There are many ways to classify businesses both large and small. Some based on geographic footprint, location, age, industry, size, products, services etc. However, another way to classify businesses in 2014 which has already gained substantial attention is those that have moved to the cloud and those that have not .
Before embarking on a discussion about the five real reasons why your organization should indeed migrate to the cloud this year, here are some of the popular reasons you should have already considered:
There are other reasons which are equally strong and perhaps more convincing. Use them as talking points during your next board or management meeting and earn the credit for triggering the migration process:
- Scalability in an instance
- Flexibility to switch vendors and platforms with minimal notice without cost overuns
- Resilience and an overwhelming degree of reliability
- Resource conservation owing to workforce redundancy
- Increased operational efficiency
- Absence of wasted capacity, routine server maintenance or daily backup issues
- Data security and protection from denial of service attacks and spam
- Statutory compliance when housing and processing medical or government data
- Guaranteed uptime and SLA
- Access to the latest licensed software and infrastructure without having to pay for it entirely
- Overall Cost savings
1. The importance of planning for the future
Planning today will avoid over-deployment tomorrow. You will rarely have to plan for computing resources and risk over-deployment and additional costs once your organization is in the cloud. Cloud hosting lets you scale up or scale down according to demand and pay for only those resources you consume. For instance, if you happen to operate an ecommerce company, you will definitely need to scale up for major shopping days during the festival season such as Black Friday, Cyber Monday and the entire Christmas season. Regardless of whether you choose a SaaS or IaaS service provider or a cloud computing company that combines both, you will never risk over-budgeting your resources to play it safe.
2. Improved cross-team collaboration
Because of the ‘anytime anywhere” critical coverage the cloud provides, even members of small company teams such as application developers, sales reps and others can collaborate with one another from remote locations without compromising data security and privacy. Small and medium sized businesses no longer have to invest in expensive VPNs or Intranets and maintain them.
3. Flawless Disaster Recovery
It is common practice not to dwell too much on a discussion of potential disasters regardless of whether it is related to our personal lives or to our professional endeavors. Nevertheless, disasters do strike and at times when we least expect them. When it comes to our data resources, our websites and our operations, the key issue is not what caused the disaster and the resulting down time but how soon our servers will be back up again. With cloud hosting, such possibilities are negligible because expert teams are set up by cloud service providers and are on watch 24X7 waiting for a data disaster to occur so that they can fix it instantly. Disaster recovery as a service or DRaaS is an integral component of the cloud hosting service model and will always be factored into your SLA by your cloud service provider.
4. Focus on Core IT and Innovation
Now that your IT teams no longer have to address primary server and maintenance issues, you can now deploy them in new spheres that are directly related to your core business. Examples could include upgrading to a more robust and feature rich email management system, help desk software, RFID inventory management, and new payroll and accounting processes.
5. 2 Tier Operation
If you migrate to the cloud, one of the recommendations your cloud computing company will present is to suggest that you replicate your on-the-ground infrastructure in the cloud as a real time backup in addition to using cloud resources exclusively. This is excellent advice to follow because in the unlikely event of your office premises being flooded, contaminated or even destroyed, your entire workforce can function either from home or a hotel suite without knowing the difference. If the disruption is caused due to a natural catastrophe such as a hurricane, your clients will appreciate your ability to function with zero down time. Your enterprise will undoubtedly gain an edge over your competition. This is a significant vote for the cloud which is often implied but rarely discussed at length.
A study conducted by Forrester Research of 600 respondents belonging to the information technology sector from twelve large enterprises that had migrated from on premise desktop applications to the cloud experienced a risk adjusted ROI of 307% with a break-even attained in just 7 months. The migration provided an average savings of approximately $21 per user per month.
While resource conservation does play a role in the decision-making process, there are other grounds on which to initiate a healthy internal debate. Has your organization decided to peak into the cloud yet? Have you found other reasons to migrate to the cloud that add more punch to the argument? We would love to hear from you through your comments.