For those that remain undecided about cloud IT, it is worth considering why over 85% of enterprises have already migrated at least some of their services to it. Beyond its money-saving opportunities, cloud migration is an investment in the transformational technologies that can drive a company forward and deliver a significant ROI.
A cost-cutting solution
One of the key advantages of a cloud solution is that it can save money. Migrating to the cloud means enterprises can downsize or even replace their in-house datacentres. Doing so dispenses with the capital expenditure needed to buy expensive hardware as well as all the associated overheads: building costs, power, human resources, on-site security and so forth. IT staff can be given time to work on more business-oriented projects and the money saved can be invested more strategically.
Even software can be less expensive in the cloud. Many of the applications developed for cloud use are open-source and free, these can be used as-is or built upon to produce bespoke applications. Your vendor can also provide propriety software as part of a SaaS solution and this usually works out far less expensive than purchasing the application licence yourself.
Financial benefits continue through cloud’s scalability. The inefficiencies of purchasing sufficient hardware to cope with peaks in demand, but where much of it is seldom used, is removed. The cloud model enables companies to scale up IT resources instantly whenever demand requires it and then scale back again, just as easily, during less busy times. The financial benefit is that unlike the expensive server left sitting idly in an in-house datacentre, you only pay for additional cloud resources when you use them. Add to this the ability to monitor and analyse cloud performance using cost management tools and the savings can be even greater.
Indeed, market research company, Vanson Bourne, found that enterprises which migrated to the cloud cut IT spending by 15% and operating and IT maintenance costs by 16%.
A return on investment
A huge attraction for many enterprises is the cloud’s capacity for data analytics. Data is the driving force behind today’s decision making and cloud is the high-performance, cost-effective platform of choice on which to carry out the workloads. Companies that take advantage of Big Data and tools like artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) gain insights that benefit all areas of the company.
Today, Big Data analytics, AI and ML help companies improve procurement, logistics, operations, marketing, communications, security and finance. It enables personalisation, product recommendations and omnichannel shopping, improves the efficiency of shipping, warehousing and processing, it forecasts trends and developments in the marketplace, speeds up the development of applications and so much more.
Data analytics and cloud are also key components in automation. They enable data to be gathered from various sources and analysed so that the right automated actions can be implemented when needed. This could be monitoring machinery health in a factory, controlling occupancy levels in hospitality or automating communications at the right time and via the right channel to customers. Whatever the use, cloud’s ability to provide autonomy enables companies to cut costs, reduce risk, prevent downtime and offer better customer experience.
The productivity gains are also more cost-efficient in the cloud, with scalability and less expensive automation software keeping costs to a minimum. As a result, pricing can remain competitive, margins healthy and the cost of customer acquisition and retention kept low.
A ‘work anywhere’ solution
As cloud-deployed applications and files are accessible over the internet, they offer companies the ability to work anywhere. Today’s remote working solutions, much used during the pandemic, offer enormous potential. With some employees being able to work from home, significant savings can be made from downsizing business premises. The costs of leasing, energy, security, insurance, cleaning and all the other overheads can be vastly reduced.
Beyond this, is the capability of recruiting further afield and improving the quality of the workforce who can, with the cloud, collaborate easily and effectively, no matter where they are in the world. Indeed, the list of jobs that can be carried out remotely increases almost day by day thanks to the ever-growing number of applications and IoT devices that businesses can make use of.
Secure and reliable
While the potential benefits of the cloud are the chief drivers in many companies’ decision to migrate, security is another factor which shouldn’t be overlooked. Cloud provides guaranteed uptime, robust security, improved compliance and, should it be needed, swift disaster recovery. There’s also the added security of knowing that solutions are managed for you and that expert technical support is on tap.
Investment in the cloud makes business sense. The average enterprise, according to Vanson Bourne, increases efficiency by 18% and sees its revenue grow by 20%. At the same time, there are significant savings which can be made, together with increased productivity and capacity. Overall, the cloud empowers businesses to be more innovative, agile and dynamic in today’s marketplace.
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