Cloud computing has become essential for most homes and businesses, and it has been critical in reducing the social upheaval and economic devastation caused by COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns and limitations. According to Gartner, spending on all cloud services will increase 41 percent from 2020 to 2022, with nearly 70% of businesses increasing their cloud investment due to the disruption caused by COVID-19.
It's not surprising that enterprise spending on data center hardware and software has remained flat for most of the last decade as more businesses migrate to the cloud. Cloud computing provides numerous advantages, including the ability to set up what is effectively a virtual office and connect to your team members from anywhere, at any time. With the growing number of web-enabled devices used in today's corporate environment (e.g., smartphones and tablets), access to your data becomes even easier.
For example, a comprehensive analysis of business IT markets conducted by Synergy Research Group between 2009 and 2019 reveals that eight vendors increased their annual enterprise IT sales by more than $200 billion. Another notable growth story of the decade was the rise of ODMs that manufacture large quantities of hardware on behalf of hyperscale operators. ODMs (operational management data) now generate approximately $17 billion in revenue from these operations, up from virtually nothing ten years ago.
If you're on the fence about switching from traditional computing to cloud computing, here are the top five reasons why you should. We'll also go over some cloud migration pitfalls to be aware of.
To understand this benefit of cloud computing, we must first understand the differences between cloud and on-premise environments. The primary distinction between cloud and on-premise software is where it is stored. On-premise software is installed locally on your company's computers and servers, whereas cloud software is hosted on the vendor's server and accessed via a web browser.
Cloud hosting, without a doubt, makes cloud resources available to apps and websites. As opposed to traditional hosting, solutions are not installed on a single server. The program or website is hosted by a network of linked virtual and physical cloud servers, which provides greater flexibility and scalability.
However, do cloud solutions pose any challenges to businesses in terms of availability and reliability?
High availability and reliability are two of the most pressing concerns in cloud computing services. System reliability represents the likelihood that a system will be operational without failure within a specified period. In contrast, the availability of a system at a time is defined as the likelihood that the system will be up and running properly at that time.
Using the cloud increases the distance between the business and its servers, putting them outside of the organization's catchment area. This means that cloud computing requires a constant and direct internet connection to function properly. Nothing works if the internet connection fails.
The contract for your company's cloud solution, on the other hand, determines which availability is guaranteed. Typically, 99 percent of working hours are guaranteed each year.
If your cloud provider fails to guarantee availability for any reason, you bear the responsibility. Because there are contractual consequences for not having access to the cloud, separate location connections may also reduce the chances of failure on the consumer side.
It’s worth noting that in terms of reliability and availability, there are more arguments in favor of cloud hosting than against it, particularly for businesses with multiple locations.
The next advantage of cloud hosting is that public and private clouds are more secure than your own IT infrastructure. Many threats are reduced significantly by complex IT systems and logically distinct networks. Every cloud hoster employs its own security specialists who are exclusively responsible for data security and the management of all defensive measures.
Similarly, patches and upgrades are deployed as soon as possible. The cloud provider takes care of everything that would otherwise go into day-to-day operations - that is, if legally mandated by the contract.
In theory, nearly all programs may be run in the cloud; however, a negative impact may occur if obsolete software with high network requirements is utilized. The reason is that the cloud stops working when the internet goes out, and although the economic effect of an internet outage is already significant, one thing is certain: the usage of cloud servers increases the damage.
Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) outsourcing of IT systems implies operational risk and managerial effort shifting to cloud services. Several technical duties are delegated to professionals, and the contract ensures that you will always be online. In daily business, you have your mind free for the important duties. As a result, cloud hosting is unquestionably appropriate for medium-sized businesses' daily operations.
Because the cloud is based on infrastructure-as-a-Service, you may continue to use all of your current apps throughout the migration with little effort. The high-performance cloud infrastructure ensures everything works better and quicker after the transition. Also, this framework is relatively safer, depending on the cloud provider's standards.
By the way, if you're already certain that cloud hosting is the way to go, you should do your homework to find the best option for your company's requirements. To assist you, below is a comparison of the two most popular cloud hosting systems, AWS and Google Cloud Platform.
After signing the contract and migrating to the cloud, you are bound to rely on your cloud service provider. The technological stack also plays a role in determining how flexible the solution is. For example, if you've used Amazon AWS, your options for other providers are restricted, or the next transition is more complicated. Another disadvantage of using this type of cloud service is that the greater the involvement of the cloud provider, the higher the risk.
On the other hand, a cloud-based Infrastructure-as-a-Service may be moved and turned back into a fixed network rather simply (although this has to be carefully planned and implemented).
When IT is virtualized, it may be extended with complete adaptability and increase performance at peak periods. The cloud service manages performance and responds rapidly to outages, unlike internal IT. If you are experiencing severe issues, you might consider switching to a supplier that offers similar services. As a result, you may plan with more flexibility and without having to wait for lengthy periods of time.
Usually, the initial cost of cloud computing solutions is a little exaggerated. In practice, on-premises solutions may be less costly, but when it comes to operating expenses, the cloud is generally more affordable than having your own IT infrastructure (when all variables are considered).
The costs include server hardware and licensing and power supply, connectivity, staff, security audits, installation, maintenance, support, appropriate facilities (data centers), and much more. In most cases, you pay a monthly fee for the all-inclusive service and are only billed for what you use.
Essentially, cloud computing stands for security, high availability, and maximum convenience at a reasonable cost. Switching to a cloud system should be planned and examined thoroughly to reap the benefits.