Let us consider the curious custom of the escalator. On one side, you may stand still and patiently wait for it to carry you to your end destination. On the other side, you are permitted to blaze up and down the thing like a sugar-fuelled cheetah – provided, of course, that all users understand this custom and you do not find yourself stuck behind some ill-mannered static plodder. No matter what, however, you will end up in the same place. That is the situation that is now developing in business computing – with the cloud as the universal destination. It is becoming the default IT solution in commerce, with governments already encouraging “cloud first” policies.
A business can run to that destination and steal a march on others. Or they can drift there with the crowd and potentially fall behind commercial innovators. However, it matters not which side you stand on: the cloud is the inevitable outcome.
The Case For The Cloud
To answer this question, it is first important to understand what the cloud actually is. The cloud constitutes a virtualised platform, served by an external provider, that allows users to store data and applications physically away from their own onsite server.
The case for such a system is drowning out the arguments for the archaic onsite setup. The cloud defeats localised servers on every metric. It is a more reliable system, with minimised network downtime and a guarantee of 99.999% uptime. It operates on a pay-as-you-use pricing structure, making it better value for money – particularly by eliminating application package deals. Its scalable capacity makes it a long-term solution, able to instantly expand to accommodate more users and scale down overnight. It also opens up the using business to additional technical support from the service provider.
Why Cloud As Default IT Is Unavoidable
The key to this is competition. The technical advantages of the cloud translate into competitive business advantages too. They do this by creating a more reliable, flexible network that can streamline everyday working practices. Workers can complete their duties more happily and efficiently, which naturally produces a more positive output.
Furthermore, workers may complete those duties with far greater freedom. This is because the cloud centralises data in a remote online environment, which means that it can be accessed through any device from any location. The globalised world we live in, where businesses often operate across multiple countries, has hastened the need for more mobility in how we work. Lifting staff morale and improving general wellbeing is also important; businesses may move towards this by granting them greater freedom to devise their own working locations and patterns.
These advantages are the hallmark of the modern business, and are already being adopted. Rivals will find themselves incapable of competing without them.
So Why Isn’t Cloud The Default IT Option Already?
A reasonable question. If the cloud is all it is cracked up to be, why is the big revolution not complete? There is the simple, broad explanation that it is still a relatively fledgling entry into the IT sphere. Innovation in IT has to pay its dues purely as a disruptive presence to the norm, before it becomes mainstream. There is a proportion of the business realm that has yet to fully understand the direction of future computing. On the other hand, there is a far greater chunk that believes it understands the direction all too well – including the risks.
The concerns about the security of cloud have circulated for a very long time. Surely it stands to reason that if data is stored outside our office, it must be more vulnerable? This is the question that, more than any other, has prevented the cloud from becoming every business’ default IT option.
However, the recent developments in cybersecurity have focused on the cloud as a focal point of business future. Machine-learning technology has formed the basis of future security software – which is itself built in the cloud. Moreover, the cloud does not bear the weaknesses many perceive. In reality, it is far more secure than an onsite server because it is regularly monitored by the provider’s own professional hackers, with all data encrypted and backed up in case a disaster recovery process is required.
The case for the cloud as a default IT solution in business is already strong enough at present. In looking towards the future, however, its importance becomes ever more pressing. Innovations such as augmented and virtual reality, which depend on a cloud-based technical structure, are beginning to permeate commercial events. They will dictate, in many internal and client scenarios, how we process, transmit and present information. In addition, further advances in big data analytics, also cloud-based, will be the driver of tomorrow’s business decisions.
Those decisions, as any senior official in commerce knows, can decide the fate of an entire enterprise. They need to be as accurate as possible, and that makes the insight of cloud computing an indisputable necessity. In turn, the onsite computing solutions of yesterday will become all but redundant. Cloud computing: default IT of the ambitious enterprise. Now businesses need to decide which side of the escalator they want to stand on.
Viastak work to support businesses looking to leverage technology, in order to streamline the way they operate. We believe in creating flexible, dynamic enterprises that are equipped to deal with the demands of the modern global economy. To find out more, please get in touch.