Are You On Cloud Nine Yet?

By Andy Duewel ·

CIOs and CTOs looking to reduce costs, drive innovation and maintain a strategic advantage over their competitors can’t afford to overlook the cloud. Adoption comes with its share of challenges, but some of its upsides may surprise you.

We’ve compiled a list of nine of these upsides that are possible with implementation of cloud-based services and applications:

Strategic, cutting-edge thinking.

Organizations that are able to leverage the latest technology resources have a leg up in a highly competitive economy. Using the cloud lowers your investment in physical hardware, keeping you nimble and ready to adapt as new resources become available.

Collaboration.

With your permission, of course, others can view, access and modify your documents and applications that are run on the cloud. This type of collaborative environment gives you the flexibility to work independently and as a team.

Increased access on more devices.

Cloud providers have spent years building out fast scalable networks that allow businesses to provision solutions in minutes. Better yet they can be redundant and scale to meet needs automatically.  Employees can access important files, data, documents and IT tools from a range of devices from nearly any connected location.

Reduced hardware costs.

Cloud computing allows the ability to source IT services on demand and provides the flexibility to develop in the future without investing in further in-house equipment. The good news is you are not required to commit to large-scale capital projects but pay in an incremental manner.

Faster deployment and higher adoption.

Web style user interfaces allows for more extensive adoption across the organization.  Employees want a service that is easy to adopt and what they already feel comfortable with.  The environments that software runs on can be provisioned instantly allowing developers to begin their projects ASAP rather than waiting for the infrastructure build out.  The time to deploy a cloud solution is significantly lower than with on-premise applications. 

More options.

There are significantly more choices in how an organization deploys cloud-based services and multiple dynamic infrastructure choices to choose from as well. For example: Internal Private Cloud, Hosted Private Cloud, Public Cloud and, of course, there’s a Hybrid option. Of course, that brings up additional questions like: How does one choose the appropriate deployment model? What about the cost? And what impact will the model we choose have on my organization’s security posture?

Fewer burdens on IT.

Most information security departments are stretched thin as it is by both budget and resources.  By supplementing your security with the added benefits of cloud computing can help you manage your security initiatives and learning curve on hardware and software issues.

One of the great benefits of the cloud is that you do not have to manage the infrastructure in terms of storage and servers (compute).

Continuity of business.

In the event of a natural disaster or power outage, the cloud allows employees to log on as normal and access their work desktop from a remote location. All documents, files and data are hosted in the cloud, meaning they are accessible from almost any system with a Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, providing the user has the necessary access codes.

Flexibility.

Ultimately, you are in control of what moves into the cloud and what provider you will use. Assessing your current applications and their level of criticality and the sensitivity of the data they store and process can help you determine the right mix of cloud-based applications and services. Here is a simple guide to breaking down what to move to the cloud:

1. Applications that process low security data

2. Applications that process medium security data

3. Applications that process high security data (Anything that is not a threat to national security)