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Historically, businesses have adopted cloud to help save on infrastructure and personnel costs but what if we flip this attitude on its head and look at it from a money-making perspective? Cloud computing could play a significant role in the global technology revolution as it offers businesses, from SMBs to large enterprises, a platform for innovation and profitability. In order to make the most of these benefits, businesses should to identify the right solution to fit their requirements – but this isn’t always straightforward. Migration can be difficult and time consuming so it’s important that IT leaders have the support they need.
Quite simply, cloud creates convenience. Instead of having to invest in extensive infrastructure, start-ups can use cloud for data storage and application access, using capital saved as a result to fund innovation and development. In addition, the improved functionality that cloud technology provides delivers real money-making potential. An increasing number of businesses in various sectors, such as gaming, digital media, financial services and manufacturing are using cloud as an integral part of driving their business model.
The financial services sector, for example, is undergoing huge transformation with the introduction of start-ups offering alternative methods of payment and foreign transfer. With the rise in popularity of digital manufacturing, other services can enable consumers to exchange designs which can then be used for production. New mobile apps allowing consumers to order a cab without having to call an operator are revolutionising the taxi industry. None of these businesses would have been possible without cloud technology.
Despite all of this potential, cloud adoption hasn’t happened as quickly as perhaps it should. This is hardly surprising. For established companies with already entrenched infrastructure holding vast amounts of data, it can be difficult to justify the time and cost associated with migrating to the cloud. And sometimes it can simply be difficult to persuade people who are used to doing things one way, to adopt new processes.
The challenges don’t stop when the decision to move to cloud has been made. With so many different cloud services available it can be difficult for organisations to understand what fits best for their requirements, not to mention the regulatory compliance and security issues that need to be addressed. Such choices needn’t be scary but they can be difficult to make alone so it’s worth seeking expert advice.
If all else fails, IT leaders should take the following steps to make sure they select the right cloud service:
1. Ensure you have a solid understanding of your organisation’s requirements and consider whether a slow, measured roll out, or full scale deployment would be best.
2. Identify the type of cloud service you need and where this sits on the cost/flexibility/risk scale. Risk analysis is important to avoid financial and reputational damage if a breach happens later on and you’ll need to make sure the service you’re considering aligns with your organisation’s operational constraints.
3. Identify key stakeholders and ensure to include them in the initial evaluation process – if you fail to do this, it may delay installation later on.
The process of selecting and integrating your chosen cloud technology may seem more trouble than it’s worth, but think of the long term benefits to your business. As we move into a world that is increasingly reliant on cloud, migrating isn’t just important to keep up, but also to take advantage of the full potential of the cloud while the opportunities are still there for the taking. It would seem that every cloud really does have a silver lining.
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