Rob Koch, Chief Executive Officer at DYOPATH
For today’s organizations, moving to the cloud is not just a way to save money and move faster. Modern companies must complete their cloud migrations if they want to avoid falling behind the competition. Taking full advantage of what cloud computing has to offer is crucial to staying relevant.
In nearly every industry, companies fall into one of two categories: those that proactively improve their organizations with newer ideas and those that only adapt after they are forced to do so by their competition. Cloud computing is that type of gamechanger: companies that use the cloud in its full capacity gain a big competitive edge over those that do not.
With the sudden shift to remote work as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, the advantages of utilizing cloud resources increase tenfold. At the same time, many of the traditional reasons for continuing to hold onto on-premises servers are far less important when employees work from home.
Let’s take a look at why migrating to the cloud now is so critical for every organization, including yours. We’ll explore how cloud computing solves lots of IT hassles and how cloud migration pays for itself quickly.
Cloud’s Unique Advantages
Due to the huge scale of public cloud providers and their cutting-edge technology, the cloud can provide lots of advantages to companies that aren’t available elsewhere. Although some advantages of switching to the cloud—like reducing overhead, scaling with ease and supporting a remote workforce—are well-publicized, some are less commonly mentioned.
One example of an area revolutionized by cloud computing is disaster recovery and business continuity. Backing up an entire datacenter of on-premises infrastructure is challenging and requires lots of careful consideration. If a natural disaster wipes out the whole datacenter, recovering is a huge pain, even if all the data is backed up off-site.
By comparison, cloud computing makes disaster recovery much easier. Virtual hard drives can be automatically imaged and backed up to geographically redundant cloud storage on a schedule. Even if an entire cloud zone or region goes offline, it takes just a few clicks to move infrastructure to another place.
Lots of organizations’ IT departments work at too low a level of abstraction. For example, they have to deal with physical servers, operating system updates and database administration when their applications can be easily run on a cloud platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solution.
Using cloud resources gives companies the flexibility to choose their level of abstraction. When they need to run their software on physical servers with specific hardware configurations, cloud providers make this just as easy as spinning up a virtual machine. On the other hand, when the company’s workload is more infrastructure-agnostic, cloud providers offer much lower-maintenance options like PaaS or cloud functions.
Here are a few more examples:
- Because public clouds serve millions of customers across the world, companies can gain geographical redundancy or utilize localized hosting for nearly the exact same cost as using a close-by region. Expanding to multi-region infrastructure is so easy that any company utilizing cloud computing can make the change in hours or days, not months or years.
- Security is largely controlled through identity and access management (IAM) roles, not by managing physical access. This is easier, faster, more testable and far simpler to automate.
- Managing and updating server software is easy and automated with cloud computing. With more “abstract” offerings like cloud functions and PaaS, the underlying operating system is upgraded automatically with zero downtime or user interaction.
- Cloud-hosted applications can scale from zero load to planetary-scale load in minutes with no involvement from humans. This lets companies save lots of money, because services can scale down during off-peak times and scale up to meet demand, instead of running powerful servers near idle during parts of the day.
Regardless of which services are chosen, using the cloud offers flexibility in ways that are simply not possible with on-premises technology. For workloads that are possible in both on-premises and cloud models, using the cloud decreases operational overhead and greatly increases agility.
The Dangers of Forgoing the Cloud
Even if your company is happy with its current infrastructure, your competitors are already taking advantage of the cloud’s benefits. The most significant risk associated with avoiding cloud migration is falling behind the competition in terms of efficiency, agility and support for remote or distributed teams. This is why cloud is a matter of survival: staying relevant in today’s world requires adapting to huge changes like cloud computing.
Companies that don’t move to the cloud will likely have at least one of these issues:
- High, wasteful IT spending
- Poor business continuity plan
- Unnecessarily large risk of downtime
Let’s look at each one in depth and explore how cloud computing can help.
Excessive IT Spending
IT infrastructure that does not use cloud computing almost always suffers from a lack of elasticity. To meet high demand, companies need to own servers that are powerful enough to handle the load. However, this requires paying for powerful, expensive machines that require lots of energy to run at a low load most of the time.
Aside from requiring overkill servers, on-premises hosting also takes a lot of unnecessary labor. Keeping software updated, secure and running at full performance generally involves a lot of effort that can be avoided with cloud computing.
When using the cloud, companies gain some advantages “for free” that would otherwise require lots of setup and maintenance to achieve with on-premises services. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) and most applications hosted on PaaS platforms let employees access data from anywhere at any time. Without the segmentation between the corporate intranet and the public Internet, companies also gain security advantages. None of this requires extra effort from IT departments; it comes along with using cloud computing.
These cost-related benefits are not merely theoretical. According to a study from Avasant Research, companies fully utilizing cloud computing cut IT costs by over 15%. Both data center spending and IT personnel spending drop, while companies are free to spend more of their IT budgets on strategic new initiatives, not continual support.
Poor Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery Planning
According to a Spiceworks survey, nearly a quarter of companies have not tested their disaster recovery plans, despite 90% having these plans in place. Protecting against a loss of business continuity as a result of a disaster requires organizations to have a well-tested, rehearsed plan.
Additionally, only 32% of companies cover HVAC in their disaster recovery plans and only 43% consider physical security at all. Because cloud computing leaves physical concerns like power, cooling and physical datacenter security to well-prepared mega-corporations like Amazon and Microsoft, companies utilizing the cloud do not need to make these considerations in their disaster recovery plans.
Maintaining business continuity in the face of data loss is far easier with the cloud. IT teams can back up entire virtual servers and distribute the backups across the world in a matter of minutes. When something inevitably goes wrong, whether it is human error or a natural disaster, restoring from backups is simple.
Cloud computing allows your company to avoid dealing with entire classes of hairy problems, saving you money and improving your protection against a loss of business continuity.
High Potential for Downtime
Although dealing with downtime falls into the previous category, it is such a significant consideration that it deserves its own section. Companies that do not use cloud computing likely have poor resiliency against hardware failure, network issues or other problems, leading them to take significant amounts of downtime when something goes wrong.
Because cloud providers serve millions of high-profile customers, downtime is both rare and well-publicized. If a component of Amazon Web Services goes down, just about the entire IT and software development community hears about it on Twitter. Because of their scale and importance, cloud providers offer extremely high uptime to all of their customers.
Cloud computing lets companies distribute their infrastructure across zones and regions with ease. Companies using the cloud do not need to justify owning a second datacenter; in just a few clicks, their application is distributed to another place entirely.
Get Started with the Cloud Today
With the huge advantages of switching to the cloud—and the huge competitive disadvantages of avoiding it—starting to use cloud computing now is a no-brainer.
With our extensive experience helping organizations make the most out of the cloud, we’re the perfect partners to help you begin your cloud transformation.
Thank you for taking time to read this blog. Through our cloud services campaign, we are helping companies build their infrastructure on the cloud to decrease operational expenses, protect themselves from loss of business continuity and gain a competitive advantage. Stay tuned for two more blog posts where you will learn more about efficient cloud infrastructure and successful cloud case studies.
You can learn more about DYOPATH and our Cloud Services by visiting our website.
Rob Koch, Chief Executive Officer
About the author: Rob Koch is the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) at DYOPATH and a pioneer within the managed service provider (MSP) vertical. He sets the culture, vision, strategy and overall business direction across DYOPATH. His leadership of DYOPATH is grounded in his personal values of adventure, determination, health, learning, love, peace and success. His passion for DYOPATH comes from the people, “We have the best!”, says Koch. His favorite quote is, “It’s not the Destination, It’s the Journey.” Ralph Waldo Emerson.