The words "cloud computing" are used everywhere. There are so many misconceptions about what the cloud really is, so the answer can vary depending on who you ask. So, what is a true cloud solution and how can you take advantage of cloud solutions?
What is the Cloud?
SAP says, "Simply put, cloud computing makes it possible for users to access data, applications, and services over the Internet. The cloud eliminates the need for costly hardware, such as hard drives and servers – and gives users the ability to work from anywhere."
If a cloud-based solution relies on an internet connection for you to process and access your data, what's the benefit to using it?
Benefits of cloud solutions
First, outsourcing your hardware and software needs allows you to focus on managing your business and not IT. With a cloud solution, you get hardware, software, service, and support in one hassle-free package.
With a cloud-based solution, you also:
- Eliminate the need for an in-house IT team to provision hardware and maintain servers you have to physically store.
- Lower your total cost of ownership by leveraging expertise and scale cloud services provide.
- Gain agility to grow your system almost instantly as your business grows.
- Reduce the risk incurred by maintaining upgrades and servers on your own.
- Keep your software current with all the latest fixes and enhancements (your solution provider will manage regularly scheduled maintenance and upgrades for you).
- Provide employees hassle-free access to everything they need to work, mobile access from anywhere in the world.
- Generate OPEX type of expenditures on your balance sheet.
Solution providers also offer the following with cloud-based services:
1. Constant performance monitoring. Your solution provider monitors your instance to ensure it’s running 24/7, and that the programs hosted on the cloud are all operational. If systems go down, you’ll be notified. There are also Service Level Agreements to establish expectations around up-time and follow-up.
2. Best practices. For any development, your teams need do on applications hosted within the cloud, your solution provider can offer best practices and templates to ensure you’ll get consistency, predictability, and security in your code deployments.
What is not Cloud:
- Moving your IT environment into a provider’s data center
- Acquiring new equipment and software licenses hosted in a provider’s data center
- Any IT hosting scenario that brings CAPEX into your balance sheet
Summing It Up
A cloud solution frees you up to focus on your business. The cloud affords the scalability, support, and cost savings to help you grow your company to a new level.