO 9001 accreditation demonstrates a company’s commitment to providing consistent service quality and provides a framework and process to improve its service on an ongoing basis. For many cloud-based companies, one of the most vital elements to the services they provide is data management. Companies who handle data or personal information need to be able to store, transmit and recover it safely within a certain framework of guidelines. Customers will feel reassurance in entrusting their data to a company with an external, internationally recognised validation of best practices. ISO 9001 certification signifies a commitment to protecting customer data.

3. Gaining A Competitive Edge

ISO certification in any industry will help a business to gain an advantage over its competitors, both in terms of the ongoing improvement to process quality improvement, but also in terms of how it is perceived by potential customers. In a progressively more complex and busy marketplace, this is especially true of the cloud computing service industry, where accelerating technological improvement and communication means that there are more and more competitors entering the market all the time. ISO 9001 compliance exhibits a high standard of quality and works as an extra brand differentiator.

4. Tackling Security Issues Head On

In the last twelve months alone security breaches and data leaks have made headlines as many high-profile websites have been compromised.  What’s more is that the cloud computing market is being flooded by new players and hosting providers, driving industry growth – however security remains a primary concern. With cloud providers having the capacity to control large quantities of their customer’s personal information, consumers need to feel assured that their data is safe and secure. Reputable providers are focused on continuously finding new ways to keep data safe and are adhering to the latest safety and certification standards through the help of further ISO standards such as ISO 27001 (information security management), which can be easily integrated alongside an existing ISO 9001 management system.

5. Improving Efficiency & Effectiveness

As with many certifications, cost can often be a prohibitive factor in the decision whether to implement ISO 9001. However, what can be seen is that once in place, ISO certification helps to create cost savings by improving operational efficiency – and in the mid- to long-term it can often pay for itself. Fully ISO 27001 and ISO 9001 certified companies will work to continually ensure that threats to the business are assessed and effectively managed as they happen. Security solutions such as identity and access management will be in place to help safeguard corporate applications, data and resources. Advanced security reporting to identify and monitor suspicious activity as it occurs, along with multi-factor authentication means that security issues can be prevented. This formal security process structure is crucial to maintaining efficiency for cloud-based companies which are under constant online threat – yet another way that ISO certification makes cloud computing companies more secure, efficient, trustworthy and competitive.