Why use cloud computing?

Ireland as a country, has become a force in cloud computing. All the major global cloud solution companies including Dropbox, Salesforce and Citrix have offices here. But are businesses using cloud computing? And if not, should they?

Last year, TechCentral surveyed 123 Irish companies about their use of cloud computing. It found that 85% already used cloud (so yes, there are companies that still don’t!) with 9% having plans to do so. Only 7% said they had no plans to use the cloud.

Firstly what is cloud computing?

Well, the cloud is a network of servers store data and run programs; these servers are not located on your premises; instead they are typically managed within big data centres by cloud solution providers like Microsoft.

So, why should you use cloud computing?

There are many, many advantages to using cloud and ultimately using cloud computing for data and application storage reduces the power and space demands on your own systems.

Some other key benefits are:

  1. More affordable and you know what your fixed monthly expenditure will be; no big capital outlay required
  2. Data and applications are accessible from any location with an internet connection – inside or outside the office
  3. Your business can grow easily and more affordably as you can simply add computing power as you need it
  4. Data security is improved, since most cloud computing vendors are continually investing in their security standards and protocols

Myths about cloud computing

  • Everything must be in the cloud. Not true – you can have different models of operation. Most companies, particularly when moving applications to the cloud, choose a hybrid solution. This means that some systems and/or data remain on-premise and others are in the cloud. In fact, the TechCentral survey found that 43% were hybrid solutions. IDC predicts that by 2018, more than 85% of enterprise IT organisations will commit to multi-cloud architecture
  • Excessive downtime. Microsoft’s Azure cloud guarantees 99.9% uptime
  • Not secure. In fact, cloud based applications are often more reliable than in-house systems as the network of systems means that when one system goes down, service will be redirected to others. And, it is the cloud provider’s responsibility to ensure that data is safe, so they have to continually monitor their security processes and invest to meet ever more demanding certification requirements
  • All cloud is the same. Untrue. As mentioned earlier, there is a hybrid cloud, but organisations can also chose to use either a public cloud or set up their own private one.

There is no doubt that using the cloud can help transform an organisation. It can also quickly introduce more capabilities, streamline operations and deliver more return for the most optimal investment.

“More than $1 trillion in IT spending will be directly or indirectly affected by the shift to cloud during the next five years,” said Gartner. “This will make cloud computing one of the most disruptive forces of IT spending since the early days of the digital age.”

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