Digital transformation is essential for enterprises wanting to remain competitive in the modern marketplace and as digital leaders are aware, the adoption of cloud computing plays a central role in that transformation. The cloud not only opens the doors to a wide range of valuable opportunities; it also delivers value for money, enabling companies to operate more effectively and efficiently. Here are the key benefits of cloud adoption.
1. Speed and agility
In a world where things happen with increasing pace, an enterprise’s ability to react quickly and innovate at speed is key to its success. Traditional IT models that require the purchase, installation and set up of expensive hardware and applications don’t deliver the agility that today’s marketplace demands.
Cloud computing is not merely the answer to increased agility, it is probably the chief reason why your business needs it – in order to keep up with those competitors which have already migrated. The beauty of the cloud is that the latest automated cloud servers make it possible for all companies to instantly open an account with their provider and immediately create and deploy servers. Following this, they can install applications with a single click and scale up or down and create or destroy servers as their needs demand.
2. Enormous opportunities
Digital transformation requires the adoption of the latest technologies to drive enterprises forward. Cloud computing puts these technologies at your fingertips. With the cloud, you can benefit from Big Data, artificial intelligence, machine learning, the Internet of Things, virtual reality and all the other disruptive technologies that are reshaping the world we live in. With an ever-expanding library of cloud-native applications available for use and DevOps-friendly environments for creating your own applications, the cloud is the sensible option for progressive enterprises.
3. All the services you need
There are numerous different cloud services available to ensure all your computing needs are met. These include Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) which offers enterprises an instant computing infrastructure managed over the internet, saving you the need to buy your own hardware. It provides a range of separate service components, each paid for on a pay as you go basis, with your service provider managing the infrastructure while you purchase and manage your own software.
Another service is Platform as a Service (PaaS). Here, enterprises are provided with a cloud-based development and deployment environment including hardware, networking, storage and software, including DevOps tools, database systems, business intelligence services, etc. With PaaS, companies manage the software and the services they are developing, while your service provider usually looks after everything else.
The third major type of cloud service is Software as a Service (SaaS). Here, enterprises pay for the use of cloud-based applications, such as Microsoft Office 365, which are accessed over the internet using a browser. With SaaS, the service provider manages the hardware and applications, ensuring its availability and the security of your data.
4. A flexible solution
Enterprises need more flexible solutions when it comes to the IT resources that they have available to them as their needs will naturally fluctuate over time. While having redundant server space ready for use in times of need can provide this, doing so is not the most economical solution, especially considering the huge volumes of data that modern businesses need to store and process.
Cloud computing gives access to computing resources way beyond what can be accumulated on-site. What’s more, these scalable resources are paid for on a pay as you go basis; there’s no long-term contract nor is there the need for the capital expenditure and overheads needed for expansion in-house. Pay for it when you use it, scale back when you don’t and have the peace of mind that when they are required, additional resources can be deployed instantaneously.
5. The best disaster recovery solution
The ultimate disaster recovery solution is to avoid disaster in the first place and while cloud can’t protect against all possible causes, it certainly defends against things like server failure. As cloud servers are virtualised, it means they aren’t tied to the physical machine, so, if the physical server has an issue, the virtual instance can be immediately moved elsewhere, whether that’s to another machine in the same datacentre or to another datacentre completely. This is why cloud infrastructures can guarantee 100% uptime. Even in the event of a flood or fire taking a datacentre offline, the provider will have its own backups of your servers ready to kick in at another location.
For other causes of disaster, whether that’s in your cloud environment or your in-house datacentre, cloud backup solutions are the best and most cost-effective way to ensure swift disaster recovery. You can back up your entire system using cloud storage, backing up as frequently as need demands, protecting data with encryption and checking to ensure the backups are not corrupted. What’s more, the cloud’s scalability means you won’t run out of storage space.
6. Transform your working environment
As an internet-based solution, cloud computing enables your company to work smarter. It is easier to set up collaborative teams from anywhere in the world who can access your software and data online to hold meetings, share and edit documents and work together on innovative projects. The syncing of data means every individual will always have access to the latest versions of files and because that data is centralised, it means it remains secure and cannot be lost. Indeed, strict access control policies can easily be implemented to keep your system secure and to ensure compliance.
Another clear advantage is that cloud-based systems enable staff to work from wherever they have an internet connection, allowing you to offer both flexible working conditions and remote job opportunities. Not only does this help with recruitment and job satisfaction; it can also let you drastically reduce the size of the premises needed to run your business.
7. Levelling the playing field
Cloud computing removes many of the IT disadvantages that smaller enterprises have when compared to their larger competitors. Even big companies with the financial muscle to run their own datacentres are migrating to the cloud because it offers not just the technology and services they need but does so in the most cost-effective way. For smaller companies, this means cloud adoption puts you on a level playing field with the major players within your sector, giving you access to the same resources as they have.
Cloud computing is the driving force behind the digital transformation taking place in enterprises across the world today. It can revolutionise how you innovate and operate, giving you affordable access to the latest technologies and services that can make your company a formidable presence in the marketplace.