Top 10 Reasons Cloud Solutions are Expanding

Top 10 Reasons Cloud Computing is Exploding

Cloud OutsourcingAs CIOs and businesses move organizations towards cloud solutions and processing there are many benefits.  The top 10 reasons that cloud processing is currently the infrastructure model of choice are:

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  1. Pay for Usage not Capacity – Cloud-based applications mean that many of the old barriers to entry for traditional on-premise software, such as expensive infrastructure investments, heavy IT involvement and costly customizations, have been removed. Instead, it allows for a pay-as-you-go pricing model. This means you can mitigate project risk and capitalize on the benefits of collaboration technologies quickly, without the extensive, upfront capital expense or time-consuming installation and configuration of systems. Since cloud technologies are web-based, there is nothing to install or maintain, and you don’t have to deal with updates, patches or the maintenance of servers.
  2. Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery – With cloud based applications data and processing power is more easily moved and operated in alternative locations.  When a large event occurs, like Hurricane Sandy, the hosting facility can switch over to alternate locations without any impact on the application. If a company is hosting its own cloud, a disaster recovery and business continuity plan can easily implement a switch over to an alternate provider.
  3. ROI is Easier to Achieve – Cloud technologies remove many barriers associated with acquiring and using new and collaboration technology. It now is easier to acquire business solutions, with a “try-before-you-buy” approach, but it’s also easier to use and easier to configure. Organization you can activate applications and collaborative tools quickly.
  4. Users are in Command of Solutions – The shift to cloud has also helped usher in a new buyer: Business professionals can now pick and choose exactly what collaborative technologies they wish to use. They no longer need to rely on IT to get up and running, an experience that many are already accustomed to in their personal lives. As a result, the impact on usage, adoption and time to value is unparalleled. It is the same model as payroll systems in the 80’s when almost everyone has their own unique systems.  Then payroll processors entered the market eliminating the need for everyone to have their own in-house payroll application.
  5. Solutions are Scalable – As demands increase or decrease cloud solution give the using organizations the to start small, add and consume resources as demand grows, and reduce them when demand is not there.  This is an excellent solution for seasonal businesses and operations that are growing. It also provides for greater organizational agility. For instance, with cloud-based applications, it becomes easier to create a collaboration space for a short-term initiative or project, and even tear it down when complete without incurring tremendous costs. It also makes it easier to scale functionality, adding and integrating new tools and technologies as required using open APIs.
  6. Fewer Obstacles and Excuses – Customer and supplier demand has increased he need to collaborate and share content across firewalls and businesses have become more of a network centric. When the participants in a collaborative process reside outside an organization, it can be very difficult, expensive, or even next to impossible to extend on-premise collaboration tools to a member community or non-company personnel, such as contractors. That is why cloud technologies are often the preferred means for extending collaboration outside the firewall. They do not require shared infrastructure or remote access to the corporate network.
  7. Version Control More Manageable – Traditional on-premise software is often hampered by long release cycles. New features show up long past the time when they are requested or would confer a real competitive edge. When a new update does occur, it’s often fraught with challenges requiring long periods of downtime, patches, extensive work by the IT department prior to and post-release and customizations must be frequently rebuilt. Cloud design principles facilitate more rapid, iterative releases, and are frequently tied to more agile development processes, so user requested functionality can be implemented more quickly. In some cases, the time between requests and delivery shrinks so much that customers feel as though they are receiving a custom application. Cloud software is also updated online, ensuring that the user experience is seldom interrupted.
  8. Security is Enhanced – A cloud solution with an outside organization usually provides enterprise-grade security from physical access and virus protection through to data encryption, transfer and storage. Most cloud providers authenticate via secure connections and transfer data securely to/from their servers. The data is then stored in a compliance certified data center where strict access policies are rigorously assessed each year. Replicating these standards in-house can be cost prohibitive for many.
  9. Compliance Requirements are More Easily Meet – In addition mandated federal requirements, there now compliance requirements in almost every state. Individual state data protection laws are unique in several ways. For example, Massachusetts has extended its reach well beyond its own borders by mandating data protection for its citizens regardless of where that data resides. On the other hand, most other state laws, do not define what methods shall be used (e.g., encryption) to protect its citizens’ data.  As these laws are passed a cloud based solution can address these requirements more rapidly.
  10. Access From Anywhere at Any Time – Information access across multiple computing systems and devices (including BYOD), including Windows, Apple, Linux and smartphones or tablets, is actually one of the primary reasons CIOs and businesses are moving solutions to cloud based applications. When content is stored in the cloud, not on one particular computer, so it is accessible at any time, irrespective of location. A mobile worker can connect during their daily commute and pick up where they left off in the office, or even later that day at home. Even if you misplace or damage your computing device of choice, your data is safe and secure.

Author: Victor Janulaitis

M. Victor Janulaitis is the CEO of Janco Associates. He has taught at the USC Graduate School of Business, been a guest lecturer at the UCLA's Anderson School of Business, a Graduate School at Harvard University, and several other universities in various programs.