Prior to cloud computing technology, organizations used to run programs and applications through software downloaded on a physical server and PC. Companies constantly struggle to develop their own data centers, and a handful of companies who had them would need a big IT team and resources for the management.
The emergence of cloud computing has significantly enabled companies to address the challenges of storing and managing data and resources. But before we highlight why companies need cloud computing, let’s understand what cloud computing is all about.
Table of Contents
- What is Cloud Computing?
- Why Do Organizations Need To Leverage Cloud Computing?
- What Are The Risks Associated with Cloud Computing?
- Choosing the Right Cloud Service Provider
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is defined as the delivery of on-demand computing services. Whether it is applications, storage, or processing power, you can leverage a wide range of services over the internet in pay-as-you-go-basis.
The fact that you only have to pay for the services you avail helps in lowering the operating costs, gain scalability, and manage your infrastructure more efficiently.
Why Do Organizations Need To Leverage Cloud Computing?
The adoption of cloud computing can bring a lot of benefits to companies. Below are the following reasons that companies should invest in cloud computing –
1. Optimized Productivity
Investing in the cloud enables companies to offer a central repository to store all their data, processing, and communication. With a central hub in place, employees do not necessarily have to be in the office to do their work. They can work anywhere in the world through a good internet connection.
Employees, as well as clients, can connect to the cloud network round the clock, thereby enhancing the overall productivity. Cloud computing software can be linked with customer relationship management software, allowing the teams to work together seamlessly.
2. Save Big on Infrastructure Costs
By facilitating remote work, an organization can leverage decreased infrastructure costs. Companies will have to invest in less office equipment when the employees can work between the office and home on a rotational basis.
In fact, many startups are leveraging cloud computing to build a remote workforce. This business model eliminates the need to maintain an office, which can save a significant amount of money.
The cost involved in setting up servers and computers is evidently less than what the owners have to ensure while managing a physical office. Using cloud computing, you can easily integrate multiple software and offer an enhanced digital working ecosystem.
3. High Scalability
Scalability is among the main benefits of investing in cloud computing. Cloud-based services are ideal for an organization with fluctuating and growing bandwidth demands.
Your business can scale down or up operation and resources to suit the organization’s needs and quickly adjust to the new scenarios. If the business’s needs increase, you can easily upsize the cloud capacity by expanding the remote servers.
4. Improved Operations
Cloud technologies allow an organization to scale computing solutions. Gone are the days when teams needed to spend hours forecasting the number of servers they needed to buy. Moreover, they do not have to hide servers at the back of the building or acquire additional space to expand.
Cloud service providers allow companies to adjust their usage according to their needs. It is allowing big enterprises to leverage different applications most efficiently. The accessibility of these applications allows companies to improve the overall quality of their applications.
5. Data Safety
With the massive adoption of cloud computing by both small and big firms, security has become an important factor. Over the years, cloud services have improved their safety aspects to a notable extent. In fact, according to a report, security is no longer the main concern for companies investing in cloud services.
Conglomerates from different sectors worldwide are leveraging cloud computing to manage their business applications and resources efficiently. Some of the big giants include Apple, Instagram, Pinterest, Netflix, Xerox, Etsy, MediaMath, etc.
6. Efficient Collaboration
Cloud computing allows companies to interact and share data more easily in comparison to the conventional method. It facilitates enhanced collaboration between multiple teams and allows users to work on the same file simultaneously. Employees who are working remotely especially benefit from cloud servers as they can share information, records, and documents to the office in a quick and secure manner.
7. Disaster Recovery
Irrespective of the business’ size, investing in strong disaster recovery is extremely important. However, companies working with limited budgets and resources often fail to integrate the same.
The cloud computing model is helping SMEs by providing a cost-effective way to protect their organization. In fact, more small businesses have integrated cloud-based back-up and recovery solutions. This is because it helps in avoiding massive front-up investment and saves time.
8. Document Control
Collaboration has become an imperative aspect of the modern business environment. The rise in collaboration has also increased the demand for greater document control. Prior to cloud computing, employees had to send documents back and forth through email attachments.
This increased the chances of errors and omissions. By providing a central hub, cloud computing mitigates the chances of errors while sharing the file. There is no need to share the files individually as all authorized users can access the file from a central location.
What Are The Risks Associated with Cloud Computing?
While cloud computing is highly valuable, there are certain risks associated with it. Following are the core risk factors –
Confidentiality has always been the main reason why companies steer clear from adopting cloud computing. For companies that handle sensitive data, protecting the information becomes a priority concern. These businesses may not feel confident sharing their files and resources with the external party.
The cloud service providers typically offer service level agreement in which they promise service continuity. But there is always the risk of uninterrupted services. Let’s understand this with an example.
Amazon Web Services or AWS is spawned across 69 availability zones within around 22 regions across the globe. And the company plans to announce more availability zones in the future. The risk that a company can lose connection to cloud-hosted applications is enough to keep the IT managers on toes.
3. Violation of Data Compliance
Complying the laws and regulations is an important factor to consider when choosing a data center. Data hosted on cloud infrastructure need to be compliant with different laws and regulations based on a particular country. However, cloud storage services often involve cross border data transfers, resulting in compliance issues for providers and customers.
Choosing the Right Cloud Service Provider
Following are the factors that you should be considering while looking for a cloud service provider –
1. Data Security
Ensure that the cloud provider you select adheres to the stringent security standards. Verify whether they comply with relevant standards such as the ISO 27000 serie, and hold valid certifications. Additionally, server location is another factor, and you have to ensure that your team has control over the jurisdictions where your data will be stored and managed.
Ensure that the platform and the technologies offered by the provider align with your current business environment and future needs. The standards, architectures, and services should efficiently cater to the workload as well as management preferences. Make sure that the service provides customizations so that you can modify your service package as per your workload.
2. Service Roadmap
Inquire the provider about the development of their services in the future. Does their roadmap alight with your long-term objective? Consider the company’s commitment to a particular technology. Moreover, evaluate the overall service portfolio that a provider can extend and choose a company that offers a wide range of compatible services.
When selecting a cloud provider, consider the architecture incorporated into your workflow. For instance, if an organization has invested in Microsoft university, it is only practical to go for Azure. Additionally, you should also consider the structure of the cloud storage when making the decision.
4. Service Levels
Businesses that are strict concerning accessibility, storage, support, and response time should consider the service levels. Cloud SLAs or Service Level Agreements are a vital factor in building a precise contractual relationship between the service provider and customer. Companies should be able to trust their cloud service provider to do the right things, and the legal agreement will back them up if things go south.
Each cloud provider supports different tools and integrates them with several other services. If you have some services that are extremely important to your company, ensure that the company you choose offers seamless integration with the same. Additionally, also consider the time it will take to manage different aspects of the infrastructure.
Whether it is small firms or big conglomerates, the adoption of cloud computing can bring a lot of benefits to the business. While there are certain risk factors, the potentials certainly surpass them. Moreover, when you choose a reliable cloud service provider, you get a centralized and seamless network. This business network enables you to gain better productivity, collaboration, and overall operational efficiency. Take some time to assess and compare different cloud service providers, consider the above factors, and then make a well-informed decision.