The Cloud – it’s moved from industry buzzword to mainstream discussions in IT. Even though the underlying concept and even the technology has been around for far longer than the term “Cloud”, organizations are still reluctant to fully embrace the concept for their application and/or infrastructure needs. This may be because of organizational tolerance towards out-of-house infrastructure - concerns about not having your data under your physical roof or even a perceived loss of control over your entire infrastructure.
More and more startup businesses are considering cloud-based computing as it significantly reduces the hardware investment required in order to get a business IT infrastructure up and running. More software vendors are offering SaaS solutions in order to attract the smaller to medium sized customers who might not otherwise consider commercial software (tearing them away from their Excel spreadsheets). Even larger organizations who took a conservative stance against the cloud, citing concerns mentioned above, are dipping their toes in the Cloud waters to determine if there is a fit. The economics of it are one of the biggest drivers towards this adoption.
With the major cloud providers providing online calculators for their services, it’s easy to calculate the ROI on a cloud-based infrastructure when comparing to bare metal and labor costs of an on premise deployment. This does not replace the need for careful planning on the business’ end to ensure that their needs are being met (although there are many consultancies that perform this service). Deciding what is needed both now and in the future is vital to successful cloud infrastructure setup.
Probably the single biggest advantage to using a cloud-based solution is that the business can focus on the business. No longer is the construction company having to worry about redundancy and backups, or maintaining a server room with adequate temperature, flood and fire controls. They can focus on what makes them money.
With thoughtful planning, assessing the needs of the business for both today and in the future (although cloud scalability lets your infrastructure become much more malleable), cloud-based computing can be a real benefit for those businesses who don’t want to be in the business of IT infrastructure maintenance.