In the early-adoption phase of cloud computing, clients primarly associated the term with email. Although this has some truth in usage terms, cloud computing is based on the principle of using information technology services on demand, without needing to install all the components on a company-owned infrastructure.
What, exactly, does this mean? Well, the fact is, applying these IT elements as services provides many growth opportunities for companies by allowing them to focus on the core of their business instead of investing extensively in technology enablers. With access to necessary programs and features via the cloud, shorter deadlines can be met more effectively and a larger quantity of work can be stored and accessed.
Investing in cloud services or IT as a service can benefit a company economically by improving workflow dynamics and productivity. On one hand, payments for usage set us free of major investments in software and hardware. On the other hand, technology is located in one place, which can be accessed by users from every location with an internet connection, and that technology has the warranty to provide an updated version or a required one for a particular user.
From the beginning, companies have expressed concerns about data protection and many other things regarding security or data loss when making the decision to adopt cloud-based tech. This is most noticeable in government institutions. However, the truth is that this trend is being reverted, and now there are many companies using the cloud as their main infrastructure. Email applications or internal messaging systems are the most frequent applications that are in the cloud instead of owned servers. Most companies transmit a majority of their information (whether confidential or not) via e-mail: customer contracts, terms of sale, payroll, payments, invoices, etc.
Cloud computing is gaining popularity in usage, especially in areas such as storage, backups, platforms for development testing of pre-production products, and third-party applications. Companies like Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, and Uber, among others, came to life Cloud Native. They reside in the cloud and that allows them to be much more competitive than those not currently using the cloud or struggling to convert.
It’s a good idea to switch to the Cloud?
It depends on the trust a company puts in the cloud service provider or the responsibility contract of each party. Those two factors tend to be determinant in order for a company to start using cloud services. All cloud computing service providers invest huge amounts of money in multi-level security, including firewalls, IDS/IPS, anti-DDoS, anti-malware, multi-layer encryption (normally in communications and applications) so it can achieve a virtually unbreakable wall. Now think about this: Are all companies able to assume this high cost by themselves? My answer to this question is no, but paying a fee to use an existing cloud infrastructure can be much more affordable.
Advantages of the Cloud Computing
Working with cloud based services give companies many options to manage their business. For instance, imagine that you want to offer to some of your clients an application but you (and your client) don’t know the demand that this application could have in the future. Most of the cloud service providers have a feature that allows you to set up a virtual machine where your app will run, and scale it as needed, so you don’t have to worry about buying new hardware to comply with the demand of your application. Instead, the cloud system will adjust everything for you, and almost all of the changes can be done in just a few minutes.
Another advantage of using cloud servers instead of owned servers is that the providers of cloud computing services keep the systems up-to-date, with the most recent hardware machine types, a tremendous variety of operating systems, and of course, the most important thing: robust security systems.
Let’s talk about the transition
So you have decided that you are going to switch to a cloud based service, you have picked out a provider and you are finally ready to go. There are some things that you have to consider before making the transition:
- You need to make sure that your current software or applications are compatible with the new infrastructure.
- Training may be necessary to use the cloud effectively and to its full potential if you or your employees are unfamiliar with it.
- You MUST crunch some numbers. Although cloud services can help you reduce your production costs, it could raise them if you are not aware of how you set up your service. Find a way to calculate the cost of using a cloud computing server and estimate the total cost based on features, machine types and server power that you need for your applications.
- Prepare yourself and your staff for a big change. Cloud services work differently than regular hosting services, so you must start learning some technical skills, or you could consider hiring a specialist to manage your server.
- Every day there are more and more companies adopting this kind of service. This is the future of IT, and when it comes to technology, it is always a good practice not to cling to old technologies.