7 Things Every Business Should Know About Cloud
These days it seems like everybody’s buzzing about the cloud. This is no surprise, considering how quickly cloud computing has grown in just the past few years. Businesses of all types and sizes are realizing the benefits of the cloud and are adopting their own cloud solutions.
Some organizations, however, have been slower to jump on the cloud bandwagon, preferring to investigate thoroughly before embracing such a rapidly evolving technology. Perhaps you share this view, or perhaps you’re still asking questions like, “What is cloud computing and how does it work?” While no single article can fully cover all that the cloud has to offer, here are seven things every business should know about cloud computing.
1. The cloud can lower costs
One of the main reasons businesses adopt the cloud is to lower operating costs. The statistics back this up: more than 80 percent of companies that transition to the cloud say they were able to save money. With much of the management taken care of by cloud providers, companies don’t need to worry as much about their infrastructure. With a third party running the servers, that also saves on energy costs.
2. A wide variety of cloud services are available
The cloud isn’t just one giant service that covers all tasks. A large number of services are available, and depending on what you need to do, there will be one that’s the right fit for your business. Some of these services include Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), and Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), but that’s just scratching the surface. There are also numerous products and services within these categories, so the options are plentiful regardless of what type of business you run.
3. Security remains a top issue
One reason many organizations have been reluctant to adopt the cloud is concern about security. Many business feel that placing potentially sensitive data in the hands of a cloud provider is a risky move. While these concerns shouldn’t be dismissed, it’s important to note that security has greatly improved over the past few years. Cloud vendors now know that if they want to stay in business, protecting their customers’ data must be a top priority. As always, you should investigate a potential provider’s security policies carefully before making a decision.
4. The cloud doesn’t need to be either-or
Many businesses mistakenly believe that you’re either on the cloud or you’re not. This either-or scenario doesn’t necessarily reflect reality. Businesses can adopt certain cloud services while still keeping local infrastructure intact with on-site servers. In other words, you can use a hybrid cloud and in turn get many of the benefits from both options. Hybrid clouds are also a great option to use while making the transition into a pure cloud.
5. The cloud goes down from time to time
Since the cloud basically works through the Internet, if the Internet goes down, you might lose access to your data, applications, and services. You can prepare for this possibility by always having an emergency backup at the ready. This will allow business operations to continue normally and avoid damaging service interruptions.
6. Some vendors try to lock companies into a contract
Some cloud providers — especially smaller ones — will try to impose a contractual lock-in, making it more difficult for you to switch vendors. This might be done through expensive early termination fees or by claiming ownership of your data until the contract is up. Either way, it can be a messy process to switch. Avoid contractual lock-in by always closely examining any contract before you sign.
7. The cloud can increase productivity
Along with lower costs, one of the main benefits of cloud computing is increased business productivity. Employees have more capabilities and can access business applications from nearly anywhere with nearly any device, getting more done in less time. Of course, this benefit depends on a properly implemented cloud.
The cloud has much to offer any organization. All it takes is a little understanding to take full advantage of its many benefits. These tips can also help you avoid some of the more common pitfalls associated with cloud computing. With this in mind, you’ll be ready to embrace the cloud and see for yourself why so many businesses rave about it.