Cloud has revolutionized operations and IT set up and without the facility of Cloud the mobile revolution would be unimaginable. The tech world is awakening to the power of Cloud based solutions. Enterprises are increasingly moving application workloads to the Cloud in lieu of replacing older IT systems or building new data centers and concerns over reliability. Stability of Cloud based applications are a thing of past. Established Cloud service providers are able to prove that they can deliver at scale as good as big companies. Nearly every company around the world is using the Cloud in some manner. According to the research firm IDC Global spending by companies on public Cloud services is estimated to raise by 19.4% on a compound annual growth rate to $141 billion by 2019.
A majority of software vendors are moving towards a Cloud based subscription model. The fact that the many large software applications like Office 365 Microsoft and Creative Cloud from Adobe have been moved to the Cloud shows how the Cloud technology is maturing and in turn becoming main stream in it’s adoption. Now a days many applications are being developed specifically for the Cloud given the kind of scalability that Cloud provides to run the application swiftly and smoothly across all locations without having to worry about the necessary hardware deployment. The ability of an organisation to deploy IT services rapidly is where the true power of Cloud lies in. Success of Cloud based services lies in the following:
Cost effective : For any business if IT is not the core business, it isn’t very cost effective to own or maintain hardware infrastructure and related IT staff. Cloud is the most cost effective for running resource intensive applications because it gives the ability to expand when required. Cloud computing has been the game-changer for small businesses by removing upfront hardware costs.
Flexibility : Cloud brings in enormous flexibility to businesses where there is no fixed bandwidth demands. Cloud computing always has the freedom of scaling up or down according to the requirement of business. The level of operational agility available for businesses using Cloud computing brings a real advantage over competitors. Given a good internet connection Cloud computing gives the flexibility for employees to work any time, anywhere. Organizations can offer more flexible work environment to employees so they can enjoy the work-life balance without productivity taking a hit.
Disaster recovery : Disaster recovery is one of the most important reasons for organizations to go for Cloud. Many small businesses are taking the advantage of Cloud based backup and recovery solutions that save time, avoid large up-front investment and roll up third-party expertise as part of the deal.
Cloud as an enabler : The reason for how the new wave of startups and entrepreneurs are able to compete in global market is their ability to take advantage of scalability, ubiquity and user centricity of Cloud. In other words, Cloud has become the enabler for startup success stories. Cloud plays a key role in developing applications faster and more securely for emerging technology companies. Cloud has become a major catalyst for digital transformation of organizations. If you consider any small business, chances are they already at least using Cloud services such as Gmail or Google Docs or Dropbox.
Despite the fact that Cloud has become the reason for the existence of IT departments in some small and medium scaled businesses, there are some challenges to be overcome to take the full advantage of Cloud. Some of the real challenges faced by businesses while going to Cloud are
System migration : Due to the fact that Cloud computing has unique characteristics and attributes, migrating legacy systems to Cloud may not be feasible or the end result may not be desirable. When the business is growing it becomes necessary for it to improve on the existing application or completely adopt new ones and to move to different service providers. This is not going to be a smooth ride as many Cloud migrations are not just lift and shift activities—safe data migration and down time between migration are some of the issues to be kept in mind.
Efficiency of network connectivity : However efficient the Cloud may be, the internet connectivity connector between the end user and the Cloud may become the defining factor for the efficiency of Cloud. Cloud’s efficiency depends on the quality of internet service available and neither end user nor the service provider has any control over it.
Security and data breach : The recent big data breach at Oracle highlights growing security risks of the Cloud. In addition to affecting hundreds of the company’s computers, the breach affects an online support portal that allows Oracle to remotely address customers’ issues concerning their cash register-connected terminals. This incident shows security issues are real and still present in Cloud based services.
Lack of Control : In Cloud based services, model control is never fully transferred to the end user as the whole. Cloud infrastructure is entirely owned, managed and monitored by the service provider. The customer can only control and manage the applications, data and services operated on top of that but not the back end infrastructure itself. Key administrative tasks such as server shell access, updating and firmware management are mostly under the control of Cloud service provider.
However, the above problems can be overcome. Hybrid Cloud, which is the real game changer, helps to combine public Cloud, private Cloud and dedicated hosting. By matching the right solution to the right job businesses can leverage the best of what each has to offer to build a solution that perfectly matches individual business needs.