If you’re still evaluating whether to embrace cloud computing in 2022, your business may be falling behind. In the post-pandemic era, cloud computing benefits are the powerhouse driving digital transformation, with 92% of enterprises already shifting at least part of their IT environment to the cloud.
By 2025, Gartner estimates that 95%+ of new digital workloads will be deployed on cloud platforms – and 85% of businesses won’t be able to fully execute their digital strategies without the proper cloud architecture and technology.
States Gartner: “New workloads deployed in a cloud-native environment will be pervasive, not just popular, and anything non-cloud will be considered legacy.”
While cloud adoption started before the pandemic, it’s now undeniably mainstream – and essential to achieving the speed, resiliency, and agility enterprises need to maintain a competitive edge. Nearly 60% of enterprises ranked migrating more workloads to the cloud as a top priority, according to Flexera’s 2022 State of the Cloud report.
For organizations that haven’t begun a cloud journey, the question is no longer if, but when. Read on to discover 5 big cloud computing benefits that can help your organization thrive in today’s evolving digital world.
Here’s why it’s time to leap into the cloud
Significant cost savings
Traditional on-premises data centers force organizations to heavily invest in upfront purchasing, running, and maintaining physical servers, network devices, and licenses before truly understanding their application and storage needs. Also, in most cases, these devices are overprovisioned to prepare for eventual growth - increasing costs while leaving these systems underutilized for some time.
Cloud computing turns those fixed costs into variable costs – offering pay-as-you-go packages that enable you to only pay for what you consume. Scaling resources up or down takes a moment’s notice, eliminating the risk and expense of carrying idle resources or scrambling to deal with limited capacity.
With usage from hundreds of thousands of customers aggregated in the cloud, massive economies of scale that translate into lower pay-as-you-go prices stand out as a significant cloud computing benefit.
Cloud providers assume management of the underlying infrastructure as well, enabling IT staff to invest their time and resources into more strategic work. Cloud computing can also lower the time and expense of provisioning and IT downtime; with deep redundancies and scalable, on-demand resources, large cloud platforms rarely experience outages.
Robust security and data loss protection.
With the cloud easing access to enterprise applications and documents, security is a top-of-mind concern. But rest assured: public cloud infrastructure experiences at least 60% fewer security incidents than traditional data centers, Gartner reports.
In fact, 94% of businesses reported security improvements after switching to the cloud. 91% also said it was easier to achieve government compliance.
Cloud security is the responsibility of both the provider and organization utilizing the cloud. Cloud providers invest heavily in keeping their platforms highly secure, weaving the latest security and privacy controls into a multilayered strategy.
For instance, the Microsoft Azure cloud platform integrates robust security controls like data encryption and access management across hardware, firmware, identity, networking, data, and apps. And Microsoft announced plans last year to increase its annual research and development spending for cybersecurity from $1 billion to a whopping $4 billion.
Easy access to next-generation, state-of-the-art security tools that manage the monitoring, detection, prevention, and remediation of security attacks is another important cloud computing benefit. Azure deploys unique threat intelligence to identify and protect against rapidly evolving threats like DDoS (Distributed Denial of Service) attacks - uniting actionable, real-time insights and a team of more than 3,500 global cybersecurity experts to safeguard business assets and data.
Cloud-based services ensure better business continuity than on-premises data centers as well. No matter what happens to your physical devices during emergency scenarios like natural disasters, hardware malfunctions, or power outages, cloud enables quick recovery of critical data from any device with an internet connection.
Storing data securely on the cloud further protects against data loss caused by stolen or lost physical devices, which account for 41% of data breaches.
Finally, cloud-based applications automatically refresh and update at predetermined intervals, ensuring the latest security releases and features are always added. Not only does that enable your IT staff to focus on more important work than troubleshooting, patching, and upgrading infrastructure, but it also eliminates the expense of constantly buying new software to obtain the latest version.
Cloud computing delivers the flexibility to meet fast-changing business demands:
Scalability. Cloud infrastructure scales easily to support fluctuating workloads – delivering high-performance resources with zero up-front investment. Resources can be automatically added to specific platforms based on schedule and utilization, enabling immediate, on-demand scaling of your product and services. You can also deploy applications in multiple regions around the world with a few clicks, offering lower latency and a better customer experience at less cost.
Customization. Cloud infrastructure and applications are tailored to your specific business needs. For instance, organizations can build solutions from a menu of prebuilt tools and features; choose public, private, or hybrid storage options based on security and other considerations; optimize your level of control with as-a-service options that include Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS); and more.
Mobility. Cloud computing breaks the tether to the office. Users who travel, freelance, or work remotely can access their work 24/7 on the go from any device with an internet connection - boosting productivity as well as employee satisfaction. 60% of women and 52% of men say they would quit jobs where remote work isn’t an option.
Unlimited storage. The cloud offers limitless capacity for storing any type of data, with different solutions based on availability, performance, and frequency of access. You can get high-availability and strict security deployments to make sure your data is always available to the right resources - anywhere at any time. Cloud storage is also significantly less expensive than periodically purchasing new physical hardware and software for storing files.
Increased agility and speed to market.
The ability to spin up new cloud computing instances in seconds with proper cloud automation practices has forever changed the agility and speed of software development. Developers can test new ideas and design application architecture without lengthy delays triggered by on-site hardware limitations and slow procurement processes.
New software versions are easily deployed in the cloud environment, enabling faster product innovation and more feature releases. Cloud environments integrate with common DevOps tools and systems as well, increasing monitoring and issue detection in production. These environments can also be easily terminated, reducing unnecessary on-going costs.
The cloud further improves innovation capabilities with easy access to the latest technologies and services, including microservices, containers, serverless computing, machine learning, large-scale data analytics, and more.
With faster speed to market, businesses can react quickly to changing market conditions – gaining a significant competitive advantage. In fact, Flexera reports that nearly 70% of organizations measure cloud performance based on the delivery speed of new products and services.
Seamless collaboration across widespread locations.
In the era of remote work, cloud computing makes collaboration simple and effective on a large scale. Team members can view and share information easily and securely – keeping everyone in the loop whether they’re at the office, home, or across the globe.
Instead of juggling between applications, cloud toolsets like Microsoft 365 create a central place where staff can connect in virtual meetings, edit files, share mailboxes and calendars, create and plan tasks, and collaborate on projects as if they were in the same room.
Real-time access eliminates confusion over versioning; everyone involved is always working on the most up-to-date document, presentation, or spreadsheet, with a clear record of revisions and updates. Some cloud-based services even provide collaborative social spaces to connect employees, increasing camaraderie and engagement across your organization.
IT teams benefit from collaborative cloud environments as well, enabling developers, QA, operations, security, and product architects to work simultaneously. Cloud roles and permissions help avoid confusion and conflicts, providing visibility and monitoring of who did what and when.
Different cloud environments can also be built for specific purposes like QA or pre-production.
Maximize cloud computing benefits with an exceptional managed services provider
In today’s hybrid workplace, migrating to the cloud is essential to future-proofing your business. Gartner expects end-user spending on public cloud services to jump 20.4% this year to $494.7 billion – and reach nearly $600 billion in 2023.
But while cloud computing benefits are significant, fast-changing cloud technologies and a shortage of cloud talent keep most companies from maximizing its value. Not surprisingly, Flexera reports that nearly 60% of organizations are outsourcing at least some public cloud work and nearly 30% engage MSPs for most of their public cloud use – recognizing they lack the speed, expertise, and new way of thinking that’s vital to achieving their cloud computing goals.
An effective cloud strategy should deliver increased speed to market, unparalleled flexibility, and attainable cost efficiencies – all while enabling in-house staff to better focus on innovation and strategic growth.
Implementing and optimizing the right cloud infrastructure - including automation and the best use of cloud services - requires experience and specialized skills to fully take advantage of what the cloud has to offer. Partnering with exceptional IT infrastructure management providers keeps your business ahead of the pack – delivering and maintaining a successful cloud transformation aligned with your business goals.