cloud computing

Cloud computing & your business agility

As business needs evolve, so does your business technology.

One of the hottest trends in business today is cloud computing. But what may surprise you is the number of businesses adopting the technology and making it a priority in their infrastructure plan. According to RightScale’s seventh annual State of the Cloud Survey, public cloud adoption has increased to 92 percent, with 81 percent of enterprises having a multi-cloud strategy.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a layer of cloud service in which hardware is managed for you by an external provider—often a public cloud service provider such as Amazon, Microsoft, Google or IBM. Elements of the service revolve around virtualized hardware which can include server space, network connections, IP addresses, bandwidth and optimized load balance.

You are only responsible for managing the applications, data and the OS.

There are a number of good reasons why SMBs are subscribing to IaaS services.

Agility

Probably the main benefit of IaaS cloud service is agility. With the ability to expand easily and quickly as your needs change, you can make use of as many or as few resources as you require. Therefore you won’t have to pay extra for space or services you don’t need, which leads to the next benefit.

Sensible time and cost management

Many businesses adopt IaaS cloud services due to cost savings. Virtualizing hardware requirements can save you money in not just physical hardware, but also its upkeep and repair. This frees up IT staff from having to take care of annoying on-site hardware issues as a result.

Now your IT team can focus on your business’s more important needs.

Because cloud servers are spread across various data centers, there is no downtime when one part of the infrastructure fails. Another seamlessly jumps in to take its place so your service remains unaffected.

Security matters

Virtualization of your infrastructure means not having to worry about the possibility of hardware failure or a natural disaster wiping out your data or crashing your systems. That translates to less downtime and greater profitability.

Backups are also easier to schedule and maintain, making data recovery that much simpler. And because the public cloud servers are located in numerous locations across the internet, there are added layers of physical protection of your data and other business information.

When setting up your IaaS cloud service, you can also set your security protocols so that only authorized users can gain access. This includes more than just good password protocols, but also firewalls, and scanning for potential phishing or hacking threats.

Location independence

So long as there is internet access and the correct security protocols are applied, users can access your virtualized servers and take advantage of all its capabilities with ease, no matter where they are.

This is a perfect solution for mobile employees who can’t afford to be slowed down by limited access simply because they’re not in the office. Likewise, small-to-medium sized businesses can have multiple locations, but still be served by a single, central system.

Not only does this help your employees function no matter where they are, but it also makes collaboration easier.

Pay for what you use

IaaS cloud service also allows you to pay only for what you use.

It’s often described as “utility-style billing” similar to how one is billed for electrical use. While the service is accessible on demand, you only pay for the resources you actually use. This eliminates wasteful costs.

Most IaaS services provide you with tools to monitor usage—not just the overall amount, but the specific types of services being accessed—so you can better understand how your business is taking advantage of your cloud infrastructure.

Focus on what’s important

Employing an Infrastructure as a Service cloud setup offers many advantages. Its cost-effectiveness, flexibility, and security make it especially valuable to small-to-medium sizes businesses.

You’re no longer required to keep your hardware onsite or to deal with the headaches of maintaining secure connectivity across various types of users.

Pass those tasks along to a cloud provider so you can focus on what’s important—growing your business.