Cloud continues to be a hot topic in the tech world.  But why is everyone moving to the cloud?  Are the benefits real?  With over 84% of UK businesses now on the cloud in some form1 and a growing number moving to a digital strategy of ‘cloud first’, we think the argument for cloud has never been stronger for most businesses so we thought we would share some of the key benefits here.


Cloud computing eliminates the capital expense of setting up your own data centre.  It is common to underestimate the total cost of hosting your own data; hardware, software, racks of servers, hardware refresh cycles, round the clock electricity for power, cooling and IT experts on hand to manage this. As an alternative you could pay someone to manage all of this and you just pay for the requirements you need on a monthly basis.


Most cloud providers offer a self-managed service.  If you need to make changes to your service this can take effect within minutes, including getting access to more resource when you need it. In a non-cloud environment, you don’t have this resource elasticity and instead have to wait until you are almost at capacity before building another server and adding it into your network.  This new server will normally have a low utilization as you have to buy one much more powerful than you need today to future proof, so you end up paying for capacity you aren’t using or getting stuck with not enough.  Neither is ideal.


As mentioned above, you can adjust how much resource you need at the touch of a button.  This means you really do only pay for what you need. With an on-premise solution upgrading your servers could take months and leave you with excess capacity that you can’t drive value from.


Cloud never needs updates or patching if you are subscribing to a Software as a Service (SaaS) application entirely hosted in the cloud as this is all managed by the provider as part of the service you purchase and something you don’t need to worry about. For example, if you use a cloud service for email then you no longer have to worry about patching or upgrading the on-premise email server – the cloud provider does this for you and makes sure you are always on the latest version and able to take advantage of new features as they become available.  This frees up time in your IT team which allows them to focus on business improvement projects which can boost business efficiency and productivity.


The major public cloud computing services run on a worldwide network of secure data centres, which are regularly upgraded to the latest generation of fast and efficient computing hardware. This offers several benefits over a single corporate data centre, including always having access to the fastest hardware resources and allocating resource on an as needed basis, improving application response times and greater economies of scale.


Cloud computing makes data backup, disaster recovery and business continuity easier and less expensive, because data can be mirrored at multiple redundant sites on the cloud provider’s network. This protects you from the cloud provider having a single data centre failure and keeps your servers running.   You can augment this service with additional backup and recovery services tailored to your organisational needs.


One of the biggest factors in security is physical security.  With a public cloud provider this is top priority and is much more secure than most on-premise servers including separation of the teams who maintain the hardware from the teams who maintain the data.  Staff go through a rigorous security vetting process and access is kept restricted to only what an individual needs to be able to do.  There is of course also digital security. Public cloud companies go beyond the traditional on premise security architecture of one or two firewalls, de-militarised zones etc.    They use a multilayer approach to security starting at the internet with advanced denial of service protection and then working inwards adding network isolation, anti-virus and anti-malware protection, next generation firewalls, monitoring and penetration testing.  Eventually, you get to the layer where your servers and data resides and even here, you as a customer can add your own security layers from 3rd parties if it makes sense for your organisation to do so.


Overall for many companies the move to cloud makes sense; it lets them streamline their business and get all the computing power they will ever need. That said it’s still not felt to be the right solution for everyone yet, especially companies with sensitive data who have still to be convinced of the additional security or where applications dictate that some servers need to remain on premise and a hybrid approach is needed.  We are however seeing more risk adverse companies moving to the cloud as people begin to see just how secure the cloud is and we expect this trend to continue.

If you would like to discuss cloud and infrastructure please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

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