Cloud computing is changing the way businesses operate. In the past, start-ups needed to budget for extensive hardware and software packages–and an IT department to keep it all running smoothly. Technology is creating a whole new landscape. Cloud technology is redefining the modern day business infrastructure.
Why Make the Switch?
Maximization is the ultimate goal of any IT department. A business wants return on their investment without the excessive startup fees that used to stand in the way. Cloud services offer flexibility and convenience with few constraints. A business just opening the doors can be up and running quicker using a cloud platform as opposed to buying, installing, and configuring complex and expensive hardware.
The cloud world is one of supply and demand. That scalability is attractive to businesses of all sizes. Companies used to have to buy bigger in hopes of expanding. Now they pay only for what they use and grow as needed.
The changeover to a cloud environment is creating a new type of IT expert. The days of learning how to structure extensive hardware platforms are over. The professionals getting jobs are the ones who understand how to effectively embrace the role of cloud computing. Systems administrators are being replaced with those able to integrate this new technology with normal business operations.
At one time, companies looking to dazzle with graphic presentations had to purchase applications to run them. This was both time-consuming and costly. Today, cloud technology is allowing for more flexibility. One company, for example, can use an HTML5 browser for all its graphic programs, making them accessible from any location.
One of the areas most affected by the shift to cloud storage is disaster management and recovery. Companies no longer have to arrange for offsite physical locations to store critical data. With cloud storage, businesses get their networks up and running with little to no down time if there is an emergency.
What about Security?
This is a common concern for companies considering cloud services. The choice of a public or private cloud network, for example, helps secure critical information. Vendors are investing time and money to secure servers and data centers. Security is an issue whether working in the cloud or not. The difference is that a cloud service provider is able to spend thousand of dollars, making improvements that help their customers stay safe. That is more money than most companies can afford to invest on their own. They have better options available to them by utilizing the cloud.
What Cloud Technology Offers Small Businesses
Small businesses are finding the tools they need to stay competitive with larger corporations through cloud services. The cloud offers innovation not seen in software packages, especially when it comes to niche markets. For a small company, the cloud provides the following:
- User participation in planning
- Manageable and scalable services fees that move from the bottom up
- Growth potential
- Big data analytics
Numbers Don’t Lie
The growth of the cloud industry is clearly evident by these numbers:
- In one year, IaaS (infrastructure as a service) expanded by 45 percent.
- PaaS (platform as a service) saw $1 billion of revenue last year.
- Sixty-three percent of businesses rely on SaaS (software as a service).
- SaaS alone is expected to expand to a more than $30 billion industry by 2016.
Creating a Hybrid Infrastructure
There is no rule that says it has to be cloud or nothing. Email, security, storage, and data analysis are perfect for the cloud. Business can keep other operational elements in-house to make them more accessible, creating a hybrid system that saves money and enhances performance.