The number of organisations adopting cloud computing is increasing and yet for many the decision about its adoption remains a difficult one. What does the cloud offer my organisation? What benefits can it provide to my business? How do I migrate my critical information? What are the potential security risks and how can these risks be reduced?
With so much confusion surrounding cloud computing its little wonder there is a degree of apprehension surrounding the replacement of legacy IT systems and processes with this paradigm shift in computing storage. Yet adopting cloud computing goes beyond merely transitioning to a newer technology – it can provide immediate tangible benefits to the organisation including efficiency savings and much greater potential for growth.
What does cloud computing actually mean?
In simple terms cloud computing is about providing technology services that are delivered over the Internet. It utilises shared computer resources so that companies do not need to invest in, or have to maintain, their own infrastructure - thereby shifting their costs from capital to operational expenditure.
Cloud computing’s ‘pay-for-use’ model means that the services provided are scalable to meet the often changing requirements of the business. You pay for what you need, and can quickly expand your virtual infrastructure as and when required. This aspect is a key differentiator when compared to traditional ‘on premise’ alternatives which involve housing, and maintaining, multiple servers on site - irrespective of whether or not they are in use by the organisation.
What are the benefits of adopting a cloud solution for my organisation?
With a cloud computing solution applications can be deployed right across the business with minimal cost and disruption and significantly less lead time than would be typically required to install software across large numbers of stand-alone PCs. The range of solutions available means that businesses can choose to replace, or extend, existing systems as and when required with little or no turnaround time.
Cloud computing also offers users high responsiveness, with near-continuous systems availability and the ability to access data and applications from any place, at any time, from multiple devices.
A factor that is critical in highly competitive industries.
Which cloud solution should my organisation adopt?
There are three types of cloud storage are available: public, shared and private. The level of your data sensitivity will drive the decision about the best type(s) the organisation use. All major cloud computing providers offer high levels of data security; certainly more than any organisation could provide for itself in anything approaching a cost effective way. The ‘always up to date’ nature of the virtualised computing environment means that you systems are always using the most up to date versions of the software – another way in which security issues can be mitigated.
Delivering genuine business result and reducing operating costs
The decision to move your business to the cloud needs to be carefully considered and understanding how the right technologies can deliver genuine business results is a key challenge. However, get it right, and through proper alignment with your business goals, utilising cloud technologies can enable you to control operating costs, drive sales and reduce working capital. Act today; shape tomorrow.