There are four main reasons why organizations consider a move to a cloud infrastructure:
Increased support for mobile workforce
Increasing network & application level security
Reduced cost of ownership
Scalability and flexibility
Cloud based IT infrastructure and cloud based applications are no longer new fads or new technology buzz words. Cloud infrastructure has now been around for a while and more and more corporations, organizations, federal agencies and government systems are utilizing the benefits of cloud infrastructures to address their fundamental needs. Cloud based technologies and infrastructures provide several benefits that must be weighed against each other and against their drawbacks to evaluate whether they are the right fit for your organization.
“Ultimately, a move to the cloud must be contemplated by companies like any other major change in technology,” said Thoran Rodrigues, in an article in TechRepublic.
According to Raj Bansal, founder and CEO of Start to End Networks, “Any organization can design and implement an IT infrastructure using the cloud, but most organizations don’t realize that moving to cloud is not always a good strategy and does not always lead to cost efficiencies. Most organizations do not have the required knowledge nor the resources to implement and manage cloud based infrastructures properly.”
Perhaps the biggest impact of cloud computing and cloud infrastructure has been its impact on the expectations from the millennial workforce. Everyday people interact with cloud-based apps in their personal lives — sharing photos and documents using Google drive, or Dropbox, or managing schedule for the whole family on Google Calendar, track calories and exercise routines on My Fitness Pal, easy access to emails, texts via tablets and smartphones anywhere and at anytime. People now rely on always-on and easy-to-use cloud apps to keep them connected and productive. And they are now bringing this proclivity to the workplace. According to Todd Krautkremer, in Network Computing, “Cloud networking combines the reach, reliability, and economics of the cloud, with the flexibility of network virtualization, and the simplicity and adaptability of software-defined networks. The result is an entirely new networking paradigm for the mobile and cloud era that meets the expectations of modern workforces and the needs of IT pros”. “Cloud-based mobility solutions bring certain advantages, especially for small to medium sized businesses that do not have the huge infrastructure setup and the big budget to front the enormous maintenance and support expense that come with many on-premises deployments.” Anj Bryant.
Cloud environments are generally the most cost-effective solutions on the market than the conventional on-premise environments both in the short and the long-term. Cloud Infrastructures reduce Capital Expenditures (CAPEX), by reducing costs related to physical facilities, storage infrastructure, backup and disaster recovery provisions and IT Operations in terms of managing those resources. Reduced CAPEX, coupled with the pay-as-you-go service model, the cloud based infrastructures allows an organization to reduce its IT infrastructure’s total cost of ownership.
Scalability and Flexibility are often the most touted benefits of Cloud based services. The ability to leverage auto-scaling capabilities is the best option for any organization to access resources on demand and scale these resources based on actual needs. This alleviates the need for a company to estimate server capacity, disk space, CPU and RAM upfront. Cloud makes it easy to add capacity on the fly, make configuration changes and allocate resources as and when needed.
While the mobility, agility, scalability and flexibility are the biggest benefits of cloud, security is raised as the biggest concern. Everyday there are headlines about significant data breaches at big name organizations. According to a report released by the Identity Theft Resource Center (ITRC), there were 781 U.S. data breaches tracked in 2015. “The biggest issue our clients most worry about is how secure is their data, both, in terms of unauthorized access to their data as well as loss of data.” said Raj Bansal.