For many companies, cloud computing might seem like a daunting prospect, the sort of revolutionary technology that only global leaders need to invest in.
But in fact the opposite is true; the time, money and energy that can be saved through cloud computing is something that everyone should be taking advantage of.
Cloud computing is a virtual platform which allows companies to access their data: anytime, anywhere. Safely stored in the Cloud, company data is accessible for employees, enabling flexible working, enhancing efficiency and reducing costs. At the same time, data is highly secure, protected from any virtual or physical attacks. To make it a hat trick of benefits, Cloud computing connects colleagues globally ensuring uniformity.
Cloud computing has been seen to enhance efficiency and reduce costs. The technology can also help companies who continue to grow, by acting as a scalable platform to increase the amount of data storage, compute power and enabling instant access to data.
By improving the integration and standardisation of IT operations, Cloud computing can give companies the upper hand over their competitors. By connecting groups across the world, information can be shared instantly and as interaction between employees grows, Cloud computing can help develop a loyal unit.
The ability to communicate with customers is crucial to any business. Cloud computing will protect company data by keeping it secure but accessible during practical disasters such as a fire in an office building. In the bigger picture, Cloud computing can transform a company into a highly responsive, highly connected corporation.
The benefits are clear, but just what can Cloud computing do for you? Below are some of the answers to that frequently asked question I get when companies consider making the transition from traditional to Cloud:
Businesses can save on capital expenditure, by moving their IT costs to an operational cost. This means that you do not have to invest capital in new server equipment. Server hardware costs are also eliminated – taking out the purchase, security, power, cooling, maintenance and hardware refresh costs.
Cloud-based software can help lower costs, in some cases by a significant amount. The technology is easy to access and use and can offer long term savings through efficiencies, elasticity and economics. According to the International Data Corporation, almost every SME that uses Cloud services saves money, with most lowering costs between 10% and 20%.
Easy to use and manage
Companies can confidently move their business systems and applications to the Cloud. Cloud providers will manage underpinning technologies, securities, infrastructure and operations. The cloud takes away the responsibility of maintaining server equipment, as that responsibility now lies with the Cloud provider.
In order to minimise the threat of data loss, look for a provider with two cloud platforms, one as an active platform and one as a failover site. The recovery site is an exact replica of the primary site in every manner, so if for any reason the entire primary site fails, all data is replicated on the failover site.
All data is replicated in real-time to a standby site. Entire servers are also backed up on a daily basis to IFB’s Backup and Recovery service offering 365 days of data retention. This ensures no data can be lost or misplaced.
Reduce environmental footprint
As research has found, companies can use up to 90% less energy when moving to cloud. If you are becoming increasingly conscious of your environmental footprint, you need to consider making the move too.
Since the early 90’s power costs in the UK have risen by an estimated 150% and another 40-50% is expected in the next 5 years (Gartner). Therefore the cost of managing, cooling and powering data stored in-house has been increasing and is set to increase over the next 5 years.
Studies have shown that companies can reduce their emissions by 50% by moving to the cloud. If data is stored on the cloud and not on-site – it reduces office building power capacity and usage. Cloud is a shared platform, which uses less power than a traditional rack space.
More space- with room to grow
Over 90% of the world’s data has been created in the past 2 years and there will be a 900% increase in data generation over the next 5 years (Gartner). Therefore, the cloud allows for a flexible platform, where additional capacity can be added more easily and quickly in comparison to traditional server racks.
The Cloud allows you to scale up without having to invest in new hardware. This can be done in a matter of minutes on the cloud, in comparison to purchasing new hardware, which has lead times of up to four weeks. As an example, a customer upgraded from Window’s 2003 – to Window’s 2008 when moving from a traditional hosted rack to the Cloud. Such upgrades are maintained by the provider on an on-going basis without the upgrade cost.