Organisations are flocking to cloud computing in greater numbers than ever before and many are expanding their use of it. This comes as no surprise, given the many advantages that cloud migration brings. In this post, we’ll look at how the cloud enables its users to outperform their competitors.
1. Cloud users save money
One of the primary reasons that organisations migrate to the cloud is to cut costs. By using the hardware and services of your cloud provider you’ll no longer need to spend enormous sums on purchasing your own hardware. And that’s just the start of your savings. As you won’t need a data centre any longer, you can eliminate the expenses of running one. The money spent on maintenance, management, space, security, air-conditioning, power, insurance, etc. can all be put to better purposes.
2. Instant scalability
Being competitive means being able to adapt at speed to market demands. One of the drawbacks for businesses running their own data centre is that scaling up can be a slow and expensive process. If you are getting increased traffic to your website and you need additional resources to cope, scaling up can involve purchasing a new server, setting it up and getting it online. This can take quite some time to do. When you use the cloud, your service provider’s vast data centres mean that you can have all the resources you need instantly.
Another issue faced by organisations scaling up in-house is that the additional resources they acquire aren’t fully utilised. For example, your company may get high traffic for certain periods but for the rest of the time, the new server sits idle. This doesn’t make it the wisest investment. Cloud services, however, are charged on a pay as you go basis. You only pay for what you use, so during quieter times, the costs are minimised.
3. Speedy application deployment
It’s not just scaling up that can be done quickly in the cloud, the deployment of the critical applications needed to give you the edge in a competitive market can also be done instantaneously. This can be particularly advantageous for smaller enterprises as it gives them the same speed of deployment as larger competitors who have superior in-house capacities.
Cloud-based apps require far less time for successful execution, most of them being available immediately on signup, giving you instant access to game-changing technologies such as AI and machine learning.
4. 100% uptime
Today’s organisations rely on critical applications to run their operations. The disruption caused by downtime is a major issue, as events such as server failures can cause operations to grind to a halt. Fixing the problem can be difficult and time-consuming and the resulting losses and reputational damage can be substantial.
In a cloud environment, server failure cannot cause downtime. As clients are hosted on virtual machines, when a physical server error occurs, the virtual machine is simply moved to another part of the server cluster. This hyper-converged infrastructure protects organisations against everything from hard disk issues to entire server failures, guaranteeing 100% uptime for critical applications.
5. Latest technologies, exceptional performance
Another problem with in-house data centres is that the technology organisations purchase or lease soon become less competitive than the newer, high-performance products that are regularly released onto the market. Continually updating is both expensive and disruptive and this often puts companies at a disadvantage.
For cloud service providers, investment in these new technologies is a necessity in order for them to remain competitive and meet the growing expectations of their clients. The advantage for cloud users is that they will see their applications running on the latest, high-performance servers without the need to invest in the technology themselves. These are servers where performance is consistently optimised, using powerful processors, blisteringly fast SSD drives and load balancing to maximise speed and capacity utilisation.
6. Increased security
Every organisation has concerns about security, so it’s good to know that cloud providers are obliged to comply with stringent security regulations to safeguard customer data. Your provider will protect you against hacking, malware and internal data theft. Using state of the art firewalls that feature intrusion prevention and in-flow virus protection, threats will be detected and isolated long before they reach your server. Other security features include data encryption, remote backups and VPN.
7. Organisational transformation from working online
As a cloud user, your employees can access your system from anywhere with an internet connection and this has helped many organisations to reap the benefits of remote working. It enables companies to employ highly skilled members, no matter where they live, and bring about more flexible working hours. It also means they can save on the amount of office space needed as staff can collaborate in real-time using online conferencing and through the sharing of synchronised files.
Furthermore, as employees can access the company’s system using connected devices such as smartphones and laptops, many companies have dispensed with these costs by introducing a ‘bring your own device (BYOD)’ policy that uses authentication to maintain security.
8. Do more with technology
Perhaps the biggest benefit of the cloud is that it is a technology that enables you to do more with other technologies. With Big Data analysis, machine learning and AI all rapidly deployable, just imagine what potential cloud brings: personalised marketing and communications, improved customer services, discovering new development opportunities and much more. Cloud is also the ideal place for companies wanting to take advantage of the Internet of Things, augmented reality and the other ground-breaking innovations that are helping to reshape the way the world works.
Cloud hosting enables even the smallest of companies to take advantage of the technologies that are transforming today’s marketplace and working environments. In doing so, it makes them far more competitive, while enabling them to spend less and do more. At the same time, these organisations can also benefit from the cloud’s high-performance and reliability, its scalability and flexibility and its highly secure environment.
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