By now, if you can’t answer the question, “What is cloud technology?” you may not really need it. More commonly referred to as cloud computing, cloud technology in simple terms refers to your information technology components stored in a remote data center using the Internet for access. Lately, cloud options trump on-premise solutions in which companies host their own internal data center and associated equipment and software. While companies across the nation and abroad continue in a frenzy to migrate from on-premise solutions to cloud technology, organizations holding back want to know how other companies are advancing with their cloud choice. What’s the big picture? Is it working? Are cloud migration helping organizations prepare for future technologies? Is security getting better or worse? What’s next?
Stats Guide Most Strategic Decisions
As business owners, you generally first look at statistics to guide you for strategic decision-making. While the numbers don’t always tell the whole truth, they are significant especially when it comes to the evolution of cloud technology and the rising up of cloud technology partners. Many of the forecasts for cloud solutions are encouraging if not impressive even though there are plenty of skeptics. In a 2017 article posted by Forbes entitled, “Roundup of Cloud Computing Forecasts, 2017,” contributor Louis Columbus compiles some strong predictions from Gartner and others for the coming year.
- By 2020, cloud computing will increase among users to a $162 billion industry.
- The public cloud market will continue to expand worldwide, as it grew by 18% in 2017.
- Cloud technology showed measurable impact in 2017 and that will continue in 2018.
- Cloud spending at the enterprise level is expected to grow at an annual 16%+ compound growth rate.
- Cloud spending shows a 4.5 times higher rate than IT spending in general.
- By the end of this year, data center, software, and related services spending will top $547 billion (and over half of IT spending by 2021).
- IT infrastructure spending including servers, storage, and switches will continue to increase year-over-year.
The impressive numbers do not stop here. There are further predictions on the measurable impact of cloud computing and other cloud compatibility benefits. Speaking of benefits, the list is solid and has been expanding for several years now as more and more companies migrate from on-premise solutions to cloud technology.
When Benefits Outweigh Legacy Systems
The data is out, and it does not lie. Small and enterprise-level businesses are reaping the benefits of cloud migration results. When the benefits begin to outweigh that of legacy systems, there is a level of certainty in the technology, especially as it evolves and improves. Cloud’s proven benefits:
- Accessibility and Speed – easy to access, easy to populate data, and fast
- Scalability – for companies expanding or reducing
- Availability – data, and infrastructure that is always available; minimal downtime
- Business Continuity – a necessary, low-risk solution
- Geographical Pluses – global cloud opportunities (some risk)
- Performance – optimal cloud performance vs. on-premise legacy equipment
- Move to a Capital Expenditure (CapEx) model to an Operational Expenses model (OpEx)
- Cost Savings – in lieu of expensive equipment that must be regularly maintained, floor space, and IT resources to manage it
- IT Staff Efficiency – minimize the need for additional IT staff
Even with all of the statistics and benefits, there is still some controversy as to whether on-premise vs. cloud solutions are better for organizations. A cloud solution has much to do with your business needs and demographics. Small businesses, expanding companies, and enterprise firms all have unique needs for IT infrastructure.
Top 3 Concerns
There are three concerns most leaders have when considering placing their valuable IT in the hands of one of many cloud computing companies. Companies using on-premise solutions face similar concerns.
- Security – the never-ending cybersecurity threats are an ongoing concern across the board in every facet of computing.
- Experienced IT Staff – the IT staff that manages a cloud solution vs. an on-premise solution or a large migration may need additional training.
- On-Premise vs. Cloud Spend – with the popularity of the cloud, naturally companies expect the costs to go up; but there is generally a larger spend in on-premise solutions depending on the size of the company.
With every IT related migration, there are risks and concerns. These are the general ongoing concerns of most IT departments, and budgets are carefully allotted for these top areas.
If you’re still not sure a cloud-based solution is right for your company, keep in mind the private, public, and hybrid cloud options to get the best scenario for your environment. Schedule a consultation with a RackCo consultant today and learn more about the right IT mix for your business.
Get ready for the technological future. Choose for yourself, but the writing is on the wall—or is that the digital wall (another amazing cloud-based technology for your discovery).