We’ve seen some momentous changes over the past 5 years as the cloud has spawned a revolution within IT that has spread to every part of the business. Today, organizations are lining up to migrate their applications and services to the cloud as fast as possible to save operating costs and improve efficiencies. Based on the continuing growth of ubiquitous computing, everything-as-a-service (XaaS) and Internet of Things, we can be sure that the cloud will continue to spawn new layers and models of doing business.
Onboarding your business to the cloud will be a key differentiator for keeping the competitive edge in today’s fast-paced digital era. If you haven’t adopted cloud yet then you’re already behind the curve. It’s not too late to catch up, but you’ll need to act fast! In what follows we outline some clear reasons why your business must be in the cloud.
1. Customers require it
Customers now expect to purchase products, search for services, and get quotes 24 hours a day, 7 days a week – whether at home, on the job, or in a jet flying across country. Cloud is all about gaining the fastest access to all goods and services from any device that can reach the internet, without having to install software or connecting directly to a server. This kind of instant access should be of primary interest to any business concerned about staying ahead of the market.
2. Competitive advantage
Research indicates that cloud adoption is steadily growing among SMBs in general. For example, in the U.S. the cloud market is expected to reach $32 billion by the beginning of 2016, representing a 19 percent year-over-year growth rate from $18.9 billion early in 2013. Indeed, all of this goes to show that cloud computing is today a major competitive advantage, not to mention the channel for improved ROI and decreased costs.
3. Cloud simplifies IT
The impacts of cloud computing on IT have been enormous over the past 5 years. More than any other single technology, the cloud has been the major impetus for bringing traditional infrastructures into the digital age. No more lengthy and time-consuming enterprise software installation, licensing and compliance issues, not to mention on-premise servers, vendors, consultants, and maintenance – all to the tune of thousands of dollars in annual overhead. Nowadays any business unit with a credit card can connect to a cloud-hosted service in less than 5 minutes for a fraction of the cost and no setup headaches. The same advantages of the cloud apply to the realm of security and policy management (see below). Instead of patching and managing boxes, IT teams can focus on strategic and architectural challenges with the assurance that your data is as secure as possible.
4. Cloud protects any device at any time
BYOD or ‘bring your own device’ is now the norm in most industries. The lines between personal mobile devices and business devices is changing. The employee who uses that Blackberry or iPhone will be downloading personal material and checking corporate messages. With cloud based security all traffic on all devices is directed to the cloud for inspection of malware, viruses, spam, or other threats. This allows company administrators to set up granular user level policies and compliance mandates across all users no matter whether they’re on a PC, a laptop, smartphone, or tablet. The cloud provides a much more visible and transparent, not to mention cost effective, way to monitor threat levels.
5. Cloud addresses Unified Endpoint Management (UEM)
Think for a moment about the impact of “consumerization of IT” trends and BYOD on the realm of business over the past several years. Scale that up ten-fold and then you can begin to understand the major changes and shifts that will be happening in the next 5-10 years within the realm of cloud computing. Businesses need to begin thinking about how their infrastructure can be cloud focused – not only in the age of mobile, but also as it pertains to wearables, smartwatches, and IoT connected devices. The new keyword in this arena is ‘endpoint’. The paradigm is shifting away from mobile device management (MDM) to one called Unified Endpoint Management (UEM). Cloud infrastructure will provide the best solution for increasingly complex data requirements as device management becomes more holistically focused on the integration of a large variety of endpoints – such as wearables, IoT, smartphones, and tablets.
6. Cloud dramatically improves ROI
There are so many advantages to moving your business to the cloud, but the best overall is that it dramatically improves your company’s return on investment. To be clear, moving your data requirements to the cloud means that deployment costs are minimal, there are no hardware or software upgrades to worry about, downtime is reduced and customer satisfaction improves, there is better overall protection of your company data at all times across all devices, and this leads to fewer infections and malware that require reimaging your hardware assets. Business cloud is a win-win no matter how you look at it!