Are you looking to embrace cloud technology? You’re not alone! Cloud adoption and spending have reached new heights amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The resulting work-from-anywhere culture has also contributed to cloud technology’s proliferation. According to MarketsandMarkets, a leading global research company, the global cloud computing market is expected to grow from $445.3 billion in 2021 to $947.3 billion in 2026. That’s an average growth rate of about 16.3 percent per year!
What’s driving this surge in cloud computing? Why are more organizations looking to adopt cloud technology? Will this trend continue? Read on as I answer these questions.
What Is Cloud Technology?
In simple words, cloud technology provides access to any resource through the internet. For example, an organization can get data, applications, servers, and other computing resources when it needs them. In return for this on-demand delivery, a company pays a certain fee.
It doesn’t take much to understand why cloud technology is so impactful. Starting from cost savings to easy upgrades, cloud technology provides plenty of benefits for your business. Here’s a look at 8 of the most important ones benefits.
8 Benefits to Your Business
Cloud technology addresses the shortcomings of traditional IT infrastructure. It also gives you virtually unlimited processing and storage power. Undoubtedly, cloud technology permeates all aspects of business operations, like infrastructure, application deployment, storage, development, and more. Let’s explore the different benefits of cloud technology, so we can see why businesses are choosing it over traditional IT.
1. Reduced Costs
Buying and maintaining storage and computing devices can be expensive and cumbersome, to say the least. You have to invest in large devices to store and process data. If your business is growing, you also have to buy even larger devices to adapt. You’ll also have to scale the area housing these devices to fit additional devices. Furthermore, you have to spend on security measures, device maintenance, and more.
Cloud technology eliminates all these hassles. Cloud storage providers have the necessary infrastructure to store your data. These providers also handle the security and maintenance for you! This means you can focus more on your core business instead of buying and maintaining storage devices. Simply use the space you want and pay only for what you use.
The cloud also saves you the money needed for computing power! Just buy the servers and the processing power you need for your operations. No more expensive investments and maintenance!.
2. Streamlined Access
A closely associated benefit of data handling is access. In a traditional IT setup, you store and process data in your data center or an in-house storage area. When your employees want to access this data, most likely they’d have to connect through your company’s network. Otherwise, you have to implement an elaborate security and authentication mechanism to allow access to authorized people only. All these are a big hassle. They can also add to your operational cost and complexity.
Cloud technology, on the other hand, eliminates these problems. The service provider has the necessary security and authentication mechanism to allow only authorized users to access data. More importantly, your employees can access data from any part of the world. They simply need a device with an internet connection. This accessibility is also a game-changer in today’s work-from-anywhere model. It facilitates collaboration and gives your employees more freedom.
3. Automated Backup
Another closely related aspect is backup. When you store data in-house, you need an elaborate disaster recovery plan. How can you protect your data center or storage room from natural disasters like floods and earthquakes? What about man-made disasters like fire, war, etc?
When you adopt cloud technology, none of these are your problems. The cloud service provider is responsible for backing up your data and protecting it. Some Service Level Agreements (SLAs) are also in place. As per these SLAs, the provider pays a penalty if data access speeds go below a certain established limit, often 99.99%. All these mean you get to focus on your core business without worrying about storing and safeguarding your data. More importantly, your business will go on, regardless of any disasters.
4. Increased Flexibility
In traditional IT, you have to pay a lot for hardware upgrades and installation when your business is growing. You also have to wait to benefit from them while you implement the upgrades. If your business slows, though, you’re stuck with these investments: you can’t downsize them. Traditional IT is also very rigid and restricting to employees because it only allows them to work on-premises.
In a cloud environment, alternatively, you have a lot of flexibility. You have immediate access to computing power during your high growth times. The advantage is, you can also scale back during your downtimes! This way, cloud computing is flexible and scales well with your business. The cloud also supports your employee’s remote work model as it allows them to access files and resources without any device/location limitations.
5. Advanced Analytics and Insights
Data is power. When large amounts of data are analyzed, you can get detailed insights about your customers, business trends, performance, and more. All these can also help you make strategic decisions that positively impact your company.
In a traditional IT infrastructure, you’ll have to invest heavily to set up the devices needed to process large amounts of data. You may also have to leverage advanced AI tools, which can require money and expertise. If you don’t have these requirements, you may miss out on insightful analytics.
Cloud technology simplifies this, so you don’t lose these insights. The cloud allows you to get the analytics without spending heavily on setup. Most cloud service providers also use automation and advanced AI and ML tools to provide in-depth insights from your data. That way you can make business decisions when they matter, not when it’s too late.
6. Enhanced Automation and Integration
Oftentimes, you’ll want to combine multiple tools in the same workflow for automation. When you have to do it with your in-house IT infrastructure, it’s a challenge. That’s because different tools or platforms may require different computing powers, operating systems, and functional specifications.This can also be hard for you to set up and allocate the necessary resources.
Conversely, cloud technology makes the entire process seamless. You can simply pick the tools you want and bring them together to automate your processes. The cloud provider handles the underlying computing and infrastructure requirements. In this case, you can focus more on improving your automation, not setting it up.
7. Improved Security
Traditional setups make you responsible for your data and applications. In turn, this entails huge expenses to physically secure your premises, implement firewalls and Intrusion Detection Systems, have a dedicated team for monitoring, and more. You’re the security-keeper for all your resources, which can also take a huge toll on you.
In the cloud, though, service providers implement all these security measures. They also leverage the latest technologies to protect your data. Most importantly, they’re also under a legal obligation to do it.
You’ll rest assured your security is top notch and can hold someone accountable if any information slips.
8. Upgraded Scalability
Your business will have its highs and lows, and your infrastructure must reflect it. Unfortunately, it’s hard to scale down systems in your in-house setup. You’re stuck operating at full capacity even when you don’t need it. Likewise, scaling up entails heavy capital spending.
Conversely, the cloud allows you to scale up and down within a few minutes. It also doesn’t require any additional setup or capital expenses on your end.
Do these benefits sound good? Check out the below table for a quick comparison between cloud technology and traditional IT.
|Features||Cloud technology||In-house/traditional IT setup|
|Costs||Pay only for what you use||Heavy setup and maintenance costs|
|Access||Access from anywhere. Easy to set up authorization||Could require users to log into the company’s network. May not be seamless.|
|Backup||Handled by third-party providers that offer high SLAs||Requires enormous time and effort. A disaster recovery plan is also mandatory.|
|Flexibility||High||Low to moderate|
|Analytics||Quick and detailed||The speed and processing power depend on your infrastructure|
|Security||Handled by a third party who is also legally liable to protect your data||Complete responsibility is on you.|
|Automation and Integration||Simple||Complex|
|Scalability||Yes||Maybe, if you’re willing to invest more.|
So far, we’ve seen the benefits that come with cloud technology, but what are its downsides? Let’s find out, so you can make an informed decision.
3 Downsides of Cloud Technology
Like any technology, the cloud also has its downsides. Knowing these pitfalls will help you evaluate the best fit for your organization.
1. Internet Is a Must
The cloud’s biggest pitfall is probably its need for the internet. If your connection is patchy, you’ll disconnect from the cloud. You also can’t access the information you want if you end up somewhere with poor connectivity. This sends all its benefits down the drain and impacts reliability.
Although the cloud is highly available, any problems with your provider will still affect you. Depending on the length of the downtime, your loss can run into millions. While some people argue that the providers will pick up this loss, you’ll still have a reputational loss.
What’s more, you may also face problems with your Internet Service Provider. In that case, you can’t get back any money, and you have to bear all losses. This can result in additional pressure on your profitability, which could threaten your business continuation
3. Vendor Lock-in
When you choose a service provider, you’re stuck with this provider’s services and applications. Right now, interoperability among service providers is still evolving, so you don’t have much flexibility in picking your services. This means you might not get all the services you need at the most competitive price.
Now, let’s answer the big question: Should you move to the cloud?
The Verdict: Cloud vs Traditional IT
From our discussion, it’s clear that cloud technology offers more benefits when compared to an in-house IT setup. Despite its downsides, you can still find many workarounds. The technology is also still evolving. This means you can expect greater interoperability, improved availability, and more in the coming years. Still, can we expect this trend to continue?
The answer is an overwhelming yes. Cloud technology provides greater returns with lower investment and maintenance for companies. It also offers flexibility, which is also conducive for the next-gen workforce. Due to these benefits, we can safely say, cloud technology is here to stay.
To sum up, cloud technology is a paradigm where servers, processors, applications, and other IT assets are hosted in third-party data centers. While this may seem daunting at first, the technology offers many benefits. Businesses are seeing that, which is why they’re mass migrating to the cloud.
In this article, I showed you 8 benefits of cloud technology. I also explained how the cloud’s benefits surpass its downsides. So it’s clear that cloud adoption will only increase in the future. Remember, the cloud will help you cut your costs and will remove the burden of data management and security. It’ll also give you more flexibility and scalability. Lastly, cloud technology will give you powerful analytics and automation features that would otherwise be too expensive.
If you were wondering whether you should also adopt cloud technology, I hope this article has helped you with your decision. Have more questions about the benefits of cloud technology? Check out the FAQ and Resources sections below!
What is cloud technology?
Cloud technology is a paradigm where all the IT resources necessary for your business are hosted by third-party providers. This includes servers, processors, storage, applications, platforms, etc. The service provider invests in these devices and tools and you can use them in return for a fee. In turn, this model is less expensive and more scalable than the traditional IT setup. It also improves security and flexibility.
Is cloud technology cheaper than in-house IT infrastructure?
Most times, yes. The biggest advantage is you don’t have to spend money on servers. It also saves you the hassle of constant updates. Additionally, cloud technology eliminates your worries about maintenance. All this means you save money, and it’s also a hassle-free experience.
Why is cloud technology a part of the future?
Many companies understand the benefits of cloud computing for their business, so they want to make the most of it. Currently, more than 94% of global enterprises have a cloud footprint, and this will likely continue. That’s why cloud technology is definitely a part of the future.
Is cloud storage different from cloud computing?
Yes. Cloud storage is the fee you pay for storing your data in a third-party’s data center. This includes streamlined access for authorized employees, automatic backups, and instant availability. Cloud computing, on the other hand, is the server and processing power. These are also owned and set up by a service provider. You also use these resources for a fee.
What are the different kinds of cloud services?
Broadly speaking, the cloud offers three kinds of services: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-service (PaaS), and Software-as-a-service (SaaS). These services represent the different resources you want to leverage. For example, you’ll use IaaS for the entire infrastructure, PaaS for specific platforms only, and SaaS for specific software only. This also makes cloud technology beneficial, as it allows you to choose what services you want.
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