6 Benefits of Moving to the Cloud (And 3 Risks)
If you’ve been paying attention to the tech world, you know that cloud technology isn’t going anywhere. In fact, it’s becoming the technology standard for most companies. If you haven’t made the switch yet, you might be exploring the possibility. After all, everyone else is doing it, right?
Well, that’s probably not the best reason to make the switch to the cloud. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of the biggest benefits of moving to the cloud that will help you determine if a migration is right for you and your organization.
We’re also mentioning the three biggest risks companies face when moving to the cloud. With these pros and cons in tow, you can make a better-informed decision regarding the cloud and your business. So, what are you waiting for? Read on!
Benefits of Moving to the Cloud
Have you ever run into capacity problems using your on-premise infrastructure? For instance, maybe your Black Friday sale brought in more customers than expected, and your servers couldn’t handle the traffic? Well, with cloud technology, you can say goodbye to capacity issues once and for all.
Cloud service providers offer businesses on-demand capacity using a pay-as-you-go model. That means that any growth or seasonality won’t threaten to upend your operation.
In the past, when businesses experienced traffic levels that their current infrastructure couldn’t handle, their only option was to go out and buy a new server. And we’re guessing you already know that servers aren’t cheap. If traffic levels dipped back to a lower level over time, organizations ended up with an abundance of unused space on their extremely expensive servers. Not an ideal situation.
With the cloud, you can adjust the level of computing power, storage, and bandwidth needed at any time. And you will only pay for what you use.
2. Reduced Costs
Tagging along to the last point, another big benefit of moving to the cloud is the reduced costs organizations experience. Companies can achieve significant savings by migrating to the cloud, especially in the long-term.
For one, compared to on-premise hardware, there are no upfront investments with the cloud. We just mentioned how costly servers can be, and those need to be replaced about every 3-5 years. And don’t forget, there are the added costs of powering and monitoring the equipment.
You know that room in your office that holds all of your servers and other hardware? The energy costs that are required to keep the systems up and running and cool at all times are not cheap.
Compare that with the cloud, where users pay a fixed monthly cost, avoiding those significant capital investments. And maintenance? Forget about paying someone to maintain your hardware; your cloud provider does all that.
Pay for what you use and not a penny more.
3. Increased Collaboration
In today’s workplace, collaboration equals efficiency and competitiveness. There are so many technologies companies can leverage to advance their collaboration, and the cloud is one of them.
Because everything is accessed via the internet, employees can work together in different cities, states, or even countries. Documents and files can be accessed simultaneously, updating in real-time. This ability to easily collaborate helps break down silos and increase efficiency.
And if you’re not focused on collaboration, we can bet your competition is. But, by embracing cloud technology, you make it so much easier for your employees to work together and produce better ideas and solutions faster than ever before.
4. Increased Flexibility for Employees
Another big benefit of moving to the cloud will help you attract and retain the top talent in the world- it’s the increased flexibility you can offer employees. Many workers want the ability to travel and work remotely as opposed to being pinned to a desk from 9-5 every day. With cloud technology, workers can do just that.
Hand in hand with the ability for improved collaboration the cloud offers, as long as employees have a device and an internet connection, they can work. And this is becoming a big draw for many individuals in the workforce. They want the freedom that the cloud can provide. And if you’re not giving it to them, someone else will.
Let’s talk about security. One of the misconceptions of the cloud is that it isn’t secure. But in reality, that couldn’t be further from the truth. One of the many benefits of moving to the cloud is actually improved security.
Cloud providers ensure that they maintain the strictest security practices for their customers. From sophisticated digital safeguards to high-tech physical ones, cloud providers make cybersecurity a top priority.
The data centers employed by Amazon, Microsoft, and Google, some of the top cloud providers in the world, are basically fortresses protecting your data. And they can afford to hire the best and brightest cybersecurity experts available, allowing them to leverage the knowledge to continually improve their security measure and provide a safe place for their customer’s data.
6. Disaster Recovery
The last benefit of moving to the cloud that we will talk about here is disaster recovery. Cloud technology gives businesses the ability to back up their data like never before. Experts are unanimous in their opinion that cloud backups are safer than internal backups. This goes back to the security advantage.
With cloud-based backups, your data is stored securely in state of the art data centers run by some of the biggest companies in the world. These organizations have teams of people working around the clock to keep your data secure. And when it’s secure, it’s protected from data loss.
So, even if your software becomes corrupted, you get hit with a cyber attack, or your systems get damaged because of a natural disaster, a cloud-based backup will aid in your disaster recovery tremendously.
With all of these benefits of moving to the cloud, why hasn’t every business and organization done it? Well, as amazing as these advantages sound, they don’t tell the whole story. Just like with anything in life, the cloud isn’t perfect. There are other things to consider before uprooting your organization’s current mode of operation and transferring it to cloud technology. Here are some of the risks involved in moving to the cloud.
Challenges of Moving to the Cloud
Speed is important to many, if not all, organizations. Businesses cannot afford to lose speed, nor do they have the patience to. And this can be a limiting factor for a small number of businesses when it comes to the cloud.
If your organization has software or a database that requires an amount of horsepower significantly above the average, the cloud may not be able to meet your need for speed.
Fortunately, most cloud providers allow you to test their capabilities before you migrate everything to ensure that it works for you. So, if this is something you are worried about, know that you can try it before you buy it. But, for the majority of businesses, this issue is not a problem, and there is no loss of speed in the cloud.
2. Legal Restrictions
The next thing organizations need to understand before moving to the cloud is if they have any legal restrictions that may hold them back. For example, some types of organizations, such as government contractors, may not be allowed by law to put their data in the cloud.
This differs from compliance regulations such as HIPAA and PCI. In fact, most cloud service providers are certified to handle these types of confidential information and meet compliance and privacy standards.
However, no matter what types of compliance and security standards cloud providers offer, some industries and organizations are just prohibited from using them. So, if you are considering a cloud migration, make sure you are familiar with your organization’s legal limits.
3. Lack of Knowledge
The last challenge of moving to the cloud comes down to whether your organization has the ability to move to the cloud successfully. You’ll never be able to realize the benefits mentioned above if your cloud migration is not done correctly. And that requires the right knowledge of your systems and the provider you decide on.
Your IT team might have decades of experience with your physical hardware but may be over their head when it comes to cloud technology. Or maybe you don’t have an IT team at all. If you don’t find a way to bring the right expertise in, you could risk compromising your whole cloud migration.
There are many options to acquire the right skills, including training your current IT team on the cloud, expanding or creating your IT team, or hiring an MSP on their own or to work with your team. No matter what route you choose, just ensure that you have a knowledgeable, experienced people in place that will set you up for success in the cloud.
On-Premise vs. The Cloud
In the end, it comes down to what is best for your organization. Even if every other company in the world moves to the cloud, if it doesn’t make sense for your business, then don’t do it. There are plenty of benefits of moving to the cloud, but there are also other considerations you are going to need to make.
Don’t forget to download our complete guide on cloud migration too. In it, you will learn all sorts of valuable information such as various migration strategies, how to begin the migration process, and how much a cloud migration costs.