In 2018, the question isn’t whether or not you should move to the cloud, but rather which cloud — public or private? While there can certainly be benefits to both, it truly depends on your organization and business model. Here, we’ll discuss some of the benefits and why you should consider moving to the public cloud.
According to Forbes, Microsoft and Amazon Web Services are two of the top vendors in the cloud today, and I think most in the industry would agree. There are a few things one must consider when selecting a public cloud provider, starting with location. To ensure low latency, you’ll want to make sure the data center you select is in the right location. While most, if not all public cloud providers offer multiple locations, Microsoft Azure has more regions than any other cloud provider. Another important aspect for choosing a public cloud provider is data security. While all cloud vendors will claim to be secure, you should always consider the risks. Check your cloud provider for regulation and compliance coverage. For example, Azure has over 70 compliance certifications.
With all that said, whichever public cloud you choose, here are some great reasons to think about moving to the public cloud, regardless of the provider.
Having your data onsite can become quite costly. With traditional storage vendors, you typically get locked into long-term contracts. This causes users to over-provision their storage, which leads to paying for unnecessary resources. However, with public cloud vendors such as Microsoft and AWS, you can pay as you go — only paying for what you need. Having an OpEx-based storage solution allows you to easily budget for services and data. Cloud-based storage also won’t take up as much real-estate onsite, allowing you to either a) have smaller office space meaning rent space is significantly less or b) have more room for offices and cubicles which results in more employees driving the business and revenue. Cloud-based storage services also eliminate power and cooling costs, which can be substantial for many companies.
IT Team Expansion
When moving to the public cloud, your data is stored at your provider’s data center. That provider then becomes an extension of your IT team as they will be the ones managing and maintaining the data center. The result can be very beneficial from multiple perspectives. First, you get assigned a representative (account manager) and/or team of people to help manage your data. Not only does this provide a dedicated specialist to your team that can bring additional knowledge and skills, it can potentially cut costs. By moving away from having on-site, private storage, you don’t need to hire additional people to manage your data center. This also frees up your IT staff’s workload allowing them to work on far more productive tasks that actually increase revenue.
Flexibility & Scalability
As alluded to in point 1, it doesn’t matter how much storage you need today, tomorrow, next month or next year. With the public cloud, you can scale your storage as needed. In some cases, you can even hibernate data when you don’t need to access it. This provides an additional layer of flexibility for your business. You aren’t locked into a long-term fixed contract. Furthermore, it opens the possibility for a hybrid cloud experience, connecting to multiple clouds at once. This can be especially beneficial when considering DR and BC strategies.
In the end, the public cloud offers almost everything ‘as-a-service’ resulting in expanding your internal team and its knowledge. This also helps cut costs by not requiring your organization to hire additional IT team members. Plus, with the public cloud OpEx business model, you only have to pay for what you use and what you need, decreasing Total Cost of Ownership and increasing ROI.