Cloud computing has swept the business world off its feet. Over the past 20 years, the technology has evolved significantly, bringing additional benefits to modern businesses. New solutions emerged on the market helping companies solve their data storage issues and secure safe and seamless business operations.
Today, migrating to cloud doesn’t only help you take care of a vital segment of your business but it also ensures you optimize your expenses and gain competitive edge.
Large companies tend to incorporate cloud into their strategic planning which then allows them to take advantage of the full potential of this technology. When it comes to enterprises, nearly seven out of ten corporations use the cloud, and this statistic only covers the European market. The global scope is even bigger as the user cloud adoption grows steadily.
Let’s take a closer look at the benefits cloud can bring to your business.
When it comes to the benefits of cloud computing, great performance and flexibility are among the top ones.
In particular, what businesses care about is speed: they want to ensure that the cloud environment enables fast development of apps and products, and that they can get to the market quicker than if they were to work on-premise.
So, let’s imagine that the development of one app requires 6 months. Now, imagine if you could cut down this period to 30 days? Given the fact that the cloud updates all the data in real time, the centralized control panel within the system makes the development process faster, enabling users to spot possible errors and react almost immediately.
Before cloud appeared, companies had to invest a lot of money into software, equipment, and data storage systems, even in the earliest business phases. In case there was an IT disaster or if they experienced sudden growth, the cost of introducing additional resources was pretty high, sometimes even double the initial ones.
However, cloud technology implies having at least 2 data centers with automatic backups. This removes the problem of unnecessary costs and enables precious flexibility for business owners. Cloud technology can support your company’s growth: the system is fully scalable so it’s possible to increase or decrease the capacities you need, and to do it fast.
Flexibility can also be seen in the following: you can access your cloud system from any off-site location. All you need is an internet connection. This makes things much easier for your employees who can collaborate with one another in real time.
Cloud environment is reputable for its great level of security.
Compared to the on-premise solutions, cloud has a multi-layered protection system, which is why it’s often a part of the disaster recovery strategy.
Unfortunately, there is no way to protect your IT system 100%. However, there is a way to be smart, invest in prevention, and make sure that the security risks are reduced to a minimum. Having a plan B in the form of a disaster recovery plan is called responsible business management. Thanks to the backup systems and continuous data replication, cloud ensures you never lose your data or your money due to unplanned downtime.
Business continuity is ensured thanks to the high security of your entire IT system. Complex algorithms and encryption methods enable system access only if the user has a unique authentication key. The third party (i.e. cloud provider) is responsible for maintaining the highest level of system safety and to react if some infrastructure vulnerabilities or irregularities happen to occur. You don’t need to worry about data breaches or hacker attacks since this is something the provider takes care of.
This leaves you as the user pretty carefree in terms of IT: when this burden is lifted from your shoulders, you can focus on developing other segments of your business and invest your time and effort into, let’s say - prototyping and product testing, establishing partnerships, or creating new market entrance strategies.
Cloud technology is available as three different solutions: public cloud, private cloud and hybrid cloud. Depending on the type of data your company stores, as well as the expected level of security and the way system access is defined, one of these options will suit you better than the other.
Public cloud is a type of computing in which a service provider makes resources publically available via the internet. Available resources and capabilities depend on the provider. Public cloud allows for scalability and resource sharing that would not otherwise be possible for a single organization to achieve.
A private cloud is designed to offer the same features and benefits of public cloud systems, but many would argue it offers better control over enterprise and customer data, and higher security levels. They provide advanced security, better data privacy, and higher resilience to individual failures in comparison to the physical infrastructure.
As you might have guessed on your own, hybrid cloud computing refers to a combination of two or more clouds, the best of the two worlds. With this type of solution, it is possible to allocate a portion of resources from the private cloud to public cloud, and determine the best way to store critical applications which ensure business continuity. This is very important for companies that do not tolerate downtime even in extreme conditions. For example, online businesses (such as e-commerce companies) need to have a well-designed system that can handle high demands and heavy workloads over a small period of time, such as during big sales (e.g. Black Friday) or discounts.
By outsourcing your IT infrastructure to a third party, your company is saving money on system maintenance. You’re eliminating the necessary cost of upgrading hardware or hiring new IT personnel as you experience growth.
Also, cloud technology implies less capital investment, thanks to the pay-as-you-grow principle. With this subscription model, companies are only obliged to pay for the actual storage space they need and only those features they plan on using. No money is being wasted in this process and all your IT costs are optimized.
Cloud technology can be used in any of the following scenarios:
In the first scenario (IaaS), companies rent cloud services for a specific time period - hour, week or month. Some cloud providers also charge the amount of storage space consumed on virtual servers under this model.
In the case of the PaaS model, users usually pay for cloud technology per application, or based on how many gigabytes they consume per hour.
The third and final option, the SaaS model, involves billing based on the used storage or specific features of the system.
Rational allocation of resources plays a significant role in the context of company savings and contributes to a better business efficiency. By selecting the right model, you can save a lot of valuable money which you can later on invest in something else to help your company grow. Data storage and availability shouldn’t be an issue in 2019, and with cloud technologies - it certainly is not.
Cloud technology has also been frequently mentioned as a solution that supports productivity. According to the Microsoft Office’s survey report, 79% of cloud users reported to have saved money and increased productivity thanks to this technology. Working in the cloud can truly boost your internal operations, and in significant amounts.
Managers who offer additional work flexibility and allow their employees to occasionally work from home or remotely, can expect huge benefits from embracing this approach. As of this year, burnout has been officially recognized as a disease so giving your professionals a little space when they need it is something that will ultimately encourage a much healthier work environment.
Bearing that in mind, cloud is something that supports a good work-life balance in your company, ensuring people can smoothly work together and communicate with one another without any disruptions or interferences. Additionally, the simplicity of accessing the cloud really saves your time and energy.
People who can see a bigger picture here know just how important the procedures are in order for a job to be done well in the end. Cloud enables instant file sharing, effective document management, making edits and changes in a jiffy. Shortly put, it ensures your business operates like a well-oiled machine, without any significant hiccups (at least in the tech department).
In today’s competitive market, companies need to show agility in order to survive. They need to understand that speed matters in the ever-evolving landscape shaped by innovations and new technologies. Cloud is a great ally in that sense, given the fact it supports cross-team collaborations and gives you all the data you need in a matter of seconds. Companies that want to improve their market position surely appreciate this type of benefit.
Of course, there are many different cloud providers and solutions out there. We invite you to take a closer look at Microsoft Azure and its benefits, and reach out to us at Share IT if you’re interested to see how we can help with cloud migration and infrastructure solutions. Contact us today and ask for a consultation or a quote. We’re always excited to hear from you.