Cloud Computing Growth Swelling
Cloud computing continues to gain a good reputation among IT professionals worldwide. According to analyst research firm Gartner, Inc., “The use of cloud computing is growing, and by 2016 this growth will increase to become the bulk of new IT spend. 2016 will be a defining year for cloud as private cloud begins to give way to hybrid cloud, and nearly half of large enterprises will have hybrid cloud deployments by the end of 2017.”
The Pain that IT Faces
Essentially, cloud computing has become a “painkiller” for IT managers who struggle to keep up with ever changing technology demands within very limited budgets. Managing multiple device images, configuring new devices and shipping them to remote employees, managing physical data centers, enforcing security measures and dealing with convoluted software licensing are just some of the issues IT managers deal with on a daily basis. And, with the advancement in mobility in recent years, more and more users want to move to mobile platforms. This means that IT needs to handle supporting multiple devices – an absolute nightmare in the traditional IT world.
Cloud Computing: A Prescriptive Painkiller
Fortunately, cloud computing simplifies these tasks, removing the headache for IT managers. Instead of worrying about devices, IT can centralize the management of the device. Instead of maintaining the data center with hardware and software upgrades, IT can focus on more productive projects that enable their business to be more competitive. The day-to-day headaches of managing devices and the data center dissolve with cloud computing.
Some (positive) side effects include features and benefits like:
› Work from any device: Cloud computing allows users to use their hosted virtual desktops from anywhere via any device – making it simple for IT managers to support the standardized image only and not the client devices, but still gives users the flexibility to become device independent.
› Reduced or no downtime: With features like high availability and load balancing, IT managers can reduce the downtime of their environments and stay worry-free.
Better disaster recovery and business continuity: Having desktops and servers in the cloud means they are in a secured location with automated backup/replications enabled. Should something unexpected happen, businesses can rest assured that any disruption to service is minimized, and employees can access their data even if they have to work from alternate locations.
› Simpler provisioning: Whether configuring a desktop for a new user or refresh an existing machine, hosted virtual desktops can be provisioned in a matter of minutes; the same is true for hosted virtual servers.
› Easy software licensing management: Cloud computing removes the complexities of traditional software licensing. Organizations can save costs by reducing the extra software licenses from the environment and employing pay-as-you-go license models. Many cloud subscriptions allow scaling based on the business, on a monthly basis instead of typical 3-year agreements in traditional software licensing. This also simplifies license key management and deployment of software.
› Enhanced security: Cloud service providers work hard to ensure security because of the scale that allows them to deploy multiple layers of security. This means that they can provide additional layers of security by adding software security layers (e.g. virtual firewall, threat prevention software, etc.) on top of existing physical security layers.
› Mitigate technology obsolescence: Organizations can be upgraded with the click of a button, or in some cases automatically, which means no need to go on-site to install or implement new changes any time an upgrade is needed. Upgrades are also smoother for the end user company and more frequent. The software defined data center extends the ability to use software deployments to upgrade not just devices, but the data center too.
› Reduced cost: Organizations can make substantial savings by leveraging cloud computing both from capital and operation expenses standpoints. IT managers can utilize these savings for important projects which usually get overlooked due to lack of budget. BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) initiatives can also help organizations save more on their IT budgets.
Finding the Right Prescription for Cloud Computing
It isn’t easy to find a reliable cloud services provider. The industry has grown rapidly and has attracted a lot of new entrants, as well as traditional data center providers who have tried to transition to becoming a cloud service provider.
Look for a cloud service provider that is known in the industry – perhaps one that extends their expertise (news and articles are a good way to validate providers). Look for a cloud service provider that doesn’t overlook the onboarding and migration of its customers from their current infrastructure to the cloud. Lastly, look for a cloud provider that values you as a customer, and not an account number (someone big enough, but not behemoth so you have some bargaining power).