Cloud computing is much more than a concept or buzzword that you hear from IT professionals regularly. It is a new way of providing small businesses a global reach for business applications. Increasing numbers of enterprise-level systems are also migrating to cloud computing to take advantage of the flexibility and accessibility offered by the technology.
There are several critical drivers behind the migration to cloud computing, some of which are dependent on the type of architecture selected.
What is Cloud Computing?
There are multiple approaches and strategies for implementing cloud computing, with different infrastructure considerations:
Utilizing a private cloud is similar to building your own data center, although it may be physically located elsewhere – even off-premises at a service provider. Either way, servers, and underlying infrastructure are dedicated to a single business and not shared. This may be the choice for organizations where security is a primary issue since there is no physical access from other entities.
Although private cloud computing offers the highest levels of security, it also negates some of the major benefits of cloud computing.
With public cloud computing, a managed service is selected to house all IT infrastructure including servers, storage, operating environment, and network connectivity. Major players in public cloud offerings include Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, although many other businesses are providing public cloud environments – often referred to as Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS).
Many organizations have adopted a blend of public and private clouds, with less-critical applications and services such as email in a public cloud, while data-sensitive applications are housed in private clouds to maximize security or to adhere to regulatory compliance issues.
Gartner predicts that nearly 30% of all key IT spending will soon shift to cloud computing.
Why the Trend to Migrate to Cloud Computing? 6 Reasons
Several critical drivers have motivated all types and sizes of businesses to migrate to the cloud – some drivers are financial while others may be operational or strategic decisions.
Cloud computing moves the responsibility of hardware and technical resources to the cloud provider. Instead of hiring IT staff to manage servers and operating systems, it becomes part of the service. Cloud computing simply saves money. Instead of purchasing costly technology equipment and hiring system engineers, with often only moderately predictable expenses, businesses can utilize the reliable infrastructure provided by the managed service. This is typically billed monthly based on allocated processing resources and storage requirements.
An additional benefit for some businesses is that this often becomes an operating expense on the ledger, as opposed to capital expenditures required to purchase servers, storage drives, and other hardware.
Today’s corporations include a mobile workforce that needs to work anytime, anywhere. Utilizing cloud computing allows employees to access corporate applications using just a browser. This provides the power of the internet without the need for costly private networking.
This ease of global access allows business teams in multiple locations to collaborate more readily and share information and files easily. This capability also streamlines workflow throughout the organization.
Even when conducting business in a public cloud, businesses are guaranteed a trusted level of security. Antivirus and malware detection tools are only the beginning. Sophisticated firewalls protect from unauthorized access or intrusion from cyberthieves and Denial of Service (DoS) attacks.
Cloud computing services utilize the latest tools to monitor for data breaches, often with guaranteed response and recovery processes, which is a great segue to:
4. Disaster Recovery
Cloud computing services are known for their technical expertise – that’s how they market their offerings. This typically includes a comprehensive backup and disaster recovery process along with backup sites, established times for recovery, backup sites, and audited test results.
IT requirements are constantly evolving, whether the need is for more processing power or data storage. Cloud computing offers businesses the advantage of requesting the cloud provider for more power or storage, which is often made available within days or even hours. With internal IT resources or private clouds, this can become much more complicated and expensive, even requiring approvals for capital expenditures and careful planning for acquisition and installation.
6. Customized Services
Cloud computing is tailored to every customer’s exact needs. Pay for only the processing power, storage, and applications that satisfy business needs. Add more power and storage as needed.
Virginia Business Systems – Managed Services in the Cloud
Whether your business is utilizing cloud computing on a limited basis for file sharing and managed print services or to provide mission-critical business applications, performance and security are key factors in selecting the provider and platform for cloud computing services.
Virginia Business Systems (VBS) has the experience and technical expertise to simplify the migration to cloud computing with secure managed network and print services.
Contact VBS to find out more about our cost-effective managed service solutions.