The pandemic has magnified the importance of a cloud computing strategy for businesses of all sizes. In a very real sense, cloud technology has been the glue that has kept businesses, employees, customers, partners and suppliers connected for the past 10 months.
It’s hard to imagine how companies could have remained functional without the cloud. The on-demand availability of immensely scalable resources has allowed companies to set up remote access to key applications and spin up near-instant infrastructure deployments.
These tactical shifts have been so successful that many organizations are now thinking more strategically about the cloud. There is growing acknowledgment that the increased use of public and private cloud resources can set the stage for substantial infrastructure changes that could future-proof the IT environment for years to come.
In one recent survey, global IT decision-makers report that the success of pandemic-driven cloud initiatives is causing them to rethink their entire IT operating model. Nearly 90 percent say they are accelerating their migration to the cloud, and 74 percent say they expect 95 percent of all workloads will be in the cloud by 2025.
In a separate survey, IT professionals said strategic business outcomes will drive the shift. Respondents said their primary motives for modifying their IT infrastructures are to get greater control of their IT resources (58 percent), gain the flexibility to meet dynamic business requirements (55 percent), and improve support for customers and remote workers (46 percent). Additionally, respondents said cloud migration will allow them to simplify operations, strengthen business continuity plans and offer more flexible work setups.
Here are a few of the many ways the cloud helps reduce costs and future-proof IT infrastructure:
Elasticity and Scalability. Although often used interchangeably, these are actually very different cloud characteristics. Cloud elasticity is the ability of a system’s hypervisor to quickly create virtual machines, containers or other resources to match real-time application demands. Scalability refers to the amount of server and storage space available to meet service or application demands. Both characteristics help ensure organizations can meet their IT demands dynamically as they move applications and data into the cloud.
Easier Management. Cloud solutions eliminate many repetitive infrastructure management tasks through increased levels of automation and orchestration. Web-based user consoles provide “single-pane-of-glass” management of cloud-based IT assets, allowing administrators to easily set and enforce policies, allocate resources and control access.
Rapid Deployment. Responding to changing business or technology needs can be tough with in-house infrastructure. It can take days to acquire, configure and deploy a dedicated server, for example. With on-demand self-service, it may only take a couple of minutes to deploy a cloud server through a control panel interface.
Improved Resilience. The distributed nature of cloud resources contributes to IT resilience and business continuity by improving backup processes and making it easier to recover from a disaster. Cloud-based backup options are faster and more reliable than more conventional tape- or flash-based solutions where there is a much higher chance of data corruption.
Although the shift to cloud services can deliver significant investment protection and performance enhancements, it is not without challenges. According to a 2019 Unisys study, more than a third of U.S. businesses do not capture notable benefits from their cloud computing project. In most cases, that’s because internal IT departments don’t have the manpower or expertise to effectively monitor and manage the cloud environment.
A managed services provider with cloud expertise can frequently deliver better results while also freeing up your in-house IT staff to focus on other essential workflows and applications. RMM Solutions has the breadth of expertise to help ensure your cloud solutions deliver the business benefits you expect. Give us a call to discuss your 2021 IT strategy.