It’s 2018, and we have reached a point where we can finally ditch most of our physical means of computing to harness the more innovative and flexible ‘cloud’. However, even today, few businesses prefer to fill their office spaces with in-house data centers. That’s truly unnecessary; wasting enterprise resources when they can opt for the cloud. By injecting the simple ‘plug and play’ concept into data centers, cloud adds agility and transforms most of your chaotic business scenarios into hassle-free ones.
However intriguing as it may seem, when you finally start considering cloud computing, the availability of so many options oftentimes lead you into a state of turmoil. This is why sticking to the basics is always the initial step to do anything that brings success. And this rule applies while learning about the cloud as well.
The Cloud First Policy
As per Gartner’s predictions, by the year 2020, a corporate "no-cloud" policy will be a rare phenomenon; just like today’s "no-internet" policy. Considering the current scenario, ‘cloud-first’ and even ‘cloud-only’ approach are dominating the IT domain. Moreover, the research firm also predicts that, by 2019, 30 percent or more of the 100 largest vendors will have their software investments focused on ‘cloud-only’ philosophy—moving ahead of ‘cloud-first’.
6 Business Benefits You Gain by Migrating to the Cloud
Recent reports suggest that the cloud services giant Amazon Web Services (AWS) attained a staggering 43 percent of the growth in its revenue compared to 2016. Citing the reason for this growth, AWS states that their customers migrated more than 23,000 databases using the AWS Database Migration Service since it was made available last year.
Still clueless about why you should migrate to the cloud? Perhaps you should check out the below-mentioned benefits of cloud migration.
As we already know, the gist of cloud services lies in its exceptional level of flexibility that it offers. You can scale your cloud-based services according to your fluctuating business needs – a feature that an on-premise IT infrastructure fails to deliver. For instance, you can increase your cloud capabilities if your needs are high. Similarly, as data reside on remote servers, you can minimize the capabilities when your needs are basic. It is this unique level of flexibility that drives the operational agility of core business operations. The cloud also offers automated software updates, eliminating the need to install them manually.
Talking about security, most cloud-based services are backed up by a fully-managed Tier 4 data center with best-in-class security; taking data security to a whole new level. In the event of a disaster, you can easily retrieve and access your data anytime as it resides on the cloud. This also comes with the comes with the ability to remotely wipe your data from lost devices.
When compared with an on-premise IT infrastructure, cloud platforms are easy to manage and administer – due to its user-friendly interface. For example, you can handle tasks such as managing permissions, adding users, resources and more in a hassle-free manner.
Mobility - The Freedom to Work on the Move
We are well aware of the fact that cloud injects an unprecedented level of flexibility in computing. Apart from this, it also offers mobility - the ability to work on the move. Your employees can access and work on crucial business documents and applications from almost anywhere; and from any internet-enabled device.
Promotes a Collaborative Environment
Apart from offering a user-friendly interface, a cloud technology platform stages a highly collaborative environment – allowing your organization to access, edit and share documents on the move. The entire scenario is supported by cloud-based file sharing apps that enable real-time updates; also portraying full visibility.
Zero Server Maintenance Costs
Traditional on-premise environment comes along with the hurdle of maintaining multiple on-site servers at high operational costs. Cloud migration can set your organization free from this time-consuming process. All you need is a device that connects to your workload that resides on the cloud. Thus, in an innovative manner, adopting cloud services saves a considerable amount of hardware costs that can be invested in core business operations.
Although the benefits of cloud computing are enormous, adopting a cloud-first strategy for your organization is definitely not a piece of cake. It requires a great deal of planning.
By now, a plethora of technical challenges might be surfacing on your mind. In fact, to identify and solve those challenges, initially, you need to understand the value proposition of the three tiers of cloud services. This will give you an idea about which one of those tiers best aligns with your specific business needs. Currently, the three ever-evolving forms of cloud offerings include - IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service), PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) and Saas (Software-as-a-Service).
Let’s take a quick glance at the differences between the three.
IaaS vs Paas vs SaaS
With an exceptional level of control and flexibility, the IaaS stages an automated and scalable environment. On the other hand, PaaS facilitates a framework for effectively developing and deploying applications—by automating infrastructure provisioning and management. Lastly, SaaS eliminates the need to install and run programs on individual devices—makes applications available via the internet.
So the big question is - Which one of these is the best cloud service that aligns with your business needs?
Why Choose IaaS?
If your organization is a startup, you probably wouldn’t like to spend your valuable time in procuring software and hardware. IaaS eliminates this entirely; which makes it ideal for your organization. It can also give enhanced visibility and control over your high performing applications. As an added advantage, this option helps when you are unsure about how your applications will perform and evolve in future—saving a considerable amount of software and hardware resource costs.
SaaS is an ideal solution if your applications demands fluctuate between high and low. Moreover, this option is suitable for effectively launching applications on both—web, as well as mobile platforms. Talking about ease of use, SaaS facilitates a highly convenient pay-as-you-go model that can be helpful for short projects that require collaboration.
You must know the fact that PaaS is not much different from SaaS. The only difference is - PaaS doesn’t deliver the software, it stages a platform for software development. Moreover, in a unique manner, PaaS offers unprecedented levels of agility and flexibility for multiple developers working on a development project. Ideally, this option should be preferred if - 1) you have a large organization, and/or 2) you need the freedom of customizing applications.
Now that you are well-aware about the cloud service models, we bring you the two best practices that can broaden your viewpoint. These practices form a base for addressing the key challenges on the cloud and paves a path towards a successful migration.
1. Invest in a Cloud Architect or a Team of Cloud Administrators
You simply can’t deny the fact that the cloud is getting more and more complex as it evolves. Consequently, this opens a window for numerous technical and legacy issues in areas such as IT operations, application development, security, compliance, finance, procurement, privacy, identity management, data integration, mobility, business development and customer experience. To manage these areas efficiently, you might need to hire cloud architects, or even a team or cloud administrators.
Apart from assisting your organization in cloud adoption and migration, the primary responsibility of these cloud architects must be to orchestrate changes across many crucial areas, when required.
2. Organize Training and Certification Programs
Even though it is true that cloud architects transform your cloud infrastructure, it is equally crucial to make sure that your in-house technical team that implements, manages and supports the infrastructure have exceptional skills in cloud technologies. So, you may encourage your system administrators and engineers to upgrade their skillsets—by enrolling them in various cloud-based training and certification programs.
You may also prompt your employees to use the free trial offers from cloud providers such as Microsoft Azure, AWS, and the Google Cloud. This will help them gain some hands-on experience.
Information empowers innovation. Now that you have a clear idea about the service models that can match your business environment, you might be thinking about the best cloud vendors out there in the marketplace. And, you might probably know that the industry-leading cloud providers are none other than AWS (Amazon Web Services), Microsoft Azure and the Google Cloud. Among these, AWS is the most preferred platform as it offers a comprehensive set of solutions and services; which includes all three - IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS. Undoubtedly, the best way to determine a vendor’s efficiency is by evaluating its revenue growth. According to Amazon’s latest quarterly results, AWS achieved a staggering 43 percent year-over-year growth; contributing 89 percent of consolidated operating income and 10 percent of consolidated revenue.
Facts speak for themselves. But it's up to you to decide which cloud service provider swiftly solves your business challenges and best aligns with your goals.
Originally published , updated March 15 2018