We have our heads in the cloud, and that’s the way we like it!
Cloud computing has asserted itself as the IT delivery method that is set to rival the dotcom innovation. Enterprises large and small are looking to replace their legacy IT systems and relocate their infrastructure and applications into the cloud.
The need for effective solutions that consolidate their systems and standardize their business processes is of paramount importance to many CIOs as they enter the next financial year. They are hoping to realise a a number of benefits in doing so.
These benefits can be broken down into the following categories:
- Resources and infrastructure are shared in the cloud and accessed only when required. This results in optimized usage, greater efficiency and less waste.
- Employing the cloud’s infinite virtual space negates the need for physical infrastructure (e.g. server rooms, servers, network switches, connections, etc). Thus, it removes costs associated with managing your own data centre and the hardware life-cycle.
- Cloud technology warrants no upfront capital investment in technology as it is (usually) paid incrementally on a month-by-month basis. Companies no longer have to over-engineer their infrastructure in order to cope with estimated demand. The self-service manner of provisioning resources allows users to meet a variety of computing and storage needs on the fly. With this model you only pay for what you use, when you need it.
- High levels of automation present opportunities for greater productivity by reducing the maintenance issues inherent with physical infrastructure. Effectively IT personnel are absolved of responsibility for updating software and servers, allowing them to redirect their focus to other — often more important — facets of the business.
Speed and flexibility
Ease and speed define the cloud. Unlike traditional computing methods, cloud computing has a degree of flexibility that enables you to scale up or down as needed. This elastic quality is reassuring in an unpredictable, fast-paced global business climate.
Infrastructure optimisation translates into lower energy use through the harnessing of otherwise idle computing capacity, reducing the IT impact on the environment. The massive amount of energy required to operate data centres is limited through the pooling of physical infrastructure in the cloud.
Physical limitations are overcome in the cloud environment. You have the ability to access and manage your infrastructure virtually from anywhere you have an Internet connection. This raises productivity by creating greater freedom of access, removing physical barriers and allowing staff to work remotely.
Finally, one of the quintessential benefits associated with the cloud is the lower level of risk of data loss embedded in the self-healing architecture and data redundancy. If the physical infrastructure in the cloud server should become unavailable, your application or data is automatically relocated to alternate servers in a process known as failover. No time is wasted for you (or your customers) and the safety of your data is ensured.
These illustrate how cloud computing can expose organisations to vast possibilities. With the cloud boasting such impressive benefits, it’s no wonder organisations are increasingly finding it an attractive way to deliver IT.