“If you wanna see the future, go stare into a cloud” -Conor Oberst
Well, here, we are talking of the cloud that provides hosted services over the internet. Of course you cannot literally stare into it, but surely, cloud computing can make the future bright for your firm. Some of the benefits that cloud computing provides include improved mobility and collaboration, flexible capacity, less environmental impact, reduced and flexible costs, business continuity, different storage options, etc.
The role that cloud computing plays to simplify a company’s IT management:
- Lowers the infrastructure costs- Cloud computing provides you a virtual office, thereby eliminating the requirement of expensive systems and equipment, separate system upgrades, new hardware and software, huge energy consumption, as well as expert staff, who are paid huge wages and salaries. Whenever required, you can make use of the resources provided by your cloud service provider, instead of setting up and maintaining your own infrastructure.
- Provides flexible payment structure- With cloud computing, you only pay for your server and infrastructure capacity as and when required. Traditionally, it was essential to buy enough capacity that would be sufficient for the peak times. But now with cloud computing, you can buy capacity according to your exact needs, allowing you to pay only for what you use. You can reserve as well as pay only for the amount of space that you’re going to use.
- Improved Innovation- Since the need of building and maintaining your own infrastructure is eliminated, a lot of time and resources are saved. With the saved time and resources, you can concentrate on a variety of new projects and business operations, which will result in innovation.
- Makes it easy to grow your applications- Cloud computing provides a virtual platform for all your data and applications. You don’t need to think twice if you need to expand your applications, since this is possible with cloud storage, and most cloud service providers provide allow you to easily grow your applications.
- No security updates required- When you take up a cloud service, most of your required services are already included in your package by your cloud service provider. Automatic updates are also included in the service, therefore, your systems will regularly be updated with the latest versions of software and upgrades. In addition to this, with cloud computing, also there isn’t any requirement to spend on expensive software licenses.
- No need of a geeky IT department- With cloud computing, the need to have a vast IT team is reduced considerably since most of the tasks of IT department are managed via the servers provided by the cloud service providers. You no longer will need to hire expert IT administrators and technicians, and pay them huge wages and salaries.
- Reduces the need of huge office space- Obviously it is not a replacement for office space, but it surely reduces the need of a large space. Setting up and maintaining an IT infrastructure in a company involves setting up countless numbers of computer systems, machines, servers, routers, equipment, etc. Cloud computing eliminates this need by moving and giving access to everything over the server, which greatly reduces the need of buying a huge corporate space.
- Provides the ability to scale elastically- IT resources include computing power, storage, bandwidth, network, etc. Cloud computing provides the right amount of IT resources at the required time and in the required location. You can scale up or down your business operations to suit your changing needs.
- Allows Business Continuity- In unfortunate situations of natural disasters, power failures or crisis, cloud storage ensures that your data and applications are backed up well in a safe location, that could be restored and accessed quickly again in case of any loss. This simplifies the IT management since the need to create extensive and complex backups is eliminated by cloud computing.
Since there are different types of cloud storage options that are available to choose from, the needs of the organization should first be determined. This includes the security needs that they are looking for, their budget preferences and affordability, their server requirements, the kind of control that is needed, their redundancy and portability needs, their scalability needs, and what SLAs (Service Level Agreements) are offered, among other factors. Based on the business needs and keeping these factors in mind, the right cloud service provider should be selected.