Since 2009, the annual spend on cloud services over IT spend has increased by 4.5 times and is expected to exceed six times the rate of IT spend through 2020. Invariably, the digital age – and the COVID pandemic – have made cloud computing a must. Not to mention the ease of use, big data storage requirements, and unlimited access for remote workers and consumers. Moreover, cloud services offer SMBs and startups access to resources without a massive capital investment. Further, the cloud enables instant capacity during spikes in online business traffic. Essentially, compared to an IT internal infrastructure, the cloud can scale to meet organizational needs – on demand.

Cloud services have been around for almost two decades now. According to the International Data Group, 69 percent of organizations are already using one or more forms of cloud technology. In addition, Dell has found that companies that invest in cloud services experience around 53% faster revenue growth over market competitors.

Every day, more tech-savvy industry leaders are realizing the advantages of using cloud services to address consumer expectations and drive profits. It is increasingly difficult for organizations to store big data on in-house servers and to maintain, backup, and secure those servers. Personnel costs are also on the rise, even more so for specialized IT staff. As a result, there is no better time to transition your IT infrastructure to cloud services.

The decision to have an on-premise IT infrastructure or to transition to cloud services can equate to the difference between buying a building or renting a workspace and letting your landlord fix any issues quickly and comprehensively. With cloud services, the burden of maintenance, security, storage, energy costs, and housing are on your IT partner so that you can focus on what you do best – serving your customers.

Assess the value of the cloud

Before moving to the cloud, it’s critical to consider organizational data needs. For instance, your business should determine requirements for performance, storage, security, processing, and budget. When the right investment in cloud services is made, it can drive long-term profits that help your business to thrive for years to come.

Understand the benefits of cloud services

Cloud services allow users access without having to store the bulk of the data or files on their physical systems. Gmail, TurboTax, and even Instagram are all cloud-based services. What makes the cloud so valuable is businesses can store and access massive amounts of data securely and more easily meet compliance requirements. Take a look at more specific benefits of cloud services below:

● Real-Time Collaboration from Any Location
● Quality Control
● Disaster Recovery
● Cost Reduction vs. On-Premise IT Infrastructure
● Cyber Security
● Agility
● Mobile Preparedness
● Data Insights
● Data Recovery
● Automated Updates
● Competitive Advantage

Cost Reduction vs. On-Premise IT Infrastructure: All businesses must carefully consider their budgets before making new IT investments. With the cloud, it’s vital to also review the potential ROI. And, cloud services offer a pay-as-you-go model and only pay for what you use. So then, if you don’t use every component or have a need, then you won’t have to pay for it either. The pay-for-what-you-use model also applies to data storage.

As you can see, this model facilitates higher returns in an era of big data and industry-based data regulations. Indeed, storing digital files of sensitive data is much safer than physical copies residing in a physical location vulnerable to theft or a natural disaster.

Disaster Recovery: It’s important for every business to retain control of their data, but there are things out of anyone’s control such as server downtime, a natural disaster, a theft, or something else. Trying to predict and anticipate disasters is an act in futility. However, relying on cloud services means you can ensure your business recovers quickly from any disaster whether it is a power outage or worse. Keeping your data offsite also means that if something were to happen to damage your physical office, your files and apps are still secure and accessible.

Mobile Preparedness: By using cloud services, you don’t have to design mobile-ready apps, as every component of your infrastructure becomes mobile-ready immediately. Remote staff can stay on top of their workload without having to enter the office. And, your team can benefit from real-time collaboration tools that don’t require an in-person meeting.

Empower Data Insights: These days, knowledge is power and data is currency. Within big data likes powerful insights just waiting to be turned into actionable information. There aren’t enough hours in the day to sift through these bits manually, but you can certainly retrieve valuable data insights by using cloud services. Build customized reports to create organizational action plans. Determine where the company can save the most money by using cloud-based business insights.

Agility: When your IT department is burdened with data-storage issues, they have less time to help advance your strategic business goals and to satisfy customers. In contrast, partnering with a cloud services provider ensures all of your IT hosting and infrastructure is well-managed and secure. So then, you have more time to devote to improving your bottom line.

Cloud services have an advantage over an IT internal infrastructure since it gives your business more agility in terms of instant bandwidth as opposed to undertaking an expensive overhaul of your in-house IT infrastructure. This type of agility can make a significant difference in the overall efficiency and productivity of your business. It’s an important aspect towards meeting the needs of impatient customers.

Loss Prevention: Even if the computer you use isn’t functioning as intended, your data in the cloud is still easily accessible. Imagine what would happen if you have an issue with your local hardware, you could lose files permanently. Computers and servers can malfunction for many reasons from viruses to simple deterioration and user error. They can also be stolen or misplaced.

Cyber Security: It is natural, and warranted, to have security concerns when transitioning to cloud services. How does your business know your files and applications are adequately protected? Well, for starters, your cloud provider must protect your files or they can no longer earn your business. And, cloud providers have their reputations on the chopping block if they don’t provide secure cloud services.

Something else to consider is that a large percentage of internal data thefts are perpetrated by staff members. So then, it makes sense to keep confidential data onsite. Based on a RapidScale study, 94% of businesses saw an increase in cyber security after moving to the cloud and 91% shared that it made it easier to meet compliance mandates. Based on your needs, you can apply varying and layered security protocols.

Competitive Advantage: Even as cloud services rise in popularity, there are still businesses who want to keep things local. Unfortunately, it puts them at a disadvantage when competing with organizations who have the power of the cloud at their fingertips. Further, competing with enterprise businesses is impossible without cloud services.

Final thought

By transitioning to cloud services, you can boost productivity, efficiency, compliance, and cost savings. The best approach is to partner with an experienced and proven vendor. If you’re ready to enjoy the benefits of cloud services, the team at SSI is ready to help.