The cloud has certainly come a long way. Upwards of 80% of businesses use the cloud in some fashion, with even more coming in for mature markets such as the US.
By 2019, cloud applications are projected to make up 90% of mobile data traffic.
And Goldman Sachs predicts that the cloud infrastructure and platform market will grow 19.62% (Compounded Average Growth) from 2015 to 2018, up to $43B by 2018.
Cloud computing has enhanced and continues to enhance the way people do business. As a viable option for enterprises to leverage on its technology, CIOs should know these key pointers about the cloud.
Cloud Computing Provides Flexibility
Nowadays, it’s imperative for companies to quickly find the means to answer new business needs or market demands.
The cloud gives enterprises the added flexibility to meet these challenges: instead of purchasing, installing, upgrading, and powering your own hardware, software and networking devices, you simply rent them from the cloud.
You can scale your cloud usage up or down as needed, and pay as you go.
This proves to be an excellent avenue for companies with business cycles that experience high demand at one point and quiet periods in the next, or for companies that face an unprecedented amount of growth and need infrastructure as quickly as possible.
Over time, cloud services costs far less than running and maintaining an on-site data center.
And as opposed to traditional hosting services, you are not locked in for a year or more—the cloud’s variable cost structure lets you pay only for the resources that you want and use, providing an economic way to add or improve infrastructure.
Cloud Computing Increases Efficiency
The cloud can provide the additional storage space, virtual computers, and compute capacity you need in a matter of moments, not days or weeks.
This leads to quicker provisioning of resources for new members or for new projects.
It also means that your IT team will spend far less time on maintenance and upgrades on your hardware and software. In fact, a Rackspace survey shows that 60% of the participants found they saved time by adopting into the cloud.
Imagine what your IT team members can accomplish if they weren’t tied up with maintaining computers, troubleshooting equipment and software, or applying security patches.
Perhaps they could do more productive work or innovate creative solutions for the company’s current IT problems? The cloud can help with that too, as it is easier and less costly to provision the resources needed for experimentation.
Cloud Computing Solves Problems of Traditional Data Centers
The cloud lets you access the infrastructure you need without having to incur capital expense.
You only subscribe to cloud services, not own it. You don’t have to worry about providing space for your machines, rent, rising power costs, and overheating.
The cloud providers would deal with the problem, and with their hardware centralized it is cheaper and easier for them to do so.
You also no longer have to apply patches and upgrades to your machines, as the latest updates are immediately available to all cloud users.
Finally, you no longer have to worry about what to do with machines that have reached their end of life.
One edge traditional data centers are touted to have is that they are more secure than cloud servers. Yet surprisingly, 94% of those who took the survey also agree that the cloud provides additional security.
As it turns out, the best cloud providers spend a lot of money on making certain their data centers are protected 24/7 with high levels of physical security.
They also invest heavily on protecting their client’s data through encryption and firewalls.
Moreover, because software updates are centralized, they are applied unilaterally throughout the cloud.
Every user gets the same updates and enjoys the level of security, minimizing the chance that a critical patch gets missed.
Cloud Technology Continues to Improve
By now many are familiar with the cost-saving opportunities and flexibility provided by the cloud.
But what came as a surprise are the advances in cloud technology that allowed for the unprecedented processing of enormous workloads, as well as high compute capacity, storage space, and other kinds of services.
Nowadays, companies may store petabytes of data on the cloud and run queries and analytics on it for usable information.
For example, NASA’s Jet Propulsion Labs outsource massive computations to AWS EC2. On the other hand, Nasdaq uses Amazon Redshift to analyze and run surveillance on large volumes of data.
And as a final benefit, the cloud is entirely mobile device-friendly.
Traditional systems lock out access save for a limited number of outside devices, but the cloud lets you access your data over the Internet using mobile, laptop, or desktop devices.
This makes it especially useful in today’s new way of doing business, as demonstrated by Rob Alexander, CIO of CapitalOne:
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One caveat for CIOs is that adopting into the cloud means having to reorient your IT team.
A CIO needs to properly manage employees whose tasks may have been taken over by cloud computing and make sure they continue to do productive work.
CIOs also need to manage and handle relationships with a cloud services provider. It is very important to choose a provider with sterling security credentials and utmost reliability.
If you are looking into adopting the cloud, feel free to contact our AWS-certified consultants at PolarSeven today.