“The market for cloud services is growing faster than virtually every other IT market today” and cloud-based infrastructure (called “Infrastructure as a Service”) is growing faster than any other cloud service. (Gartner.) This makes total sense since every company is now a software company to some degree. The benefits of cloud computing and IaaS allow all types of companies ways to streamline their operations and grow.
To start, avoid the old-school model of investing in and maintaining hardware on-site. It’s a burden to all companies that need to adapt quickly to the economy. Enter a staple of cloud computing: Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). It’s definitely not new. Plus, it’s matured to the point that you can’t keep putting it off. You need to understand how it can help your business today.
Today we’ll look at the benefits of cloud computing services, including IaaS.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing services allow businesses to access hardware and software services via the Internet.
With cloud-based infrastructure, it is basic idea. Instead of an individual business buying and maintaining each computer, wifi router, or hard drive that it needs, a cloud provider is responsible for keeping things humming along.
Picture this: your business uses a legacy software program that runs at your office on old servers. You can’t throw that software away. However, an option would be to access it through the cloud. The old servers wouldn’t be needed, and all the maintenance (backups, upgrades, etc.) is off your hands.
Benefits of Cloud Computing and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Using IaaS helps businesses avoid shifting too much of a company’s resources to IT. This allows companies to grow using the latest technology while focusing on core business. If you run a host of medical offices, who wants to focus on in-house computing power and expertise if you can use that time on delivering better service?
IaaS limits hardware investment and IT maintenance costs.
Hardware maintenance is constant: assessing existing hardware, updating and patching hardware, and purchasing and implementing new hardware all take time, expertise, and capital. Shifting to a cloud-based infrastructure allows a company to rely on the provider to perform most of these tasks, limiting the amount of time spent and number of IT personnel required in-house.
Ensuring data security and compliance is easier with IaaS.
Using IaaS in place of in-house backup and recovery systems again limits the IT burden on your business. Providers automate these processes and ensure sufficient storage space for your data even as the amount of data grows.
Maintaining your customer and client data in compliance with changing regulatory standards is also made manageable, as cloud providers can deliver comprehensive compliance offerings for their data storage. Your business won’t have to focus on researching compliance standards on its own.
Subscription services maximize flexibility and can help with the budget.
The flexibility also extends to how you pay for cloud computing. So, no more long term contracts or significant upfront investments. With a subscription fee model, a company can add virtual hardware as needed, and can also stop using on-site servers. As for budgeting, this model shifts IT investments from a capital expenditure (CapEx) to an operational one (OpEx).
Flexibility with IaaS also means a more agile company.
Virtual hardware also lets a company experiment with new platforms and make changes more quickly. With this flexibility, a business can test various platforms and services without as much investment or commitment. This ability means the best chance of finding new solutions quickly.
Where Do You Start?
Your business can determine the right package of services to let you balance your IT management at a level that best fits your company. It may be overwhelming since there is a host of computing, data storage, networking, website management, business analytics, and developer offerings. So, it is not uncommon to take a phased approach to introduce cloud technologies to your organization. The benefits of cloud computing is definitely worth it.
Wading through the myriad of options can be an excuse to not even start, but knowledge will help demystify the topics. We will continue to break-down the cloud space. Join us to come up with action items on how to streamline your business IT operations.
To take action now, check out cloud computing solutions that may provide immediate benefit to your organization.