Should you reach for the Cloud?
For many organisations, of all sizes, it can be difficult to decide whether to migrate to the cloud and even more difficult to decide exactly what you should move to the cloud. All organisations store huge amounts of data about clients, suppliers, employees and finances which are crucial to the overall success of the organisation. Numerous security and compliance issues are involved in the transfer of IT services and prioritising it can be a challenge for any organisation. However, there is help at hand! Any reputable IT support and cloud solution provider is able to assist organisations in making the decision on whether or what they should transfer over to the cloud. Although the transfer of IT services can be a daunting prospect for non-IT professionals, it can bring multiple benefits for every organisation. In recent months, the cloud has become a part of business technology which is almost impossible to avoid. Over the coming years, the adoption of cloud solutions is set to increase. Private cloud solutions are the most common within business environments and can typically be divided into five categories; Software as a service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a service (Iaas), Platform as a Service (Paas), Recovery as a service (Raas) and IT as a service (ITaas). For more information regarding the typical divisions of private cloud solutions you can read our previous article “The Cloud, Public vs Private”. Further benefits of cloud solutions include:
Cloud solutions allow for flexibility and scalability, as when an organisation requires systems expansion, the vast capacity of the cloud solutions remote servers can instantly meet this demand. This is of great benefit to organisations, with cloud based solutions having the ability to quickly meet their demands.
With the cloud-enabled organisation no longer reliant on in house core IT systems, DR plans are often simplified in that provision does not need to be made for replacement of these systems in the event of fire, theft or other such disaster. Cloud based solutions often deliver guaranteed service level agreements, offering assurances of system availability and uptime. The cloud provider takes the responsibility of system stability away from the organisation, leaving the cloud-enabled organisation with piece of mind and a more simplified DR model.
Many products and services are available which are designed to enhance user productivity, communication and collaboration. Microsoft SharePoint Lync and many CRM systems are examples of software which are particularly suited to cloud deployments. Such software would traditionally require large upfront costs with the requirement to run and manage complex server hardware within the organisation. The cloud offers organisations the facility to take advantage of such software without the need for this investment, and with the flexibility and scalability of monthly ‘pay as you go’ price plans.
The systems involved in securing business software and information from unauthorised access are often extremely complex and expensive. Enterprise grade firewalls and associated security systems can be both very costly, and require a highly specific skillset to manage and maintain. The cloud-enabled organisation, however, relies on the cloud provider for the provision of these systems, alleviation the requirement for upfront investment and the technical skillset on payroll to manage it. The organisation’s cloud provider will also work with them to define internal security rules, such as user access to specific resources and access control within cloud hosted software.
In a world that is increasingly concerned by the environment, using cloud solutions rather than onsite hardware can allow the carbon footprint of an organisation to be dramatically reduced as the organisation only uses the IT infrastructure that it requires and therefore less energy.