Is your company thinking about investing in cloud computing? Today, 70% of businesses are exploring this as an option for achieving company goals rather than just the needs of their IT department. But what does “The Cloud” mean? Basically, it is a set of technical services that are not on your business’s premises, where your data, applications, and other business tools can be accessed via the Internet.
Cloud computing is used for many business functions, including IT, HR, finance and accounting, sales, and business intelligence (BI). All business applications and storage capacity can be hosted in the cloud to allow for enhanced efficiency. Data centers are typically much safer as they have redundant power sources and back-up resources in the event of a natural disaster or fire. Many cloud environments also provide a higher level of security than the typical workplace, making data less vulnerable to security breaches.
Cloud computing can also help cut expenses. For many businesses, the costs of hosting and maintaining all the necessary components, (including hardware, operating systems, and applications), of their data are higher than moving it all to the cloud. This model contributes to cost reduction throughout all aspects of IT operations.
Using the cloud also enables for a more scalable organization; when companies maintain their own hardware and applications, adding or subtracting system resources and access on a large scale can be painful and costly, but cloud computing eliminates these issues. Mobility and remote access are greatly improved with the cloud model as all employees can access company data and applications from anywhere. Many businesses report that the cloud has improved collaboration and integration between development and operations, as well as increased efficiency and productivity throughout the organization.
While there are many benefits to moving your data to the cloud, there are also some drawbacks. First, moving your business to the cloud requires you to place trust in a third-party cloud provider as your data will be hosted on hardware and in a facility that you do not manage, giving you less control. Make sure to thoroughly research providers to ensure top security and environmental safety measures are being taken to prevent a loss or compromise of your data.
Cloud computing has the potential to offer improved and consistent operations, but the reality is that many cloud providers do experience downtime and inconsistency due to the nature of sharing an infrastructure with others. When researching cloud providers, be sure to ask about consistency and interference with other traffic in and out of the cloud.
Finally, some companies may not experience reduced costs when moving to the cloud. Moving large sets of data and integrating your current applications with the cloud can be very costly. Many applications are also not configured for cloud computing, requiring your business to have applications reconfigured or to purchase new ones, which can impose unforeseen costs on the front end of your move.
With all of the benefits to cloud computing, it is no surprise why many companies are exploring the option for their valuable data, but organizations must evaluate this option based on their business’s needs and capabilities. If your company is interested in learning more about cloud options, contact us for more information about how CPI Solutions can help your company reach its technology goals.