The power of the cloud has been a topic on everyone’s tongue for some time now. As a rapidly emerging technology, it shows no signs of letting up, which suggests that it will be around for a long time. It is a flexible technology. Businesses can mix and match their cloud exposure. They can keep some business-critical data in-house while outsourcing some non-critical processes to public and private clouds. It’s a sure strategy, according to Brent Whitfield, CEO of DCG, an IT support Los Angeles company, “Create multiple backup options, be it in the cloud or with multiple carriers”.
Cloud computing explained
Cloud computing refers to a network of worldwide servers and data storage farms that work together to create a ‘cloud’ of storage. Anyone can use this global cloud to store their important data off-site. You only ever need internet access to be able to retrieve your data when you need it. Most modern businesses favor a cloud-based data storage solution because of its many advantages.
The Biggest Advantages of Cloud Computing
There is an increasing number of good reasons to use the cloud. As the technology improves, many marginal gains are being realized. We will discuss those up ahead, but from the founding days of this technology, it was welcomed for the three main bases it covered—scalability, flexibility, and security.
You can scale
Cloud-based solutions invariably refer to an external resource managed by a third party. Many of the worries about uptime and system robustness are not the worries of the cloud computing customer.
Using cloud services, the customer only needs to be worried about their own growth. They can rely on a responsive cloud services partner to grow and scale at the click of a button. This scaling can go both ways—up or down.
It is flexible
Multinationals with offices all over the world love cloud computing. Businesses that operate out of many different geographical locations are no challenge for the cloud. You can access your front end and back end systems from anywhere in the world at any time of day or night.
Another boost if those important system updates do not need to be carried out by a select few at one site. In today’s fast-moving world, this is a major advantage.
It is secure
In its early days, cloud computing was not always trusted for its security. Businesses were afraid of putting their important company information in the hands of a third party. What’s more, the technology sounded like it could be breached—a collection of data centers around the world was thought to be less secure than keeping your own information on site.
Cloud computing can be the right security solution for an agile start-up just as easily as it can be a solution for traditional large enterprises. According to Paul Maritz, CEO of VMWare, “Cloud is about how you do computing, not where you do computing”.
Cloud computing is on the march
Industry reports say that spending in cloud computing is beating regular IT expenditure seven times over.
New reports indicate that the global cloud computing market size is on track to grow from USD 272 billion to USD 623 billion in the five-year period between 2018 and 2023. This high-powered growth is a compound annual growth rate of some 18%. This is a technology that is going places.
About 94% of all businesses use the cloud in some form. Reports show that 69% of firms have opted for a blended approach. This means that they cherry-pick services from the best of public and private cloud services.
Some emerging trends
Besides the evergreen wins of scalability, flexibility, and security, recent emerging trends show cloud computing continues to be useful.
Digital transformation ticked off
Consumers expect digital experience with businesses. Organizations access new markets at home and abroad by digitally transforming. Any ambitious organization that needs to meet the security requirements and project deadlines of big digital transformation plans, will have to engage with cloud computing services.
Hosted email solution
SMBs don’t want to host their own email servers. With cloud-based solutions, they don’t have to. For most businesses, the migration to hosted email has allowed their IT departments breathing room to tackle other important projects.
Business disruption reduced
Cloud services are a big boost to business continuity. In tough times, you can access your data and applications from anywhere. With remote working, staff can also easily work from home on personal networks.
But you don’t want to be a victim of a malicious attack that causes downtime. Make sure your staff are trained on safe remote working practices. Brent Whitfield, CEO of DCG, an IT services Los Angeles asserts, “The heightened threat level requires best-practice reinforcement, or else employees will forget”.
Through competition between different firms, cloud service pricing has become more competitive for all kinds of organizations. When technology is riding the crest of the high adoption and high usage wave, economies of scale development, and this benefits the end-user.
It enables new service types
The Software as a Service segment is a rapidly-growing area which is powered by cloud services. Due to the many daily applications and tools driven by this service, the SaaS industry has been in the limelight. Remote service desks, out of the box accounting packages, customer relationship management tools, and enterprise resource planning tools all rely on the SaaS model.
Downtime is a problem no business wants to have. The global economic machine never sleeps, and any second you cannot operate represents lost sales opportunities. Cloud services can severely reduce downtime, as their highly-networked architecture means there is support for some part of the network at any given time.
Simple storage for lots of data
As we move into the age of the Internet of Things, the amount of data we handle will increase. Artificial intelligence and Machine Learning require astronomical computing power and the data storage requirement is high. Cheap, durable, always-on data storage will be the new currency.
Contracts are easy to handle
Taking on a cloud service has become a simple process. There are many different types of offerings, from free trials to contract-less offers for short periods of time. Subscriptions are designed to be as simple as making a credit card payment via a website. Gone are the days of salesmen waving detailed and lengthy contracts in your face.
Cloud-based services provide strategic flexibility and scalability to any kind of organization. Future growth prospects of this technology are strong. The number of reasons to use this emerging technology is ever-increasing. Now is the time for your firm to enter the race for adoption.
Author’s Bio: Brent Whitfield is the CEO of DCG Technical Solutions Inc. DCG provides the specialist advice and IT Services Los Angeles area businesses need to remain competitive and productive while being sensitive to limited IT budgets.
Brent has been featured in Fast Company, CNBC, Network Computing, Reuters, and Yahoo Business. He also leads SMBTN – Los Angeles, an MSP peer group that focuses on continuing education for MSP’s and IT professionals. DCG was recognized among the Top 10 Fastest Growing MSPs in North America by MSP mentor.