Many organizations are skeptical of cloud computing and struggle to get a firm grasp on “the cloud”. This could be for any number of reasons: uncertainty of how to get started, security apprehensions, lack of staff expertise. The list goes on but enabling your organization for cloud computing should be an IT priority, especially in today’s marketplace. To make you a believer of the benefits of cloud software let’s check out six reasons why you should make it a priority it right now.
1. Reducing Costs
Procuring new hardware for on-premises workloads is expensive. There’s a large capital expenditure involved in purchasing new equipment ($100,000s), and a considerable amount of staff hours that will need to be dedicated to installing and setting up the servers, including software, security, and backup configurations. Tack on the operational expenditure for maintenance, electricity, and cooling and you’ve consumed some serious cash.
Now consider the cloud alternative. Because your provider manages the physical infrastructure components, there is no hardware CapEx to worry about. For the same reason, there’s no need to have staff unbox, rack, and cable equipment. If you opt for managed services, you can even forget about the software, security, and backup setup; it’s taken care of for you. You’re able to deploy an identical infrastructure for a fraction of the cost.
A good example would be Great Dane Pub & Brewing, an awesome local food and micro-brew venue with multiple locations in the Madison area. Because their existing infrastructure didn’t support the collaboration and redundancy that they wanted and needed, we innovated a multi-site mesh network that incorporates Microsoft Azure resources allowing them to maintain the required redundancy and gain more centralized file collaboration without the overhead of more hardware at every location. A cost-saving solution for a seamless integration.
All cloud providers work with Pay-as-you-Go models. This means that you only get charged for what you are using. If you don’t need it; get rid of it! Imagine trying that with your on-premise hardware. You could even take that to a more granular level and remove or scale back resources during specific daily windows saving you even more money.
Flexibility also means you don’t need to commit to large amounts of resources that only get used during peak hours. In the cloud, you can leverage vertical and horizontal scaling to match demand instead of wasting idle resources during the low usage times.
Enabling yourself in cloud allows you the freedom to have workloads available when you need them and save money when you don’t.
One solution that does this well is GravityMarket, an Acumium e-commerce SaaS solution we use with clients like Tandy Leather, Emergency Medical Products, Lettuce Entertain You and many more storefronts. It leverages several AWS features to flex with demand and ensure a consistent customer experience. Its application load balancing using customized target groups, and aggressive autoscaling policies keep the application running smoothly during time of peak-usage.
3. Compliance and Data Security
Having worked with Amazon, Microsoft, and other IaaS/SaaS providers on projects that require strict adherence to regulatory compliances, I can tell you it sure is convenient to have infrastructure that is already certified compliant to most mainstream standards. If you’ve ever entertained achieving this level of compliance with on-premise services, you certainly understand the challenges and costs that are involved.
Encryption is only one facet of data security. Now, it’s easier than ever to make sure that your sensitive data is properly encrypted in-transit and at-rest. Any service in the cloud that transacts, or stores data can always be configured to keep the data encrypted. More often than not, encryption is turned on by default.
Omega Laboratories, who uses a custom Acumium-developed application, has certain data sovereignty requirements imposed on them because of the nature of the application data. By targeting specific geographical data centers during deployment, we were able to help Omega satisfy the requirements of several governmental compliances. This deployment model greatly decreased the scope of exposure and reduced the cost to Omega of maintaining compliance.
4. Backups and Data Redundancy
No IT person enjoys managing backups, much less having to resort to using it. Many services that are available in the cloud are now taking matters into their own hands and including backup management as a component of the service offering or replicating content to geographically disparate locations. Maintaining data backups is now far less stressful and way more convenient.
5. Managed Services
Cloud providers are making things even easier by removing another management layer for many commonplace services and providing the resulting application as a service. So now you just need to connect to the underlying service to use it and let the provider worry about maintaining the cluster state, deploying release versions to multiple nodes, or replacing failed servers.
By removing the need to maintain complex service underpinnings, your team is freed up to focus on more important ventures.
6. Bonus Features
Every day cloud providers are creating tools to make an IT staffer’s job more efficient. There are free services that audit your cloud spend and recommend opportunities for additional cost savings, or features that monitor the security profile of your resources to identify potential issues. Built-in metrics and dashboards that let you gain insights into the performance of your applications, and easy to configure alerting systems that can easily integrate with existing messaging platforms are all easy-to-use, free additions.
Cloud enablement is a philosophy. It’s leveraging the power, flexibility, and availability of virtually unlimited resources to drive down costs, improve efficiency and redundancy, foster innovation, and accelerate go-to-market. If your organization isn’t already present in the cloud or is planning on further extending your footprint there, re-evaluate these reasons with decision-makers and get them on board to take the leap. Need help convincing? Feel free to connect with our team with questions or comments.