In the span of a little over a decade, cloud computing services have overcome the skepticism of risk-averse organizations to become a core component of IT strategies in every industry. Despite that success, however, many decision makers continue to evaluate the benefits of migrating to the cloud from a pure cost standpoint. While budgetary concerns are unquestionably an important consideration, focusing on expenses alone overlooks many of the important benefits cloud infrastructure can provide.
Top 10 Benefits of the Cloud
10. Out of the Box Regulatory Compliance
Maintaining compliance status is an important goal for any organization that has to manage data. Even a minor security breach or oversight could potentially expose sensitive information and result in legal action and serious financial penalties. At the very least, security incidents can damage a company’s reputation and make customers or vendors less willing to work with them. Historically, maintaining compliance status required the near constant management and oversight of all the hardware and software in the organization’s tech stack.
Modern cloud providers, however, make meeting those standards much easier by investing heavily in security. The major providers operate on a large enough scale that their security and compliance budgets often exceed the entire IT budget of their customers, which allows them to ensure that their infrastructure meets or exceeds the latest industry standards when it comes to regulatory compliance. For small to medium organizations that lack the resources to conduct frequent audits or maintain high levels of security readiness, cloud providers offer an attractive solution.
9. Huge Variety of Hardware Available
Just because many organizations ditch their servers when they migrate to a cloud environment doesn’t mean that hardware ceases to be an important consideration. At their core, cloud networks are supported by physical data center locations, each one filled with many different types of hardware. While many cloud customers are content to provision virtualized resources from anywhere within the cloud network, other businesses with specialized operational needs can benefit greatly by the breadth of options offered by these providers.
Cloud customers can select from a variety of combinations to optimize their deployment’s CPU and GPUs, memory, storage, and networking capacity, which is critically important for organizations that need to migrate applications with specific hardware requirements. Large providers like AWS offer dozens of hardware options during migration, allowing companies to build the exact environment they need to maximize the potential of their deployment. In most cases, this approach provides much greater flexibility and cost savings than buying the hardware to place within an on-premises environment.
8. Fewer People to Manage Hardware
As any organization that’s run an on-premises data solution can attest, maintaining that hardware is very time consuming. Much of the IT department’s time and effort will be tied up in managing those assets, both to maintain security status and to keep everything in the best operating conditions. Unfortunately, the more time they spend tending to that equipment, the less time they’ll have to devote to other important tasks.
By migrating to a cloud environment, companies can significantly reduce the number of people needed to manage their tech stack. That doesn’t necessarily mean downsizing, however, because many of the people who would otherwise be maintaining equipment can instead focus on higher value business tasks. Engineers and software developers can dedicate their time and energies to creating innovative new services and solutions that will help the organization grow and provide a potential edge in an increasingly competitive economy.
7. Scale Down (or Up)
Right-sizing an organization’s computing capabilities can be a tricky proposition. Since expanding an on-premises solution takes time and results in ongoing operational costs, companies are often slow to scale up their capacity until they’re confident the need for growth is going to be enduring. That’s because they want to avoid a situation where they’ve expanded capacity only to be stuck paying for resources they don’t actually need.
Cloud computing offers organizations the ability to scale their capacity down or up as needed. Since adding additional resources is a simple matter of contacting their cloud provider and provisioning them, they have much greater flexibility in terms of meeting their operational needs. Scaling resources down during a slow period doesn’t sacrifice any growth potential, since they can easily increase capacity whenever it’s needed. This allows companies to continuously right-size their deployment and spend only for the resources they need.
6. Application Agility
One of the most difficult challenges facing many established enterprises is managing core applications that run on legacy infrastructure. Because these applications are so intricately tied to their hardware, they are difficult and expensive to move. This makes it difficult to respond quickly when circumstances change or when new opportunities arise.
Transitioning and rearchitecting these applications to a cloud environment provides organizations with far greater flexibility. Rather than being trapped within a rigid infrastructure, their applications can evolve and adapt as needed over time to ensure that they’re always running in the optimal environment. Transitioning to the cloud also provides more options in terms of connectivity and redundancy, which can further enhance capabilities over time.
5. Networking by Backbone Operators
Connectivity is frequently a challenge for private, on-premises data environments. These solutions are typically serviced by a single ISP, which makes it hard for them to easily and efficiently connect to other network services. Bandwidth limitations and service disruptions can impact performance, and having limited vendor options inevitably leads to higher costs.
Migrating assets to a cloud provider that has connectivity with tier 1 internet backbone operators provides access to the high-speed fiber-optic networks that can move data rapidly around the world. These connections allow applications to reach more end users faster and with greater levels of reliability. For network environments that incorporate multiple cloud services, backbone providers offer a wider range of options at a more competitive price.
Application speed remains among the top considerations for many consumers. For an organization that’s located far from the majority of its end users, maintaining an on-premises solution can result in damaging latency. Even with powerful hardware and a high bandwidth connection in place, data packets must still physically traverse long distances to reach their destination. For a service with high data requirements like streaming digital media, latency can be particularly disruptive.
By hosting data and applications in a cloud data center that’s located close to end users, companies can significantly reduce latency’s impact. As part of a broader edge computing strategy, cloud deployments can help ensure consistent service and performance across multiple markets. For industries where application speed is a necessity, location-specific cloud deployments are often essential for building sustained success and growing services consistently.
3. Opex vs Capex
Adding new hardware to an on-premises environment is always a costly proposition. Not only do organizations need to think about the initial capital investment of the equipment, but also how it will depreciate over time and what resources will be required to manage it to maximize its value. Capital expenses also present more complex accounting challenges, and can be difficult to justify if they’re being added to the ledger based on market expectations.
Operational expenses, however, are much more predictable and easy to manage, especially for organizations that require a lot of flexibility in terms of managing their technology infrastructure. For many small to medium organizations, large capex spends are simply out of the question, whereas opex can be worked into the budget more easily. Cloud computing services provide tremendous value as an ongoing expense because they deliver tremendous value right away at relatively low cost, whereas outright purchasing new equipment could take time to recoup and provide diminishing returns.
2. Low Barrier to Entry for New Projects
Launching a new project, whether it’s a new network application or a software product, has historically been a big undertaking. New equipment is often required for development and testing, which presents a substantial barrier for organizations running on a tight budget. This is a problem for both smaller companies that can’t afford additional capital investment and for larger companies that don’t want to waste resources on equipment that may not fit with their existing infrastructure plans.
By provisioning additional resources within a cloud environment, however, companies can experiment with new projects without worrying about how to manage those assets. Spinning up a test environment in the cloud also allows them to optimize those resources specifically for the project, which provides them much greater flexibility. This is particularly useful for testing applications under a variety of conditions. The cloud environment can undergo various iterations much more quickly and seamlessly than would be possible with on-premises equipment.
1. Hybrid Success
For many organizations undergoing digital transformation initiatives, choosing between a private data solution and a public cloud provider is often a false dichotomy. Enterprises often need to retain the control that comes from hosting mission critical applications on private infrastructure, whether that equipment is being managed on-premises or hosted in a colocation data center. At the same time, they also need the flexibility that comes from leveraging a scalable, reliable public cloud environment that allows them to quickly shift their business priorities and expand their services.
Hybrid cloud environments combine the best of both worlds by connecting private network infrastructure with one or more public cloud providers. Key application workloads can be located in the optimal location to maximize performance and reliability while data can be seamlessly moved between resources without compromising security. Hybrid deployments are rapidly becoming the preferred strategy for organizations looking to transform their infrastructure without sacrificing control or completely rebuilding their essential legacy systems from scratch. Colocation data centers frequently provide the ideal hub for hybrid cloud environments because they offer rock solid physical infrastructure alongside expansive, carrier-neutral connectivity that allows customers to build a customized deployment that fits their unique business needs.
Begin Your Cloud Journey with Evoque
At Evoque Data Center Solutions, we recognize that not every organization’s journey to the cloud is the same. Our cloud consulting services help companies make a thorough assessment of their operational needs and digital transformation goals so they can bridge the gap between their existing infrastructure and future capabilities. We take a unique approach that puts your application needs at the center of your migration planning. Whether that strategy involves one of our colocation facilities, a pure cloud deployment, a build-to-suit data solution, or a sophisticated hybrid cloud environment, our team of experts can help you make the best decision for your applications and data.
To learn more about how Evoque’s multi-generational infrastructure is revolutionizing the way organizations think about colocation and cloud migrations, talk to one of our solutions specialists today.