Over the past ten years, ‘the cloud’ has emerged as one of the most popular technology solutions in the tech industry. But what is the cloud and how exactly does it impact you or your business?
Simply put, using cloud technology means that instead of using your computer’s hard drive, you are accessing programs and storing data over the internet. Below, we will discuss what cloud technology means for businesses as well as what the difference is between public, private and hybrid cloud options.
Cloud computing represents more than just moving servers and the software that runs on them to an off-site location. For most businesses, it represents a significant shift in their IT strategy. Not so long ago, many businesses were in a procurement cycle of purchasing new hardware every few years to accommodate their changing needs and device lifecycles. Now, by moving the workload to a cloud-based environment, businesses can save time and better manage resources.
There are three main types of cloud environments, which are public, private and hybrid. Each has its own unique benefits.
An outside organization that provides a number of different hosting services or packages is considered a public cloud service. Two very well-known brands in the public cloud sector are Google Drive and Microsoft with their SharePoint and hosted Office 365 program.
The main benefits of choosing a public option is that a business only needs to pay for the resources that they are using and it takes very little time to deploy IT resources on an as-needed basis.
Before choosing a public cloud service, it is recommended that a business partner with a reputable service provider to create a solution that will meet their current needs as well as be fully scalable for the future.
Some businesses may have particular government or industry regulations regarding where their data is stored or may require a higher performance environment than what public cloud service provides. In these situations, private cloud service may be a better solution.
Private clouds are similar to the traditional on-premise, client-server model that has been the business standard for decades. In addition to storing data and applications, your private cloud service provider is also responsible for all associated aspects related to hardware, procurement, power supply and cooling, disaster recovery, strategy, and communications.
If your business has recently invested in IT infrastructure or utilizes legacy applications for daily core operations, a private cloud is an ideal solution. For organizations that fall into particular laws or regulations regarding regulatory compliance or data sovereignty, using a private cloud may be a necessity.
If some aspects of a public cloud and certain advantages of a private cloud seem to make more sense for your business, a hybrid cloud model could be the right strategy.
An example could be if, for regulatory purposes, your business needed to confine data on-site but also depends on multiple web-based applications for daily operations.
Other reasons for choosing a hybrid model could be that certain legacy software or applications will not function in a public cloud environment or that your business has an existing investment in infrastructure on site.
No matter what type of business you own, there are many compelling reasons to take advantage of using the cloud, whether you choose a private, public or hybrid model.
Investing in cloud technology helps businesses lower their IT costs while achieving significant improvements in scale and efficiency that otherwise would have been beyond their capabilities. Cloud technology is not only cost effective but only requires a minimum investment compared to having to purchase an entire IT infrastructure, let alone the resources required to properly manage it.
Perhaps most importantly, moving to the cloud gives businesses freedom and the ability to increase their global reach. By letting go of allocating employee resources on managing IT infrastructure, organizational talent can instead be used to improve business process and associates can thrive on virtual collaboration anywhere across the globe when supported by cloud computing.
Finally, no matter what type of cloud type you choose, selecting a knowledgeable and professional managed service provider is essential to ensuring the best return on your investment as well as a seamless experience.
To learn more about how the cloud can benefit your business, get a free analysis today.