You could be forgiven for thinking that there’s nothing more to say on the subject of cloud computing.
After all, the technology has been available and widely adopted for some years now, with businesses of varying sizes moving their data and infrastructure to the cloud. In fact, the recently published State of the Cloud report by RightScale found that 93 per cent of organisations are using the cloud in some capacity.
However, whether it’s a move towards a hybrid cloud approach or analysing why some businesses have not yet made the transition, there are still plenty of reasons to get excited about the cloud.
Moving your business to the cloud could result in some serious savings. Generally speaking, cloud computing works on a pay-as-you-go or operational expense (OpEX) model, meaning that large up-front costs are avoided. It also makes it a particularly attractive investment for smaller firms, as there are no long term financial commitments.
Business needs can change rapidly, so organisations need tools and software that can react quickly and smoothly to this change. For example, a growing business may need more bandwidth in order to serve its customers, or increased storage demands. While traditional on-premise systems may require a time-consuming and costly overhaul, third-party cloud providers can deliver a solution instantly.
The traditional approach to on-premise IT is to wait until something breaks before fixing it, resulting in business downtime and lost revenue. Cloud computing lets businesses undergo real-time crisis management and software upgrades. Cloud suppliers carry out server and software maintenance themselves and are able to fix issues more readily than businesses without a cloud infrastructure.
While business growth is desired it can also be disruptive. Cloud computing looks to minimise this disruption in a number of ways. Third-party suppliers can usually offer favourable rates when compared to an on-premise approach due to “economies of scale.” This means that when companies need to grow, they can expand at their own rate without having to purchase expensive additional software licenses or programs.
Businesses and their employees are increasingly mobile and geographically diverse. Cloud computing facilitates this way of working by ensuring that no matter where you are in the world, you have access to the files and applications that you need.
Cloud computing has made the technology industry a more competitive place by granting SMEs access to the latest applications and services at a lower cost.
Smaller firms can now grow more rapidly and with significantly less disruption than when using traditional on-premise software, resulting in a more competitive, but ultimately healthier, enterprise market.
Employees, businesses and clients are no longer confined to one device, but expect to be able to transition seamlessly between PC, tablet and mobile. Cloud computing facilitates this modern demand by allowing applications and files to be accessed in real time across several devices.
While security is sometimes viewed as the cloud’s weak link, a number of third-party providers are trying to change this perception. Many now offer encryption free-of-charge, meaning that they have no idea what files they are hosting and your privacy remains secure. Using cloud services also ensures that if local devices are lost or damaged, files and apps can still be easily accessed.
Instead of utilising an unnecessarily large on-premise server, cloud computing ensures that businesses only use the server space that they need, resulting in increased efficiency and lower carbon emissions.
Cloud computing may now be an established technology, but it is still at the heart of many organisation’s present-day and future business needs. All the latest cloud trends and services will be on display at this year’s UC Expo, taking place on the 21-22 April at Olympia, London.