The cloud is already a big deal in business. And it’s only set to grow bigger and bigger.
With only 2% of UK businesses not using cloud services in some way back in 2018, it’s predicted that the recent shift towards remote working on a global scale has accelerated digital transformation for those previously unwilling to take the plunge.
Cloud adoption is more widespread than ever before – an industry set to be worth over $266.4 billion in 2020 according to figures from Gartner. Companies of all sizes, from SMEs to large enterprises, are now reaping the benefits of going cloud-first and storing, managing and processing all of their data remotely over the internet.
Why is cloud adoption on the rise?
We wouldn’t be seeing a mass exodus from traditional on-site infrastructure across to the cloud if there weren’t any benefits. Here are just a few benefits of cloud adoption.
More cost efficient
Let’s start with the big one – cost. Getting on board with cloud services means you can wave goodbye to many IT operational costs. It means less overhead spend on in-house storage equipment, facilities or managing your own data centres. Using remote servers means you don’t necessarily need a huge IT team either, you can rely on the cloud provider’s expertise.
Downtime is pretty rare in cloud systems – if one server goes down, another can pick up the slack. Less time out of action means less wasted spend on downtime for you. Any issues will also be solved by the cloud provider themselves – no spending time, money and stress identifying and resolving any potential service issues internally.
Flexibility and scalability
Services that run on the cloud are typically deployed on a pay-per-use basis. This means you’re only paying for what you use. Plus, it’s scalable in an instant. If you’re facing an unexpected rush of website traffic, for example, you can temporarily pay to scale up your services and then scale back down again afterwards. No need to install and configure a brand new server that may find itself out of action as quickly as it was commissioned.
A data breach can be crippling for any business. The problem with onsite IT infrastructure is that it requires continual maintenance and security updates on your part – fall behind and you’re more vulnerable to cyberattack. By using the cloud, your data is better protected. Cloud providers have to meet stringent security regulations to protect your data, so much so that they can pretty much detect and isolate any threats before they even reach your server.
Now more than ever it’s important for your workforce to be able to be able to work flexibly. By putting all of your data in the cloud, it can be accessed on any device, from anywhere. Files can be synced, shared and worked on collaboratively in real time. This isn’t as scary as it sounds from a security perspecitve either – you can configure access and authentication protocols and have complete visibility and control over who can do what on the cloud.
Are there any drawbacks to cloud adoption?
While cloud adoption is undoubtedly on the rise, there will be some who get left behind. Large enterprises with years and years worth of technology and custom-built IT solutions can’t just pick up all of their systems and stick them on the cloud – it isn’t as simple at that.
Some larger businesses may find themselves faced with problems, including:
- Legacy applications. If a system was built for traditional tech, chances are it won’t translate seamlessly to the cloud. This means that certain features that are baked into the applications very core, such as security requirements, must be refactored at an infrastructure level – very tricky for teams without specialist cloud expertise.
- Skill gaps. If your IT team only have experience working with on-site infrastructure and hardware, it can be quite the leap to be thrust into the world of cloud adoption. Many companies may find themselves in the situation where they’d need to invest in new talent to reskill or upskill their existing IT teams for a cloud-based environment.
There’s also the question of cost. While going cloud-based will save money in the long run, it requires significant upfront investment and can take a long time to get up and running. In fact, research from the Cloud Industry Forum revealed that it took businesses an average of 15 months to migrate applications to the cloud.
So where do we go from here?
Cloud adoption is not an overnight process. The future of cloud adoption is likely to continue to see more businesses introducing hybrid IT environments as they take tentative steps into the cloud environment while still supporting their legacy infrastructure.
But there’s no doubt about it – cloud services have revolutionised the way businesses operate. The cloud offers a world of new benefits for both businesses and their customers: lower running costs, virtually zero downtime, previously unreachable service levels and easier scalability than ever before. It’s hard to see how the cloud wouldn’t be here to stay.
About Mustard IT, your technology partner
Mustard IT is a trusted team, experienced with the latest technology and able to explain complex issues to you in a language you’ll understand. Contact us today to find out how we can help you.