Up until recently the concept of “the Cloud” or “Cloud computing” induced fits of fear and general consternation amongst IT professionals and business owners. Despite efforts by those in the industry to espouse the advantages and safety of cloud computing, many professionals focussed on and shared what they perceived as the risks and drawbacks of moving to the cloud, causing uptake to be slow at best.
Fortunately however, we are now at an exciting juncture: Businesses now have a base understanding of the cloud – brought about by concerted efforts to negate the negative press and actually educate the market about the Cloud – and the technical advances which have occurred within the sector in a relatively short period of time. That said, there is so much more to the cloud than was originally possible. The maturation of the service, combined with advances in technology, platforms and changes in the way businesses themselves do business and thus the requirements they have, have pushed Cloud based services into new realms. Where the cloud was initially seen as a tool for sharing resources (Infrastructure as a Service) and thus achieving sizeable reductions in capital expenditure, the cloud has moved beyond this to becoming a powerhouse of opportunity, with different platforms and software offered through it. Indeed SaaS or Software as a Service is now almost de rigueur for anyone considering moving to the hosted platforms. And it is not just aftermarket software which is accessible through the cloud, but full service offerings, covering infrastructure, platform delivery, data consolidation and management, software suites and much more.
Why you should move your business operations to the cloud – NOW
For 18 months or more there have been arguments as to the safety, the efficiency and power the cloud offers. However, as the service which is the cloud matures, the arguments for moving to the cloud and the considerations for why you should move to it, also need to change. It is important that when considering the switch, you look at your future needs as a business, not just from an IT perspective. It is worth considering these overall business advantages:
- The global economy is going to make continuous network connectivity critical to successful business operation
- The cloud offers you the advantages of consolidation and virtualisation
- Collaboration amongst your employees and with your clients is facilitated more easily
- Lower capital expenditure costs and lower staffing costs to maintain it
- Increased proliferation of high speed networks and improved network intelligence
- Reduced environmental impact from more efficient server utilisation
- As cloud providers become larger and more entrenched in the way we do business, they will become buying powerhouses which can pass on savings
- Platform upgrades are more simple to implement and hardware is maintained and upgraded for you
- For smaller businesses it gives you access to scalability and resources which are otherwise not achievable
- For larger businesses scalability and consolidation are key to ensuring IP is not necessarily retained by the individual, but can be re-absorbed by the company
As the Cloud matures and as more businesses – your competitors included – start to utilise it as part of doing business, the question you need to ask yourself is ‘why would you not embrace new leading edge technology which is proven to improve business efficiencies and allow businesses to concentrate on doing what they do best?’. Everyone else is moving forward, join them!