There is a buzz with cloud adoption advocators and supporters in the market. All kinds of organizations whether big, medium or small, irrespective of their sector, are rushing to make cloud an integral part of their business. Among them, there are groups of people who do not support cloud and claim it to be disastrous and a threat to business security.
It was understandable to hold such views when public cloud was introduced a couple of years ago, but not anymore. It is important to note that cloud is a broad term and is largely classified into three categories SaaS, PaaS and IaaS. The most common model used by small enterprises is SaaS i.e. Software-as-a-Service, as it can be easily delivered over the web browser and is cheaply available on subscription basis. SaaS is usually run on public cloud.
On the other hand, many large enterprises use IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) model that delivers computer infrastructure. Here the users do not have to invest in servers, software, and datacenter space or network equipment. Instead they buy fully outsourced IaaS service that manages everything for them.
It is high time you move to the cloud, if you haven’t already
Irrespective of the cloud model chosen, cloud technology has delivered obvious benefits to modern businesses. It has become a strategic imperative for organizations to delve into cloud and adopt it. The core agenda of IT teams using cloud is to ensure governance and keep a tab on cost.
The cloud is typically used for web hosting, email hosting, productivity solutions, back up/ recovery, security and monitoring, application hosting, and content filtering. Many organizations have learned to use cloud as a hybrid model (a combination of private and public cloud) and safeguard their organizations from security threats.
In the following article, we will discuss ten important reasons to migrate from physical IT infrastructure to cloud.
Security has remained the topmost concern for many IT executives owing to deployment of data on shared resources. It is also important to note that the kind of capability delivered by cloud technology is incomparable to any other traditional on-premise infrastructure. A certain level of concern for security is justified owing to high stakes. However, the unwarranted criticism generated by cloud computing is largely a hoax by rancorous elements because; security of customers’ data is actually the selling point of vendors.
Security in cloud systems is governed by the highest level of recognized data protection standards managed by professional IT experts. While cloud vendors have strong systems in place to protect data centers, it is simultaneously the responsibility of clients to ensure that appropriate firewall, and strong passwords are in place. Moreover, the responsibility of employees (especially those accessing cloud on smartphones) in protecting critical organizational data can’t be annulled. Depending upon the business sector, both clients and vendors need to be compliant with regulatory compliances like HIPAA, SAS70, and PCI DSS.
2. Paradigm shift from capex to opex
Once you are able to outsource your hardware and software requirements with cloud computing, the risk factor of managing infrastructure is significantly reduced. Your capital and operational expenses will plummet like never before. As you need to deploy few internal IT resources, there is considerable release of tied-down capital. Most of the cloud vendors charge as per pay-as-you-go method, and clients find it easier to bear the expenses from their operational costs. The relieved capital expenditure can therefore be reinvested to a more deserving area in business to stoke your business expansion plans.
Cloud technology offers you the flexibility of operating under open standards. The open standards allow you to avoid vendor lock-in. You can rope in different vendors for meeting different business requirements. You can also shift your outsourced service from one vendor to another. It gives you an opportunity to trade off risk by dispersing your services and bypassing single vendor dominion. Furthermore, it encourages competition among vendors where the client is bound to get the best.
4. Economies of scale
A simple concept of economies of scale is applicable in cloud computing as well. The cost per unit can be reduced significantly by increasing the number of units produced. The cost savings that cloud technology brings in is unquestionable. It is almost impractical for an organization to hire staff of world class caliber and deploy multiple servers of high capacity to meet their needs. On the contrary, a cloud vendor can easily offset these cost concerns by having a long clientele.
5. Real-time synchronization helps to collaborate and service customers better
Most of the leading cloud service providers have developed mobile and tablet applications which allow the users to access cloud solution remotely and on-the-go. Productivity solutions like ERP and HRMS deployed on cloud are easily accessible on smartphones through applications. This enables employees to work together on a project seamlessly. Cloud can be remotely updated by a sales employee and instantly viewed by a production employee.
Thus, cloud helps in plugging the gap in communication and information relay. Customers can be updated in real-time about order status and marketing executives can improve their responsiveness to the market by instantly viewing the sales data and tracking marketing campaign.
You can rely on cloud services ten times more than you do on your on-premise system. Cloud brings along with it a high level of reliability by minimizing downtime to negligible. It is the sole responsibility of the cloud vendor to keep the systems up 24 x 7. Even if maintenance has to be carried out, it is done without affecting the businesses dependent on it. A cloud vendor specifically considers all types of failures like overflow, timeouts, and network failure before deploying the solution.
For the same reason, they believe in storing multiple data copies to maintain system continuity. On the other hand, with on-premise system, you are completely left to fend for yourself. Getting an instant help during downtime seems out of reach. Ultimately, you lose business and your customers are affected the most.
7. Attention on core business
Average IT staff in a company is not equipped to deal with specialized software related issues. It is better left to specialists in third party organizations. In this case, cloud vendors are highly qualified to provide you solutions through various modules and provide readily available support.
On the other hand, there are many mundane and trivial tasks involved in managing IT systems which consumes considerable time of your organization. In the end, you are not achieving much strategically by employing your IT team. With cloud computing, the time spent on managing IT is drastically reduced and you are left with enough time to pursue new opportunities and focus on your core business.
It becomes extremely complicated and costly for a business to meet the fluctuating demands. The productivity of an organization can be scaled up by investing in hardware, software and increasing the size of the workforce. What if the same level of productivity is not required all round the year? You end up making capital investment which is redundant for your business or possibly becomes antiquated before realizing its full potential.
Cloud computing offers you elasticity of scaling up or down as and when the need arises. Your business is not required to make permanent changes in the infrastructure and therefore, saving both time and money. Thus, the cloud service delivers high performance and improves your response time.
9. Upgrade easily
Once you are comfortable using the cloud service and your business is gaining from it, you can consider increasing your network speed, adding more storage and complying with the latest standards. You can actually increase the capability of your hosting service depending upon the traffic on your application or server.
If you have been using only public cloud, you can incorporate dedicated servers in the system to manage critical applications. Thus, making decisions on upgrades becomes uncomplicated for your IT team.
Almost all cloud solutions are interoperable. It means if you have deployed cloud solutions across different business units with different operating system or your customers/vendors use a different operating system as yours; there is nothing to worry. Cloud only bothers about data and not the operating system. Thus, all your compatibility issues are ironed out with cloud and you can impeccably integrate across and outside the organization.
In the end, any modern day business running without cloud is losing out the race. Cloud makes you more competitive, productive, collaborative, and responsive. It not only shuns your worries about downtime but delivers high quality service. Security is guaranteed with cloud but you have to be wise in choosing your provider by going through compliances and service level agreements. Beware of unfounded claims of security.
If you wish to learn more about cloud computing, do not hesitate to contact our consultants.