November 6, 2013
The cloud is no longer a trend; it is the future of IT and an important consideration of an effective technology strategy. Many businesses are taking the initiative to determine how cloud computing could benefit their business and what’s required for an effective transition from on-premise infrastructure. Which cloud option you implement will vary based on your business and technology requirements, but each option will require some changes and adjustments for your organization.
The Cloud. Simplified.
The cloud is often overcomplicated, but it is simply a metaphor for the internet. And cloud computing, in a very simplified manner, is a combination of hosted applications, data storage and remote server access through the internet. Many individuals and businesses use the cloud in some format, often without knowing. Social networks and email applications are two of the most common uses of the cloud.
The Effects of Transitioning to the Cloud
Transitioning your on-premise computing to the cloud will require changes to your office infrastructure and how your organization does business. It can also create efficiency opportunities in how your organization approaches IT. Understanding and preparing for these changes can make this transition simpler and smoother.
Impact on IT
Moving to the cloud will change the role IT plays within your organization. Most commonly, a transition to the cloud includes the support and assistance of a cloud services provider. Your provider will likely take on many of the traditional IT responsibilities including the maintenance of your systems, storage concerns, hardware performance and security.
This is often a cost-saving opportunity, especially for small businesses. But, in some organizations it will be an adjustment for IT employees in responsibility and accountability. Their responsibilities will shift more toward enabling cloud accessibility, integrating devices and creating an operational environment for the cloud.
Accessibility & Mobility
Access your data, your documents, your applications and your network through the cloud – from anywhere. Your employees are no longer tied to their desktop computers. They will have access from tablets, laptops and mobile devices, whether at home, the plane or the local coffee shop- anywhere that has internet access. This draws attention to the mobility aspect of the cloud. Anytime, anywhere access enables your business to be truly mobile, giving you and your employees the ability to complete many tasks out of the office.
The cloud also makes it easier for groups to collaborate, because all team members can access the latest documents. Additionally, because email systems are unable to handle large files, access can be accommodated much easier using cloud computing. These are just a couple benefit examples; many more will become apparent when your organization transitions to the cloud.
Mobility and the cost-savings associated with a transition to the cloud allow you to think big. Here are five ways you should consider:
- The Wall Street Journal stated, “To satisfy the new markets being created by the cloud, small- and medium-size companies will leverage the cloud and get a bigger slice of the action.” Changing from a capital expense to an operating investment frees up resources required for growth and expansion.
- With on-premise computing you typically have to forecast your needs and commit the resources in advance to execute your business growth plan. The cloud is elastic, meaning you pay for what you use as you need it and adjust on the fly, based on changing requirements.
- With cloud services you get enterprise-level security, without the enterprise-level investment.
- Cloud services frees up time and resources because your provider shoulders many of the responsibilities, allowing your business to focus on successful business growth and performance.
- Finally, though not a drastic change, you will save some space by removing much of your on-premise hardware. Your cloud services provider will supply and maintain any necessary hardware, off-site in a secure data center.
The cloud opens up many opportunities for your business; hopefully this article has helped you understand the benefits of your business making the transition to the cloud. Work with a cloud services provider to determine which cloud options are best suited to improve your business effectiveness.