According to the latest statistics, 78% of US small businesses have now fully adopted cloud computing.
Reasons Why You Need to Take Advantage of the Cloud Today
Boost Collaboration – The cloud allows you to access your files from anywhere. That means you can collaborate as long as you have an Internet-enabled device. It’s also beneficial if for some reason your usual computer or server is out of action.
More Engagement – The cloud is by far the best system of engagement for meeting the needs of customers. The ability to pull up files and presentations from anywhere provides more tools to work with.
Speed – The cloud enables companies to move forward faster with innovation. Kuma Games has worked with IBM to offer episodic video games via the cloud. They have made them faster, graphically superior, and higher performing than their competitors.
To achieve these three benefits doesn’t require any significant investment. The cloud has caught on so quickly with businesses of all sizes because of how affordable it is. CloudBerry, for example, has managed to scale its services and make them as flexible as possible so companies are only using exactly what they pay for.
The Cloud and Disaster Relief
Nevertheless, to go with the cloud you should combine your disaster relief services. This means that if something goes wrong you can continue to deliver services to customers. There are many reasons why you may want to combine your contingency plans with the cloud.
The benefits of combining the cloud with a disaster recovery plan include:
- Better protection. The cloud ensures your data is always recoverable because of high-end encryption and the fact your data is now scattered across multiple locations. Even a natural disaster can no longer wipe you out.
- Low cost of ownership. There’s little capital expense involved. All you have to do is pay the subscription for the service you happen to be using. There are no on-going maintenance costs to take into account.
- Ease of use. Cloud interfaces are incredibly easy to use because they require no technical experience whatsoever.
Benefit of Cloud Based Model in Today’s competitive Environment where uptime and Scalability is challenge???
- Reduced time to benefit
Different from the traditional model, in SaaS the software (application) is already installed and configured. The user has the advantage of provisioning the server for an instance in cloud and in a couple hours they can have the application ready for use. This reduces the time spent in installation and configuration, and can reduce the issues that can get in the way of the software deployment.
- Lower costs
SaaS has a differential regarding costs since it usually resides in a shared or multi-tenant environment where the hardware and software license costs are low compared with the traditional model.
Another advantage is that the customer base can be increased since it allows small and medium businesses (SMB) to use a software that otherwise they would not use due to the high cost of license.
Maintenance costs are reduced as well, since the SaaS provider owns the environment and it is split among all customers that use that solution.
- Scalability and integration
Usually, SaaS solutions reside in cloud environments that are scalable and have integration with other SaaS offerings. Comparing with the traditional model, users do not have to buy another server or software. They only need to enable a new SaaS offering and, in terms of server capacity planning, the SaaS provider will own that.
- New releases (upgrades)
SaaS providers upgrade the solution and it becomes available for their customers. Costs and effort associated with upgrades and new releases are lower than the traditional model that usually forces the user to buy an upgrade package and install it, or pay for specialized services to get the environment upgraded.
- Easy to use and perform proof of concepts
SaaS offerings are easy to use since they already come with best practices and samples inside it. Users can do proof of concepts and test the software functionality or a new release feature in advance. Also, they can have more than one instance with different versions and do a smooth migration. Even for large environments, users can use SaaS offerings to test the software before buy it.
But before moving to Cloud Based Model, Every Company Should Ask Itself 12 Cloud Questions
#1: Are you using the right tools? 60 percent of UK IT managers surveyed by The Register‘s cloud survey said they were using VPN connections, but only 34 percent said they were using cloud firewalls or encrypting data at rest. “The numbers continued to drop in regards to other preventative measures until the bottom of the list where only 15 percent percent said they were using obfuscation or tokenization of sensitive data,”
#2: What cloud technologies are being shared, and with whom? Cloud service providers often share infrastructure, platforms and applications to deliver their services in a scalable way.
“Whether it’s the underlying components that make up this infrastructure (e.g. CPU caches, GPUs, etc.) that were not designed to offer strong isolation properties for a multi-tenant architecture (IaaS), re-deployable platforms (PaaS), or multi-customer applications (SaaS), the threat of shared vulnerabilities exists in all delivery models,” writes the Cloud Security Alliance.
#3: How do you define and determine the best ways to deal with cloud abuse? The Cloud Security Alliance defines cloud abuse as “a bad guy using a cloud service to break an encryption key too difficult to crack on a standard computer. Another example might be a malicious hacker using cloud servers to launch a DDoS attack, propagate malware, or share pirated software.”
#4: Do you allow employees to use their own devices? The rise of bring-your-own-device (BYOD) and bring-your-own-application (BYOA) means that many cloud services and tools are sneaking into organizations under the noses of IT leaders. In a recent survey, more than half of the IT respondents said that when it came to cloud services, the biggest challenge was assessing the security risk before employee adoption.
#5: Are you ready for next-generation technology and the Internet of Things (IoT)? Gartner predicts that the IoT market will grow to 26 billion units by 2020. With the proliferation of connected devices, is it any surprise that IT managers are increasingly concerned about the security risk of those devices?
#6: How do you protect credentials from theft? In 2010, Amazon was subject to a cross-site attack that used malicious scripts in a benign account to launch more attacks. Many companies are prohibiting the sharing of accounts and now require strong two-factor authentication techniques.
#7: When do you identify and stop malicious insiders? A 2015 Experian study claimed that employees, particularly those working remotely or using their own mobile device, accounted for more than half of security incidents last year. A current or former employee, contractor, or a business partner with access through IaaS, PaaS, SaaS or traditional infrastructure, can often be the source of an enterprise’s greatest risk.
#8: How do you handle the riskiest of apps, storage? Cloud-based storage applications have access to very sensitive corporate data, particularly financial data.
#9: Is your cloud service provider responsible for security? To fully secure data in the cloud, enterprise IT teams should never solely rely on their cloud provider. Ensure you have a solid security strategy in place that is agnostic to the location of your data and applications.
#10: How flexible and collaborative is your IT department in meeting the challenges associated with new technologies and quickly responding to security threats? The majority of IT managers are seeing a shift toward more collaboration and pooling of previously siloed resources, opening up opportunities for better cloud security measures.
#11: Are your cloud-based applications being monitored for inbound and outbound traffic anomalies? The difference between a minor incident and massive breach often comes down to the ability to quickly detect, contain and mitigate an attack. Analysts at the Ponemon Institute estimate it took retailers, on average, 197 days to identify an advanced threat and 39 days to contain it, while financial services organizations needed 98 days to identify and 26 to contain.
#12: What is your company policy when it comes to managing sensitive data and file sharing? On average, more than 25 percent of employees will upload files containing sensitive data to the cloud.
And When To Say No To The Cloud
With cloud adoption on the rise, should you jump on the bandwagon? Depending on your business needs, it may make more sense to wait.
Cloud adoption rates are increasing as more organizations turn to a truly distributed infrastructure model and use more WAN-based tools. As underlying hardware components become better and more bandwidth becomes available, cloud computing has become a legitimate consideration for a wide array of industry verticals. Everyone should be either adopting it or at least considering it, right? Not so fast.
In numerous conversations with different customers using various technologies, I hear a lot of discussion about cloud computing. However, these conversations are changing. Managers are no longer ask what the cloud is; now, they want to know whether they really need it.
The reality is simple: Some businesses just don’t.
The term “cloud” really just means data distribution over the WAN. This can be a private, public, or hybrid model. Because of the massive presence of the Internet, most organizations are already using the cloud without even knowing it. They’re utilizing cloud computing components within their means and needs.
On the other hand, some organizations keep a completely localized environment and only use WAN-based technologies to share files, store backups, or host sites on the Internet. Really, all of these technologies were available before the cloud became popular. Because of this, administrators are asking, “Why do I need more when I already have so much?” Depending on their business needs, they may be quite right.
Too many organizations get caught up in the hype of the cloud conversation without really doing a true cost/benefit analysis. This can involve several business stakeholders, interviews with internal and external resources, and a clear vision for where the organization is going. Instead of jumping on the cloud bandwagon, organizations should take the time and understand cloud pros and cons and how those fit with their business strategies.
There are distinct advantages to moving to a cloud model, including improved disaster recovery, backup and storage, testing and development, easier management, and enabling data center consolidation.
At the same time, it’s important to remember that cloud computing also has these drawbacks
- Certain knowledge levels are required. Remember, the cloud isn’t just one platform — it’s a lot of different technologies all working together to bring you data. Your organization will need to have virtualization, application, security, and cloud experts on hand to guide the whole process along.
- Management and monitoring can be a challenge. Improper resource allocation can make cloud computing a serious cost centre for any organization.
- Security and data control, in some cases, may still be an issue for you. If you’re bound by some type of compliance requirements, putting data into the cloud can violate some rules. Also, the cloud can sometimes be a dangerous place. A recent Amazon Web Services console breachis evidence of just one instance where a DDOS attack impacted a major cloud provider.
- Reliability isn’t a given. There have been major outages, which have forced some businesses to rethink the cloud model. For example, outages at AWS have caused companies like Netflix to go down for extended periods of time.
In some cases, a cloud model is just not the right fit. Whether it’s cost prohibitive or it just doesn’t provide any additional benefits, cloud computing may not be the right choice for the time being.
However, I’m not saying to be complacent. Complacency in IT can ruin an organization or a career. Take the time to fully understand the cloud model and how it may — or may not — fit your business.
As with any technology, there will be benefits and challenges. In some cases, moving to the cloud may just not be conducive to the goals of the organization. It’s quite possible that a company has no intention of expanding or moving its infrastructure to the Internet. Or there may not be a need to offload workloads into the cloud. Also, there may be other good technologies to help deliver data and content to the end-user.
The bottom line is: The cloud model is powerful, and many organizations are adopting some part of it. But with any tool, piece of software, or technological advancement, there needs to be a fit.
Thanks and Regards
+91 9870 291860