Should your Company Leverage the Cloud? 

In Cloud by Daniel Newman1 Comment

Cloud-based services are becoming ubiquitous. Many people are turning to the cloud for some reason or another—whether it is to store their pictures, or their music collection, or archive documents. There has been a huge upswing in the number of people who are increasingly dependent on cloud services such as Dropbox or Google Drive for storing files. But when it comes to businesses, the question about whether to use the cloud or not isn’t as clear cut. While there have been extensive conversations about the cloud and its impact on business, the concerns regarding the proper implementation of this technology in enterprise has been equally extensive, if not more so. On the other hand, expressions such as “put it in the cloud” or “move to cloud” have made their way into the common business vernacular. If you haven’t already noticed it, look around and listen closely. You’ll find most companies talking about the cloud—and believe me they are no longer just talking about the weather.

Is Moving to Cloud Easy?

Much of the conversation boils down to one simple question: is transitioning to cloud that easy? Well, my answer is “yes” and “no.” Yes, because currently software-based cloud solutions have become a favorite for many companies because they do not require users to invest in infrastructure and maintenance. Servers, data centers, apps, and software are bundled and made available by cloud service providers who can offer a scalable plan for your cloud deployments at the price of what you might spend on a fancy cup of coffee each day.

Let me tell you this, cloud adoption can be a little tricky if you have not chosen the service provider carefully, or if you have overlooked the terms of service. In most serious cases, the wrong decision could backfire in the form of security issues. This is why I say switching to cloud might not be as easy as it seems at first glance, at least not in every case. However, choosing proper services and ensuring security measures can eliminate the risks to a great extent, allowing everyone to enjoy the benefits of cloud technology.

Leveraging the Cloud can open Limitless Potential for Businesses

I strongly believe that most companies can benefit in some capacity from utilizing cloud. I mentioned that the cloud can save businesses money by allowing them the versatility of using applications without the cost of infrastructure, and that is the first and foremost benefit that businesses can derive from cloud. For just a few thousand dollars a month, they can stand up a substantial cloud environment for storage, backup, disaster recovery, and more. But, there’s more to cloud than just that. For instance, accounting packages, ERP, CRM, and other project driven software are critical inclusions for businesses. These software and tools can live in the cloud, providing mobility and accessibility that would be expensive to build in-house.

Cloud can also aid in collaboration. Collaboration tools such as cloud-based unified communications (UC) have been at the center of many conversations due to their capabilities to meet the optimum collaboration needs of organizations without blowing their budgets. For technology companies that develop software or applications, cloud provides low-cost developer environments to build and test software.

It may be hard to believe, but cloud can save companies tens of thousands to millions of dollars in data center stand up costs. While it’s true that cloud comes with certain downsides in terms of security, I think this problem can be easily managed by understanding your security needs and discussing them with your service provider so that together you can up with the best strategies to maintain the specified level of security in your cloud usage. The bottom line is: companies can and should discover the amazing benefits of leveraging the cloud.
This post was brought to you by IBM for Midsize Business and opinions are my own. To read more on this topic, visit IBM’s Midsize Insider. Dedicated to providing businesses with expertise, solutions and tools that are specific to small and midsized companies, the Midsize Business program provides businesses with the materials and knowledge they need to become engines of a smarter planet.

Image: Creative Commons

Daniel Newman

Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. From Big Data to IoT to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in CIO.Com, CIO Review and hundreds of other sites across the world. A 5x Best Selling Author including his most recent “Building Dragons: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy,” Daniel is also a Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post Contributor. MBA and Graduate Adjunct Professor, Daniel Newman is a Chicago Native and his speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.