How Is Cloud Technology Changing The Way We Do Business?

Cloud technology has been changing the business world since its inception. These days most business interactions, operations, and transactions are carried out in a cloud environment. These processes are regularly applied in various spheres from banking to IT.

Additionally, companies such as Google, Amazon, Salesforce, and many others have long ago started to operate in the cloud. Moreover, due to its various benefits, including easy adoption, faster scaling and so on, the numbers of companies adopting cloud technology is steadily growing.

So, does the transition from a traditional physical environment to a virtual cloud environment provide actual advantages? Moreover, how is this transition affecting the way we do business?

Let’s find out!

Cloud Technology Provides Mobility

The cloud environment provides an opportunity to keep all data in one central location which is managed by a cloud service provider.

Employees, as well as customers, can access all their essential data from any place, at any time, and with the help of any device such as a desktop, laptop, smartphone, and others.

All the work documents are stored in the cloud so the employees do not have to waste time on finding and gathering all the information they need for their work.

According to a report done by InformationWeek, 65% of all their respondents think that one of the major reasons why businesses should transfer to the cloud is that it provides the ability to meet company demands extremely quickly.

Cloud Technology Helps Reduce IT Operation Costs

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Companies adopting cloud technology do not need to buy expensive equipment such as powerful servers or hard drives to store their data on-site. Consequently, less IT staff is needed to maintain the operational requirements of their equipment.

As a result, companies do not have to spend money on renting additional offices to store copious amounts of equipment.

Businesses leverage this benefit. According to a TechTarget survey, 73% of respondents state that reducing operation costs is a crucial factor when deciding to transfer to the cloud environment.

Moreover, the cost benefits have already been proven.

For example, MeriTalk CCX claims that the U.S. Federal Government has saved around $5.5 billion due to adopting cloud technology.

Cloud Technology Enables Easier Scaling of Your Business

A cloud environment is infinite, which gives companies the ability to store any amount of information.

Before cloud technology emerged, the scaling process was different. With the growing demands of business, companies had to spend enormous amounts of time and resources constantly upgrading their on-site hardware and servers to store their growing volume of data.

In the realm of cloud computing, acquiring additional virtual storage space and scaling your business can be done easily.

Therefore, they can scale their business and expand its possibilities in an instant. This is especially important if your business has seasonal loads such as Thanksgiving or Christmas shopping.

In this case, you can add as many servers as you need on-demand just in time for the season. Once the traffic reduces, you can decrease the number of these servers. Thus, your company does not need to pay extra money for managing a fleet of servers.

According to a survey done by TechTarget, 57% of respondents state that the cloud environment allows them to adjust their business to rapidly changing technological demands quickly.

Cloud Technology Makes the Process of Updating Easier

Cloud computing automates the process of updating software, so it does not involve any user effort.

In the cloud environment, the latest updates of your packages, software patches, and security certificates are installed easily and don’t cause any downtime.

In this case, the process requires little involvement of IT experts, and the company’s staff will not waste time on numerous consultations about problems with updating various systems.

According to PCWorld, 50% of cloud users state that the updating process requires fewer internal IT resources.

Cloud-based software and applications update autonomously and quickly. Therefore, companies do not need to stop their work processes and wait until all the updates have been installed.

Cloud Technology Improves Customer Experience

One of the biggest benefits of the cloud environment is that it allows company’s clients to gain quick and easy access to any data they need.

In addition, customer service benefits a lot with incorporating cloud technology into business as companies can provide tech support remotely.

Take, for example, the Control4 Corporation, a provider of smart home systems. They introduced cloud-based support for some of the company’s routers.

Control4 Corporation employees will provide remote diagnostics for these routers. This kind of support is much faster, and it greatly reduces the number of specialists’ visits to clients’ homes. All of this contributes to saving money.

Cloud Technology Enhances Security

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Security has long been and still is a major concern when transferring to the cloud environment. However, if safety precautions are taken seriously, the cloud may very well be one of the most secure ways of storing data.

Above all, the data stored in the cloud is safe from physical influence (e.g. fire, earthquake, and so forth).

To prevent the loss of information or its theft, cloud service providers employ various security measures, including the encryption of data.

Major cloud companies such as Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and DigitalOcean hire expert security teams that are continuously patching their cloud environment for the latest security vulnerability, threats, and attacks. Therefore, consumers do not need to worry about the safety of their data.

Consider the report on cloud security by CloudPassage. Only 9% of respondents say that they have experienced an incident concerning cloud security. Incidentally, only 21% of companies think that the  cloud is more predisposed to security breaches than a traditional environment.

Cloud Technology Enhances Data Recovery

Just like in any other sphere, a cloud environment can also have some problems that are out of human control. These issues may include downtime caused by a power cut-off, a system crash, or other unforeseen circumstances. However, in the cloud environment, these types of problems can be dealt with successfully.

In the event of a disaster, e.g. a system crash, the data stored in the cloud can be quickly recovered which significantly reduces the amount of downtime.

As a result, cloud technology helps you avoid productivity loss and a decrease revenue decrease.

According to IDG Research survey, 20% of cloud users say that they can recover the data within four hours or less, while only 9% of those using the traditional environment are able to claim the same.

Conclusions

As you have seen, cloud technology influences the way of conducting business through several means:

#1 It provides mobility. Employees, as well as customers, can access all their essential data from any place, at any time, and with the help of any device.

#2 It reduces operation costs. Companies do not need to buy expensive equipment to store significant amounts of data, hire additional staff for its maintenance or rent more office space to store their equipment files on-site.

#3 It helps to scale your business. If companies need to expand their virtual storage capabilities, they just contact a cloud service provider.

#4 It makes the process of updating much easier. Software updates are installed automatically.

#5 It improves customer experience and customer service. The service is delivered much faster.

#6 It enhances data security. Cloud service providers encrypt the data and employ special security measures.

#7 It enhances data recovery. In the event of a disaster, the data can be easily recovered.

As you have seen, the cloud has already significantly changed the way we do business, and the development of the cloud technology is not going to slow down. Businesses that fail to adapt to this reality are easily surpassed, while their competitors leverage multiple advantages.

To prevent this situation, you will need to understand how cloud technology will advance your business and work out a way to incorporate this technology into your company.

Have you already transferred your business into the cloud environment? If yes, what types of benefits has your business experienced from this switch? Leave a comment below!

Busted: 5 Common Myths About Cloud Computing

In today’s tech world, more and more companies are deciding to transfer to the cloud. They believe that this move will provide massive advantages to their business.

Others don’t want to yield to the mainstream and prefer to stay in the traditional environment. They say that the cloud is unreliable and the risk is too great.

But who is right? And what’s the truth when it comes to computing in the cloud?

In this article, I’ll look into the myths concerning cloud computing and find out which of them are true and which of them are false.

Myth #1: The Cloud Is Not Secure

The main concern of those who want to transfer to the cloud environment is security.

The cloud environment is constantly developing, and security is not an exception.

While cloud security may have once been fragile, today it has significantly advanced.

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Currently, to ensure enhanced security, most cloud providers support multiple levels of protection.

According to “2016 Spotlight Report” done by CloudPassage, “encryption of data at rest (65%) and in motion on networks (57%) tops the list of most effective security controls to protect data in the cloud.”

Some of the popular and effective security measures are multi-factor authentication for access control and intrusion detection and prevention.

It should also be mentioned that the security risks that exist in the cloud are no different from those that are encountered in-house.

In the same report, CloudPassage found out that fewer companies – 21% of respondents – tend to see a higher risk of security breaches in the cloud than in the traditional environment.

At the same time, 55% of companies state that they have not experienced any incidents concerning cloud security.

Thus, all the cloud security issues may not be completely solved at the moment, but data security has progressed greatly, and will become even better in the future.

Myth #2: The Cloud Is More Expensive Than the Traditional Environment

In fact, the cloud may be cheaper to operate in because it provides numerous cost benefits and has the capability to considerably reduce overall expenses.

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According to iCorps, for an SMB it may be up to 40 times more cost effective to operate in the cloud environment than to build, run, and maintain its own IT system.

A study by Rackspace Hosting revealed that 88% of cloud users saw actual cost savings.

Moreover, 56% stated that the adoption of the cloud technology contributed to growing profits for their companies.

More precisely, it is cheaper to operate in the cloud because companies don’t have to hire a lot of staff members to maintain their on-site equipment.

The same study by Rackspace Hosting highlighted the fact that due to the adoption of the cloud, 60% of respondents no longer require a large IT team. Instead, they are able to place a greater emphasis on strategies and innovations.

Myth #3: The Cloud Is a Synonym for SaaS

People tend to use the term cloud as a synonym for SaaS. This may lead to underestimating numerous cloud’s capabilities.

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Let’s at first define the two terms.

  1. SaaS, or Software as a Service, is a model of delivering an application that functions as a service and is centrally hosted.
  2. The cloud is a practice of using remote servers to store, manage, and process data instead of using on-site servers and equipment.

John Starmer, Director of Education at Kumulus Technologies, clearly defines the difference between the terms:

SaaS is a part of cloud computing and is one of three cloud services that is focused on providing users access to software functionality rather than the ability to  build software (PaaS) or manage cloud infrastructure (IaaS).”

Thus, SaaS is only one of the variations of the cloud. It may not suit everyone’s needs, but there are other forms of the cloud that will do that for sure.

Myth #4. The Cloud Phenomenon Is Temporary and Will Soon Fade Away

The basis of this myth is the idea that the cloud is a relatively new concept and it will not last long.

But in fact, the cloud continues to become more and more rooted in both personal and professional spheres.

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The cloud market is developing rapidly. More and more businesses are deciding to transfer to the cloud environment because it provides numerous benefits such as fast scalability, cost effectiveness, and many others.

According to TechTarget, 41% of companies are going to increase their investment in the cloud technologies.

Gartner predicts that by 2020 a corporate co-cloud policy will become as rare as a no-internet policy today.

By 2020, the cloud will contain 40 zettabytes, which is 400 billion gigabytes of data.

Myth #5: The Cloud Will Not Replace Traditional Data Centers

The cloud technology is developing rapidly, and it is predicted that it will at some point replace most traditional data centers.

According to a white paper by Cisco, it is predicted that by 2020, 92% of all the workloads will be based on cloud data centers, and consequently, only 8% will be left for traditional data centers.

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However, the cloud environment won’t completely replace traditional data centers.

The same Cisco white paper shows that by 2020, workload density, which is the amount of workloads per physical server, will be about 12, compared to 7.3 in 2015.

At the same time, by 2020, workload density for traditional data centers will comprise 3.5, while in 2015 it was 2.2.

Another reason why the cloud won’t completely replace traditional data centers is that a number of crucial applications built to run in a traditional IT infrastructure will not be specifically reconfigured for the cloud environment.

Thus, cloud servers will still have to run traditional server operating systems and crucial applications, including Linux, Solaris, Oracle DB, and so forth.

Wrap Up

Although cloud computing is a relatively new concept, it has already become widespread in both personal and professional spheres, and it clearly provides a lot of benefits.

At the same time, the myths about the cloud may give an impression that all of the benefits of the cloud don’t outweigh its negative aspects.

Here are the key findings when considering those myths:

  1. Cloud security has long been the main concern but the cloud is constantly developing, and its security is being enhanced by providing various levels of protection such as data encryption, intrusion detection and prevention and so forth.
  2. The cloud is cheaper and more cost effective to operate than the traditional environment.
  3. SaaS is not a synonym for the cloud but it is only one of the variations of the cloud.
  4. The cloud is becoming more and more rooted in both personal and professional spheres and is unlikely to disappear in the near future.
  5. The cloud won’t completely replace traditional data centers because cloud servers will still have to run traditional server operating systems and key applications.