“What previously used to be within the office premise, is in the Cloud.” We see a number of customers contacting us for solutions with various business requirements. Early this week I started the day similar to any other until we had one customer (would refrain using the name) in particular who was happily complaining about what the cloud hosting did to him.
He started the conversation by referring back to 5 years when he’d bought a high configuration server worth £9,500 back then. He’d got it hosted in a US data centre which was protected from most natural or human caused disasters, for which he’d spend approximately £350 GBP per month. But today he say’s, that expensive hardware is today being used to keep a pile of hard-copy documents in the store room of their office. And that’s what the cloud has done to him, he exclaims.
And it’s true, the costly hardware that businesses had invested a couple of years ago, is soon diminishing with the introduction of the cloud based hosting technology. The cloud is rapidly taking over the computing space globally. For most inhabitants of the planet, the cloud is merely where the Smartphone apps, emails, games, magazines, movies etc. exist. While for the rest it’s something from where the television streaming happens. SMB’s who couldn’t invest in costly hardware for fulfilling their computational requirements in the past, can easily take leverage of the cloud to suffice their operational demands.
Furthermore, for majority SMBs, the cloud is presumed to be the medium to seek advantage of data in a way which enables scalability. With data I mean invoices, contacts, emails, excel, etc. With email being the most extensively used means of communication, it’s also one of the most positively impacted entities pertaining to any business today. Before the cloud hosting concept was introduced, emails used to be served from a standalone server, which did pretty well, but always had the risk of hardware failure. To mitigate this risk, it was necessary to hire a resource to maintain it and ensure its availability at least during the business hours. So, in order to have a consistently flawless email system, a company not only had to invest in a costly hardware but also recruit a dedicated individual who’d maintain the system.
With the introduction of the Cloud, companies could leverage the advantage of shedding off the expense and move the emails to be run over the cloud. Google Apps is one of the best examples that most smbs found effective, it allowed users to host documents, mails, contacts, calendars and most business systems for free (to a certain extent) BUT with a major advantage of uptime.
Governments too could not resist testing the cloud to run their heavy systems, which turned out to be highly efficient. Be it paying of taxes, sending an application for something or whatever, most processes which required individuals to visit the offices physically, have been curbed down extensively to an extent where we can do it at our leisure irrespective of what time of the day it is. The governments too experienced a decrease in expenditure as it had to pay for only those resources that actually were consumed instead of an expensive fixed monthly billing (the traditional way).
With the decision to switch these systems over to the Cloud, the percentage of the site’s unavailability due to massive load over the server greatly reduced, not to mention about the reduction in system crashes and the unavailability of the service to the citizens. Another advantage that the cloud offers is a uniform security across the platform for all the accounts who use it. Since scalability comes naturally with most clouds, an organization is no longer required to purchase extra storage devices to store their business data. It can easily reside in the cloud for as long as the business wants it, though some cost is definitely associated with it. Having the data available to you, also helps users with an ease of shareability otherwise one had to move the data over to an FTP drive if you had to share something.
This is the kind of advantage that the cloud has brought in to businesses. To sum up things, with cloud, organizations are no longer required to invest in costly hardware infrastructure, purchase software licenses, employ dedicated staff for managing the infrastructure or the system but achieve an incomparable level of flexibility for the business.