How Cloud Computing Benefits Your Company
Posted October 7, 2013
The benefits of the cloud, such as lower costs, scalability and flexibility, are numerous. But while SMEs (Small/Medium Enterprises) have enthusiastically embraced the cloud, large companies have been more reluctant to invest in this technology. It's time for change: the cloud has advantages for the company and also of greater magnitude will see CIOs essential as a way to secure the future of their organizations.
CIOs (Chief Information Officer) are increasingly warming to the cloud. A survey in May this year by the analyst firm Research found that 92 percent of CIOs and IT professionals think the cloud is good for business. The same survey also found that only 31 percent of companies that describe their infrastructure is mainly based on the cloud, indicating a rejection among most organizations to take positive steps towards cloud adoption. Seems that if larger the company, the greater the resistance.
However, this view is wrong. Cloud computing offers many advantages to the company. The technology provides more flexibility, lower costs, greater scalability, ease of use and, if done correctly, increased security and disaster recovery. This applies equally to small and large companies - but there is no doubt that the latter moving to the cloud is more difficult.
But a move to the cloud is inevitable. Domestic infrastructure facilities served the organization for decades, but it is not suitable for it, when other business units expect services to be delivered quickly and without problems.
With traditional infrastructure facilities, can take months to get going. Meanwhile, the original business opportunity has come and gone, with no effect. With the cloud, opportunities can be exploited quickly
For these reasons many business units in organizations embrace the cloud through credit card payments, regardless of whether or not the CIO cloud accepts. The head of a department and not wait months for bureaucracy to implement new systems when other third party cloud providers offer simple and fast commissioning of services without the need to involve the IT department.
Smart CIOs know that to keep their jobs, they have to be able to offer the same services to other business units with the same agility and cost structure. The executives make use of credit cards to eliminate the middleman - the CIO is aware knows to be the intermediary. And if that measure is applied successfully, will not only save jobs, but also turn the IT department in an agile organization able to help the rest of the company to achieve its goals
You must be a fundamental change in approach. The CIO's role used to be to provide a supply infrastructure and domestic applications - with or without the participation of other departments of the organization. With the cloud, IT departments and CIOs cannot operate on their own - they have to be cooperation with other business units, as they have to be closer correlation between business needs and IT.
What will change is that the CIO will act as a kind of CEO of a service provider, the supply of services to the company in accordance with the demands of users. The service provider is the right term, as it is now on the provision of services rather than delivering applications. And these services are optimized to make the business run more efficiently.
1) Reduce costs
So why is going to be essential? For starters, the cloud can be costly - you only pay for what you need. Look at the numbers. An organization with a quad-core server with 3.0 GHz processor, 4GB RAM and 500 GB hard disk and only use ten percent of it. In a large organization, this inefficiency can be greatly multiplied as server farms can reach tens of thousands of units of hardware. The financial waste is surprisingly high.
A company with 10,000 servers, say, with $1500 each spent $15,000,000. If these servers are operating at only 10 percent efficiency, is a loss of $13,500,000 ($1,500,000 per year assuming the lifetime of three years). No company wants to run with that kind of overhead for too long.
Servers under Virtualization can mean a decrease in the number of servers you need a great company, freeing space in data centers, and allowing them to save large sums of money on power and cooling. However, Virtualization is only the first stage in the process - the next step will be to develop a data center based on the cloud with the features of the cloud.
It is well known that the average expenditure can be considered operating expenses (OPEX) rather than capital expenditures (CapEx), giving an organization's financial flexibility.
But this is not just about accounting procedures, but eliminates a layer of bureaucracy too. Like most CIOs know, when purchases are part of capital expenditures, financial managers often have to raise additional funds for the project booting, and projects have to go through various teams within the company to approval. A move to the cloud will simplify this process
All companies are looking for ways to be more responsive to customers and with this need, organizations want a more flexible infrastructure. With the cloud, companies no longer have to invest in expensive infrastructure maintenance back-office/hardware/software. Instead of having to constantly consume administrative tasks and maintenance, the IT organization can finally do what should be your main task - to help run the business.
For example, companies have used the cloud to simplify the systems that were not a part of the organization. The Cloud Computing systems can take several offline and make them accessible in a matter of seconds by any employee, 24 hours a day, instead of waiting for someone to successfully obtain relevant documentation, which could take weeks.
And this speed has a profound effect on the development of projects and new product launches. In short, the cloud will be the facilitator to bring products to market faster, as the development teams do not depend on IT teams to provision new servers and software.
All the evidence suggests that the move to the cloud will lead to economic reorganization. A study conducted in March this year by Microsoft IDC analyst predicted that 14 million new jobs were created in 2015 around the world as a result of increased cloud adoption.
The same study also found that income Cloud exceed annual $ 1.1 trillion this year.
Perhaps the best example of flexibility is the growth of hybrid clouds within enterprises. Gartner is seen as the key hybrid deployment for large enterprises. In its report, "Hybrid IT: How cloud services are transforming internal and external IT," analyst firm explains how companies are operating an array of pick-and-mix.
"Many IT organizations are adopting public cloud for non-critical IT services such as application development and testing, or for turnkey software as a service (SaaS) - as web and CRM analysis - that can replace holistically internal applications and allow access for a mobile workforce, "says Gartner
This mixture of public and private cloud will have a big impact on the company. Another facet of this is the additional capacity. Many large companies run their IT infrastructure into private clouds, however there will still be times when your private cloud capacity may not be enough.
In short is hybrid solution gives the company more flexibility, allowing you to use the public cloud at times of peak demand (e.g. retailers during the holiday season or for large data analysis projects). So no need to over provision to account for peak demand.
In a traditional solution (not cloud) there is the problem of over-provisioning (overload) and lower provisioning. As user demand increases, there is a need to over-supply. If demand continues to grow, suddenly can leave an organization with too much demand, without sufficient capacity to meet this demand.
With cloud computing, it is easy to request specific services quickly available to the maximum demand and the whole process is much more flexible, since users are not touching the capacity limits. When demand drops, these services can be depreciated. The cloud offers companies the ability to respond quickly to changes according to business opportunities.
There is another element of flexibility too. Employees can access data and services via smartphones, laptops and netbooks from anywhere. And, with the new services in the cloud, the ability to collaborate on files and documents simultaneously is finally a reality and reduces email back and forth, still seen in many organizations.
4) Big Data
One of the buzz phrases of the moment is Big Data. This is a convenient shorthand term on the ability of large companies to conduct advanced analysis on their databases.
Keeping up with information on customer data has been a matter loose and difficult to manage in the past, yet companies can improve their analytical skills can stay ahead of their competitors.
The cloud can allow large companies not only store your data in the cloud, but also provides the necessary computing power to sift through tons of unstructured data. In turn, this will give them the business intelligence needed to move the business forward and achieve their goals. With the cloud, it can be done and presented to the end user as an easy to use tool.
This last point is important. Until recently, advanced analysis were the exclusive domain of scientists esoteric knowledge specialists - The cloud handles large volumes of data in current form and will prove to be a growth area in the future.
5) Development of software
The gains in economy of scale achieved by implementing cloud software also apply to software development in the cloud - especially in large companies with internal teams of software developers.
The cloud, with its standardized architecture means that development can be much faster compared to traditional environments. One of the most important actors of the cloud, Salesforce, said that the development of software on your platform can be up to four times faster than normal, and services database and others are integrated into the platform. Also best practices are firmly established and documented for beginners to follow.
With the cloud, virtual machines can be deployed, installed and tested software much faster than physical machines that have to be reimaged every time a new software version needs testing
In addition, software development teams of large companies need large testing and development environments that only the cloud can really give. In the next five years, is expected to provide context providers-as-a-service to accelerate further development.
6) Better upgradeability
Maintain a single PC with all that means - constant security patches and updates - is a time consuming task, so keep thousands of current users is a tedious job.
According to a recent survey, up to 18 working days per month was spent on patches and updates. The larger the company, the more time and money spent on these tasks. No wonder that many CIOs complain about the amount of time spent on routine administration.
With the cloud, the IT organization no longer has to spend time updating servers and can concentrate on moving the business forward. As mentioned above, the use of the cloud is based on increased cooperation between business units and the CIO can now become a valuable partner in business development, rather than a firefighter.
7) The green dimension
There is also a green aspect (green) in the cloud that can help companies achieve their business objectives in corporate social responsibility.
This is because cloud providers can invest in data centers large scale (avoiding that each company has its own data center energy waste), which offer companies a green alternative to the conventional approach for IT. Furthermore, by putting more cloud services, material waste is reduced as less hardware is required. Can also be used for longer as fewer computing resources are required on the desktop. In addition, less infrastructure on site means less equipment to insure.
8) Superior Safety
One of the main obstacles to the cloud is the security issue. Many CIOs are reluctant to migrate to the cloud infrastructure because of the risk perceived by your organization. It is a particular problem for large companies, which not only concern for customer data, but also has to comply with various regulatory regimes - for example, in banking, finance, pharmaceuticals, etc.
These concerns are valid, but one thing must be clear: cloud security is not less than the data security of enterprises. Cloud providers have huge economies of scale and specialization that local organizations. This experience can guarantee a very high level of security and less qualified employees (private firms) are more likely to configure or introduce vulnerabilities.
Providers also can build clouds with security best practices provided to the system from the beginning. This includes everything from the core cloud platform to the processes that are put in place, and monitoring systems.
With this monitoring is continuous auditing. In addition to ensuring a high level of reliability, which means that cloud providers are able to ensure that you are running the latest versions of any code they use. If something goes wrong or any other irregular activity occurs - perhaps hacking attempt means - that can instantly detect and rectify as quickly as possible.
As cloud platforms perform a limited set of tasks that are highly scalable, there is a high degree of standardization in terms of computer hardware, network equipment, software applications and operating systems. This makes for a highly controlled environment that is easier to secure. Furthermore, the highest degree of automation in the implementation of new systems means there is much less chance of scoring points vulnerable or missing a key security patch.
Cloud providers can also avoid the problem of insider threats, and there is less chance that a single person has general privileges. Applications people do not have access to networks, network systems
can not access the operating systems and operating systems cannot touch the applications
9) Easier management
A digital panel shows the status of virtually everything runs on infrastructure, allowing the CIO to identify problems quickly and get them resolved in a timely manner.
Large companies have built their systems over many years and may have acquired some of its IT through acquisitions. Management of such systems can be particularly difficult.
The Cloud can change all that: cloud providers can offer this unique panel that offers a view of the entire cloud infrastructure, something that was difficult to achieve with traditional infrastructure. The cloud is easier to handle and can be rapidly provisioned services through these management tools. However, organizations require resources to maintain visibility in all parts of the infrastructure, whether that infrastructure is in the cloud or not.
Business critical applications also need greater vigilance, especially in multi-tenanted environments where organizations want only their data and applications to be controlled by them alone.
10) More Business
Companies are paying increasing attention to business flexibility. A huge data loss can sink a company. Progressively, in business flexibility strategies, cloud computing is fast becoming a tool of major risk management.
The cloud allows companies to increase redundancy infrastructure in all parts of the business. Decentralization allows applications and data, and this increases business flexibility and streamlines disaster recovery and network
New approaches to scalable application computing to simplify your IT infrastructure by merging many essential elements - including storage, load balancing, database and caching - in equipment clearly managed or cloud instances.
Unlike traditional infrastructures - where redundancy, the ability to scale and performance are reinforced with greatest growth a system or adding additional levels of modules - the cloud provides an architecture in which additional capabilities are added by "scaling horizontal "as well as add additional nodes, identical.
The Cloud changes practically everything in the IT organization
With more infrastructure by the cloud provider, what has been done?
Much In addition to developing strategies to ensure close alignment with current and future business needs, IT departments can finally become an asset to the organization, instead of a leak in the bottom line. It's not really a question of whether companies should move to the cloud, but when . The advantages of this measure are many and varied - as detailed above. IT organizations that span the cloud and consequently change, not only prevent the loss of jobs, but are increasingly essential for business as it become more agile and more aligned to business objectives. And this is how a modern company should be run. The modern enterprise is dynamic based on closer cooperation, benefit from the new levels of financial flexibility and a more attuned CIO business processes. Cloud computing is not just for SMEs, the company is also large.
Asher Ross is an expert technical writer from UK.