It is one of the most commonly heard buzzwords in the IT industry. You might have even heard it used in phrases such as “We should move our digital technology applications to the cloud” or “We can secure our customers’ most sensitive data by moving it to the cloud.” As an integral part of the era of digital transformation, cloud computing has become the centerpiece of a rapidly growing number of organizations of all sizes operating in virtually every niche.
Moving digital technology assets and applications to the cloud provides organizations with the ability to operate much faster, which enhances their agility and sparks innovations in their business operations. Although still a relatively new technology phenomenon, cloud computing has emerged as a necessity for organizations of all shapes and sizes to remain competitive in today’s highly evolved digital world.
If you are part of an IT team considering moving at least some of your organization’s digital assets and applications to cloud-based services and solutions, you should discover the many advantages cloud computing offers in accelerating your organization’s inevitable digital transformation.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing represents an IT term that describes the delivery of on-demand digital computing resources such as software and hardware to organizations operating on an open network that usually involves some level of digital interaction online. Instead of managing your organization’s IT assets in-house, cloud computing allows you to access and store digital data via a chosen network such as the Internet.
Look at cloud computing like you view accessing your personal email inbox through a web browser. Cloud computing allows you and your IT team to access and manage digital resources from anywhere where you have an Internet connection. A third-party service typically manages and maintains the cloud computing tools that your organization accesses, which decreases the amount of upfront money your organization pays for IT infrastructure costs.
The three most common types of cloud computing services are software as a service (SAAS), platform as a service (PAAS), and infrastructure as a service (IAAS).
What Are the Benefits of Cloud Computing?
Change can be a difficult concept to navigate for IT professionals, and change is an especially difficult concept to navigate for transforming your organization’s IT assets and applications for use on the cloud. However, once you and your IT team learn about the many benefits offered by cloud computing, the decision to accept this type of change becomes much easier.
IT developers experiment with new software and then test their software changes by using different digital configurations. This can be a costly and time-consuming process, especially for smaller businesses that do not possess the type of comprehensive IT infrastructure accessed by large companies. Cloud computing requires just a few seconds for a developer to access a DigitalOcean Droplet or an IBM Virtual Server that functions by running on a completely configured application stack.
With cloud computing, members of your IT team no longer have to manage infrastructure, which gives them more time to test many more digital applications.
Unless you work for a corporate behemoth such as Lowe’s or Walmart, your organization probably has experienced moments when the demand placed on your IT infrastructure far outpaces its capacity to execute commands. To scale up, you have to invest in more hardware, as well as increase memory for the existing computing systems.
Cloud computing allows you to scale up your IT resources in a matter of a few minutes by performing a couple of clicks on a computer mouse.
Around the Clock Availability
Cloud computing represents a system that rarely experiences any downtime. If you do experience any downtime while accessing digital resources on the cloud, it never should last more than a few seconds. On the other hand, digital downtimes of in-house digital assets can last minutes or even hours before everything returns to normal. John Breth, who is a managing principal at the IT consulting firm JBC, says, “One of the primary benefits of moving an organization’s services to the cloud is near real-time deployment capabilities in a highly available architecture.”
The next time your competitors experience a significant power outage, your organization’s access to cloud computing resources should keep you connected to both vendors and customers. Your organization also can remain online in the aftermath of a natural disaster or an act of digital sabotage.
Cloud computing gets undeserved criticism from detractors for its apparent vulnerability to security breaches. However, moving your organization’s digital assets to the cloud enhances, not diminishes your IT security. For example, all the digital data that moves through the AWS global network automatically encrypts to provide the utmost security. The best cloud vendors offer many built-in tools to monitor for security non-compliance.
Built-in encryption is not available for organizations that operate in-house data centers.
The Bottom Line: Cloud is the Future of Computing
Cloud computing has emerged as much more than a passing trend. In addition to the benefits already listed, your organization also benefits from automation, cost-savings, and even becoming a more environmentally sustainable member of the business community.