According to a recent Intel Security report, 93 percent of a sample of 1,400 IT security professionals claim that they use some type of (hybrid) Public / Private cloud service for their business operations. The cloud is rapidly becoming a popular resource for businesses from all backgrounds, and for good reason.
If your organization hasn’t yet tapped into the power of the cloud, here are some detailed benefits of (hybrid) cloud computing technology that are worth considering.
1. Importance of data and where it is stored (GDPR)
Your business should have a clear concept of the value (and sensitive nature) of the data that is critical for operations. The inherent need to undertake efforts to assess risks and costs involved with current data storage practices is real (GDPR). Especially in an international business organization, deciding where to house data is a complex question that is largely determined by how that data will be utilized.
Many CIOs prefer to keep their companies’ data relatively nearby, and some of them will only work with companies that house data domestically. That is often difficult for large companies with offices in multiple locations, so it’s important to look at what you’re using your data for to decide where it should (legally) be stored.
Businesses have access to more data than ever, but storing it can be tricky. While some businesses choose to only store their data on local servers, using a hybrid approach (using both bare metal servers as well as cloud services) can provide a more flexible option for storing data.
When you’re not sure where to host data, a cloud platform is a great way to minimize uncertainty. A hybrid cloud portfolio can support locally hosted options in either the UK or elsewhere in the EU, and cost-effective cloud options will help mitigate the risks associated with long-term investments or expensive migrations.
Global adoption of cloud is likely to increase. In particular, companies can expect the demand for cloud computing to continue to rise in a post-Brexit Europe. In the UK, Brexit will likely give a push for more locally stored privacy data.
Cloud technology has advanced greatly and now it is actually more secure and reliable than traditional on premise solutions. In fact, 64 percent of enterprises report that the cloud is more secure than their previous legacy systems, and 90 percent of businesses in the USA are currently utilizing a (hybrid) cloud infrastructure.
Many business owners who are accustomed to using local servers hesitate to transition to the cloud for fear of security risks. They worry that having their information “out there” on the cloud will make it more susceptible to hackers.
As scary as these fears are, however, they are unlikely to happen. In fact, your data is just as secure in the cloud as it is in bare metal servers. Because cloud hosting has become so popular, it has quickly progressed to the advanced stages of security. In other words, because so many businesses are using cloud hosting in some form, it has been forced to maintain high levels of security to meet all the demand.
4. Vulnerability to disasters
If you’re only storing your data on local servers, you may be more susceptible to having your data affected by a natural disaster. Certain precautions may help alleviate this risk — such as backing up data, for example — but utilizing the cloud can provide even greater protection.
While the cloud is not without its risks — after all, the cloud is essentially a few servers united together on a software level — it does create another layer of protection in the event of a disaster.
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5. Benefit for disaster recovery
Hosting systems and storing documents on the cloud provides a smart safeguard in case of an emergency. Man-made and natural disasters can damage equipment, shut off power and incapacitate critical IT functions. Supporting disaster recovery efforts is one of the important advantages of cloud computing for companies.
These improvements in security can also come with an attractive reduction in cost.
6. Increased long-term costs
Not moving to the cloud could cost your company money in the long run. While you do need to pay for equipment with the cloud, costs are often more flexible because you can pay as you go depending on how much storage space you need, ‘On Demand’. Using this hybrid approach of combining cloud services and local dedicated servers, you can ensure you’re not paying for more storage than you need.
7. Boosts cost efficiency
Cloud computing reduces or eliminates the need for businesses to purchase equipment and build out and operate data centers. This presents a significant savings on hardware, facilities, utilities and other expenses required from traditional computing. Also, reducing the need for on-site servers, software and staff can trim the IT budget further.
8. Provides flexible pay options
Most cloud computing programs and applications, ranging from ERP and CRM to creativity and productivity suites use a subscription-based model. This allows businesses to scale up or down according to their needs and budget. It also eliminates the need for major upfront capital expenditures (OPEX vs CAPEX).
For businesses wanting to take advantage of new services such as analytics, AI, and the possibility for secure collaboration outside the business premises, an opportunity lies in adopting a cloud architecture. To CIOs, moving to the cloud is a chance to overcome previous internal limitations and improve their value proposition.
Because so much about Brexit remains up in the air, businesses will need to be prepared to adapt rapidly to whatever policies and regulations result from the move. Instead of undertaking a costly move to a more advantageous location, cloud adoption can provide the ideal solution to data storage and accessibility issues and is one of the most effective ways for IT leaders to prepare their companies.
10. Lack of flexibility
Businesses have historically been tethered to wherever their equipment is located, because that’s where they need to access all their information. This becomes a problem, though, when employees need to work outside the office because it may limit or eliminate their ability to work from home, meet with clients out in the field, or network away from their workspace.
With the cloud, however, users can bring their data with them wherever they go. The cloud not only makes businesses more flexible, but it allows them to use their personal devices to access this information if need be.
11. Promotes collaboration
It’s hard to collaborate when your partners are all over the map. If your employees are outside the office or your clients are not physically accessible, it can be difficult to work on the same task when everyone is limited to their own local workspace.
With the cloud, however, your business can use file-sharing applications to collaborate effectively, even if everyone is geographically separated. Clients, vendors, and employees can all work together in real time, making enhanced communication one of the best ways to combat the risks of not moving to the cloud.
12. Increases mobility
One of the advantages of cloud computing for businesses is how easily team members can work from anywhere. This is particularly valuable in an era when employees desire flexibility in their schedules and work environment. Businesses that operate on the cloud can provide staff with options to work on the go or at home, from their desktops, laptops, smart phones and tablets.
13. Reduced agility
The ability to scale up or down can be critical for a business to stay agile and competitive. While local servers may fit your needs now, what if you need to scale up as demand increases? By adding cloud services, you can add storage as you need it and pay as you go. This type of hybrid approach can adapt to your business’s needs quickly, making it easier to meet demand as your company grows.
14. Frequent disturbances
Disasters aren’t the only things putting your data at risk. Power outages, hardware problems, or general network issues can prevent you from getting your work done. Even disruptions like installing an update can cause downtime, which costs your business money. While these issues can affect the cloud as well as bare metal servers, a hybrid approach can help minimize these risks by backing up your data in multiple locations.
15. Limited technical support
Outside the cloud, your organization is limited to whoever is working inside your office. In the case of an emergency, you either have to hope your local professionals can get the job done or hire a third-party company to help, which could be costly.
This risk is reduced in the cloud because you’ll have the built-in support of experienced professionals, and you won’t have to rely on anyone with minimal experience.
Moving to the cloud may seem complicated at first, but the transition can help mitigate a series of long-term problems. The use of public and hybrid cloud services is becoming the new norm. In fact, the cloud services industry is expected to become a $411 billion industry by 2020 — up from $260 billion in 2017 — according to research from Gartner. By joining the crowd, your business can avoid some of its most pressing technological problems.