The Digital Stampede
As the transfer of digital assets to the cloud gathers momentum, we examine the fundamental reasons why it’s happening
Many organizations have been contemplating moving some or all their assets to the cloud for at least a decade now. Amazon’s Web Service (AWS) launched in 2006, but it was only in 2009, when the content delivery network Amazon CloudFront became available that real movement started. In the early days, cloud migration consisted largely of a trickle of non-essential assets, uploaded almost as a test of what “the cloud” might mean. It was only when data-voracious companies like Dropbox, Reddit, and Netflix gathered steam that the cloud began to look more and more viable as a technology of note.
One decade later, the trickle has turned into a swirling flood, with data moving back and forth between a variety of public, private and hybrid cloud systems. Companies of all sizes routinely entrust their mission-critical assets and databases to cloud Service Providers – not only for storage and transfer, but also for maintenance, security, upkeep and uptime, delegating these vital responsibilities as part of the “as-a-service model.” Moving so much of a company’s digital assets outside of the building would have been inconceivable a decade ago.
Although data moves both to and from the cloud, its overall adoption resembles a stampede toward a new and better option with millions of people – not just companies – taking part. While their employers might still be contemplating the move, individual people have already started to take advantage of free services like DropBox and iCloud to store documents and photos. The stampede is fully underway. Here are five reasons why:
5 Reasons Why Companies Are Migrating To The Cloud
The cost of using the cloud continues to fall as it achieves scale. Organizations like the idea of paying only for the services and storage required. They can rent space on pre-configured servers rather than committing to the larger expenditure of buying and managing their own. Not only is it vastly more affordable to tap into the resources of cloud providers, but these providers become responsible for nearly all the maintenance, which further reduces operating costs by removing the need for in-house teams of IT professionals to maintain the network.
The elastic nature of the cloud allows companies to pay only for the resources being used. With this inherent flexibility, business activity can be finely tuned to respond to events. When there is a temporary spike in demand – Black Friday and Cyber Monday, for example – capacity can spun up at the touch of a button. Likewise, it can be scaled back to cut costs just as quickly, which makes for a very responsive business environment – a vital part of today’s speed-driven economy.
The cloud has now shaken off its earlier image of being uncontrolled and vulnerable. Security policies, technologies, applications and controls continued to be developed and leveraged for the cloud to make it more secure than ever. Equally importantly, the decision-making layer of the C-suite has grown to understand that cloud security is not an issue to stay relegated in the silos of IT, but instead forms a critical component of overall corporate strategy. This gives teeth to policies and commitments from corporate customers and cloud suppliers alike. Although data breaches still occur, company’s Executive levels are starting to understand that in most breach situations it is not the cloud provider and its security that fail, but instead it is an internal, employee related failure usually due to poor security protocols and practices.
Cloud computing allows for a far greater level of collaboration between employees. Not only can they share documents and data more easily than ever before, but they can collaborate and communicate from almost anywhere on earth, allowing for substantial time and cost savings as travel needs are reduced and meetings and collaboration practices are refined.
Furthermore, cloud suppliers offer sophisticated yet simple dashboards that give insight into the activities that employees are undertaking in the cloud. Managers can monitor the workload, look for problems, drill down into activities, establish metrics, and continue to identify and refine efficient business practices. This represents a substantial additional benefit of cloud use, beyond simply the convenience and security of offsite storage.
When things go wrong at a company running its own on-premise IT systems, the implications can be dire. Data that is lost, corrupted or held hostage can result in weeks or months of lost business, damage to reputation, damage to customers and clients, and huge restoration and litigation costs. But with a cloud-based Disaster Recovery as-a-Service (DRaaS) system in place, a series of failovers and backups virtually eliminates the risks of losing any data and ensures that almost no downtime or damage occurs for users.
There are multiple aspects to a rewarding cloud experience, and the best cloud service providers find ways to bring all of these benefits together under one roof. For example, with iland Secure Cloud, a client company can easily manage all its virtual data center resources such as compute, storage and complex networking, view detailed performance information, restore from backups, replicate data to other iland Secure Clouds, access billing information and more.
Niall Twomey is Chief Technology Officer at the digital financial services company, Fenergo. When talking about their move to the cloud, he explains how “in the past, our customers (banks and financial institutions) were publicly reticent about moving core services to the cloud for a myriad of regulatory and security concerns, including issues over confidentiality of data, lack of control of data, data breaches, and legal and compliance issues. However, cloud technology is like a savior, potentially saving our customers (banks and financial institutions) up to $15 billion from cloud adoption.”
Twomey goes on to explain that “cloud provides improved regulatory transparency because it has the potential to standardize IT across an organization, making IT updates across a number of units of a complex international financial institution far more efficient and making it far more straightforward for regulators to have a clear picture of any organization.”
There can be no doubt that the cloud as we know it today will not be the end of the digital journey for organizations. There are always new technologies looming on the horizon, but it’s safe to say that a well-respected cloud partner is vital for a functioning 21st century organization working in today’s Digital Economy, provided they are able to adapt and respond to your needs and the developing digital landscape.
For more information, get in touch with iland today and request a quote.
By Steve Prentice
Steve Prentice is a project manager, writer, speaker and expert on productivity in the workplace, specifically the juncture where people and technology intersect. He is a senior writer for CloudTweaks.