Cloud computing solutions are a complex offering. Unlike many other technologies, cloud providers don’t try to hide the complexity from customers. In fact, the deeper you go, the more complicated it can become. That’s why moving to the cloud should be an over-time progression rather than a one-step process.
Making informed decisions about public cloud providers requires an in-depth understanding of cloud computing—not only its advantages and use cases, but how cloud providers create and market their products and how you can best maximize the benefits and minimize the risks.
In a previous blog post, we explored five common use cases for public cloud computing. In this post, I’ll explore five of the most common ways that cloud computing services provide companies with an edge over their competitors:
- Agility – Cloud-based services provide an easy method for scaling up or scaling down infrastructure resources, depending on capacity needs at any given time. There’s no need to procure additional hardware, software, or licenses, so companies can adapt quickly.
- Cost-Efficiency – With the cloud, you only pay for what you use. That means there’s no need to buy equipment, build out a data center, or pay the associated operating expenses—such as power, cooling, or the use of dedicated facilities.
- Reduced Overhead – By providing the centralized administration of resources, vendor-managed infrastructure, and service level-backed agreements, cloud providers eliminate the need to update and maintain your own IT infrastructure. Since IT personnel are no longer managing the environment, you can redirect those resources towards more strategic initiatives.
- Competitive Advantage – Public clouds providers supply ongoing access to the latest technologies. In a competitive economy, companies that can more quickly master and leverage the latest technology resources gain a competitive advantage over their peers.
- Faster Time-to-Market – With readily-available cloud services, you can more easily deploy new initiatives, usually without any upfront costs and minimal provisioning time. New initiatives can go to market faster—in a matter of weeks rather than months—which means you can more quickly realize the business benefits.
Whatever decisions you make, be sure to plan ahead—do what you can to avoid the common cloud traps, carefully consider your options, and develop contingency plans for all scenarios. If you don’t have the skills in-house, work with an advisor or consultant who can help you develop a roadmap for your cloud transformation.
For more information on cloud computing solutions, download our free eBook – Understanding the Cloud – What You Need to Know Before Diving In. There’s also a free workshop – Cloud Strategy and IT Transformation – that will allow you to explore your unique challenges and learn how and where cloud computing solutions can benefit your organization.