4 Reasons Companies Are Adopting Cloud Technologies
Ninety percent of executives agree that for their organization to be agile and resilient to market changes, they need to fast forward their digital transformation with cloud computing at its core. In this time of distributed workforces, off-premise public cloud technology has become a compelling way to maintain productivity and keep projects running smoothly. In fact, companies migrating to public cloud infrastructure can expect to see 30-40% savings in their total cost of ownership (TCO) for the technology, according to Accenture.
Why are so many executives and companies moving their digital infrastructure to the cloud? Udemy instructor Neal Davis is a highly experienced AWS Cloud Solutions Architect and the founder of Digital Cloud Training, where he teaches global students the fundamentals of cloud technologies. With over 20 years working in IT, he’s been in the virtualization and cloud computing space since its inception. Recently, he shared with us four benefits of cloud adoption and why you’ll see skills in this technology grow more in-demand.
1. Optimize IT costs
First, let’s look at cost. Most organizations don’t want to spend money on data centers, hardware, storage, and networking. It’s a large amount of capital to buy into a system and then have it depreciate in a few years. Even when companies want to stop using some of their systems for a period of time, the cost remains in the underlying infrastructure. In public cloud services like AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud, tech teams have more flexibility in which systems they use and can pay as needs change.
In detail, here’s how cloud technology optimizes overall IT costs:
- With public cloud solutions, companies can turn features off as needed and then scale them back up, without having to pay for services and hardware that aren’t being used. This is much harder to do with on-premise infrastructure solutions. You can turn things off, but the cost of maintaing the physical systems remain.
- Scaling features up or down depending on when they’re needed can be automated within public cloud offerings and based on real time information. This is all with little disruption to business processes
2. Support and secure a remote workforce
Your remote workforce needs the tools to communicate and carry on with their job as if they were in an office together. On-premise, private cloud solutions do offer remote management administration, but it’s not always a seamless experience. Public cloud services are designed for remote administration. It’s API-driven, so no matter where you or your team is, your systems are still accessible and manageable.
In fact, many tools now commonly used to empower remote workers are possible because of private cloud technology.
- The video conferencing service, Zoom, moved from 10 million daily participants to over 300 million in a very short amount of time thanks to public cloud vendors. Zoom’s infrastructure is heavily invested in AWS, which is what allowed it to adapt to exponential growth in a short period of time.
- Amazon Workspaces, part of AWS, is a virtual desktop virtualization service, that saw over 94% growth in the last year. Why? It can easily provide remote Windows 10 or Linux desktops and networking to employees around the globe in minutes. It allows employees to access all the same applications as they could in an office or within a private network.
3. Adapt to changing consumer behavior
How do you adapt to changing consumer behavior? It varies by industry, but let’s use banking as an example. Although most have an online option, banks still rely heavily on physical contact, and people regularly visiting branches. To ensure their business continued as normal, the agility of cloud services allows banks to expand their online services.
Here are a few examples of cloud use cases for scalability and elasticity, and managed services:
- Scalability and elasticity: In the cloud, we want to be automatic as much as possible, but also, elastic. Elastic meaning the ability to add and grow applications, storage footprint, and size of databases. When you don’t need the capacity anymore, you can scale back. Typically, you can’t do that in an on-premises data center, so elasticity is something that’s important to the cloud, especially when we have these huge changes in demand patterns.
- Managed services: Cloud services have a lot of managed services to choose from where you can jump in and start using it. If we tried to build it ourselves, it would be complex, expensive, and take a lot of time. Coming back to analytics and machine learning, with managed services, you can start just utilizing the infrastructure available to start running analytics, and get information about customer behavior.
4. Maintain business continuity
Business continuity is important anytime, but one of the challenges is that our patterns have changed. Could you execute a disaster recovery situation if you were unable to leave your home or go to a data center? It’s difficult. That’s an advantage to the cloud, it’s distributed in nature, and has lots of deployment options across different regions. They’re designed for full tolerance and high availability and have our internet-based access and remote managers.
Here are the benefits of being fully in the cloud:
- Disaster recovery for on premises infrastructure, and bursting are essentially the same thing. But you’re using capacity so that you can actually burst if you need the scalability. Because you have that infrastructure set up when you need to, you can fail over to it in a disaster scenario.
- If fully in the cloud, you often get more benefits like Amazon’s relational database service. When using an AWS managed service, you can create a replica of your database in another region. Now, if you build your own infrastructure on iOS, for example, then you won’t necessarily be able to do that. Oftentime, you get some better benefits if you’re actually fully running your applications in the cloud.
- Additionally, if you’re in the cloud, you can test it programmatically. You can regularly run tests and make sure you’re fully confident in your disaster scenario.
Considerations when adopting cloud trends
The best defense against the uncertainty and keep business agile is to fully embrace cloud technology. As cloud technology continues to grow in 2021, roughly 23%, the future looks to be cloud based. Want to help your team develop these skills? Explore how key IT skills can promote business continuity.