One of the most discussed topics on the market today is the modernization of business from the benefits of cloud computing. Do you already know this possibility? First of all, it is important to know that for each type of business there is a cloud model that will deliver better performance.
Therefore, it is essential to know well what types and services can be contracted in this type of technological environment. With the consolidation of the digital age, companies have faced the requirement of transforming their methods of action so that the virtual one gains more and more space.
Following this trend, retailers and service providers with physical points began to migrate to e-commerce, documents required to carry out transactions began to be digitally accepted and face-to-face communication was replaced by chats and virtual assistants.
Internally, the changes are also radical. Processes conducted with many hand-outs, bureaucratic flows, and segmentation of tasks in an organizational hierarchy have given way to an increasingly collaborative work done by multidisciplinary teams following simplified and more streamlined flows.
In the background of these new business paradigms are IT and one of the most substantial contributions in the recent history of the market: Cloud Computing – a democratic service, applicable to businesses of all sizes.
This post addresses Cloud Computing, presenting the diversity of resources it makes available to companies, as well as the characteristics and benefits of each mode.
1. What is Cloud Computing?
When an administrator seeks more operational excellence, cost savings, process optimization, and innovation for their business, they will certainly come up with the concept of the cloud.
After all, this type of technology architecture provides businesses of all sizes with a number of features and facilities previously restricted to companies with robust IT budgets.
It was from the advent of Cloud that prior investments for infrastructure acquisition and for software development or licensing could be devoted to more strategic business issues. The supply of what is no longer supplied internally was made by specialized companies (outsourced).
Spending is reduced at the end of the month and at the same time other perennial benefits begin to appear. Check out the list of advantages of the cloud:
- Automation and simplification of processes;
- Agility in the execution of flows;
- Greater information security, with control access per user;
- Shorter customer response time;
- Best user experience;
- Flexibility and scalability of resources, so that resources accompany business expansion and shrinkage;
- High availability of state-of-the-art technological resources offered by consolidated and modern data centers;
- Guarantee of compliance with the agreement of the provider, since the agreement provides service level agreements that, if not met, can result in payment of fines by the supplier or until contractual termination;
- Cost reduction with infrastructure and IT intelligence, since the company pays the supplier only for what was consumed – storage capacity, processing speed, access to systems made available in virtual platforms, network connections, among other resources;
- Mobility, which allows access to business systems and data from any device (desktop, tablet or smartphone), without regional or time limitations;
- Liberation of IT teams to bring the business management area closer and more strategic within the company;
- Better conditions for business continuity from corporate backup and contingency plans to quickly restore data and systems in case of cyber-attacks or incidents.
These qualities fill the eyes of managers, especially those who run small and medium businesses and do not have a well-structured technology infrastructure.
In practice, Cloud Computing offers a high computational power for all types of business, on demand. That is, depending on the needs of each company, will be available storage resources in databases, networks, applications and a multitude of IT services, whether hardware or software.
A very interesting point of this dynamic is the price definition according to the use. Thus, if the business generates an expressive flow of data and requires high storage capacity, powerful servers will be placed at the disposal of the customer and collection will be proportional.
In down times, the features offered are resized so nothing is idle – thus, payment in that month will be reduced. All of this can give companies more solid support, freeing up investments for what really matters – that is, for strategic foci and for business expansion.
2. What are the types of cloud and how do they work
Basically, the Cloud works as a shared platform over the internet for companies to carry out their business operations. Behind this is a tangle of specialized equipment, connections, and teams, as well as information security and disaster contingency policies.
Get to know the cloud types now, ranked according to the allocation of IT infrastructure resources:
It is the sharing of the same physical resources of the third party by several clients. Therefore, this type of cloud is ideal for supporting secondary applications for the business, which do not require very high standards of security.
It is common to use the public cloud for hosting corporate email, websites, marketing material and other documents that do not hold much sensitivity as to its confidentiality.
This does not mean that there is no security in the public cloud. It should be noted that one customer does not “see” data from the other and that there are policies, procedures, and compliance regulations to which providers must fit. However, it is also worth considering that the desired thresholds for data and business-critical systems are offered by other cloud segments – we’ll see more about this below.
Among the benefits of the public cloud are:
- Rapid provisioning of what will be consumed, since the cost is proportional to the demand and lower than the private cloud;
- Scalability so that the service is available on demand whenever the business needs;
- Standardization of processes, which allows economies of scale and consequent reduction of costs for the contractor, as well as improved models of disaster recovery.
As a disadvantage, a lower level of assurance regarding the secrecy and availability of data in the cloud can be cited.
It is the use of infrastructure hosted inside the company, for exclusive use. Therefore, it is ideal for storing what is most critical and strategic in the business and for which needs rapid response. The security factor is also a differential since no one outside the perimeter of the company can have access to data or systems hosted there.
See the benefits of the private cloud:
- Greater security;
- With servers within the enterprise, latency is low and this reduces response time;
- Specific configuration for the requirements of the company.
As a disadvantage, we can cite the cost, due to the exclusive nature of the infrastructure allocated.
Because of these characteristics, the private cloud has been applied in companies that seek to make it easier for employees in many industries to access applications. This eliminates the maintenance and costs involved with applications that were previously installed on each desktop, requiring machine licenses and idling equipment while paid software is not in use.
As its name implies, it is a mixture between the public and private cloud, with integration between internal (company) and external (provider) environments. It is an appropriate type for companies with lots of local resources to conduct day-to-day business, but who always need to perform intensive tasks or expand their activities seasonally.
A recurring way of triggering the public cloud by day-to-day companies concentrating their operations on the private cloud is a test project or the validation of a developing application. At the end of the check, the application leaves the public environment and returns to the private, without the homologation phase representing any negative impact on the daily demands of the business.
The advantages of the hybrid cloud are:
- Combining public cloud cost efficiencies with private security;
- To have two sets of benefits available to optimize the company’s computing resources;
- Greater flexibility for IT strategies, sometimes in the public environment, sometimes in particular;
- Scalability, since the public cloud complements the supply of resources when the individual is insufficient.
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Understand the power of the hybrid cloud for your business
To manage this combined model, there are tools that manage and move workloads between public and private cloud (usually with server virtualization), on demand, or through automated configurations. It is worth mentioning that what will define what type of cloud should be adopted are the characteristics of the business – especially security issues, adequacy of internal processes and available budget.
In all of the modalities presented, the planned payment for the use of third-party resources allows better financial programming of the company, which can predict cash outflows for this type of IT need. This is due to the style of charging that is adopted by suppliers, usually with negotiations for consumption of infrastructure and use of services or closed monthly packages.
3. 6 Questions about Cloud Computing
It is common that there are many questions about the cloud. This is understandable since for years the market has followed the mindset that in order to have IT results, you need to invest in IT equipment, IT teams, and other ancillary needs.
This paradigm shift represents a real revolution and so there are still some doubts about Cloud Computing. Meet the principals now!
3.1. The advantages of Cloud Computing outweigh the investment?
The generation of higher computational efficiency is the main added value of the cloud. After all, it is well known that today, there is no business that thrives without IT support.
The line that once divided business, strategy and IT has become increasingly tenuous and the success of the company is becoming increasingly dependent on technology. By being a competitive advantage factor, the investment in the cloud is justified and the return will be collected in the results of the business.
3.2. Is there a waste of resources when I contract a shared infrastructure service?
The cloud has two fundamental concepts: flexibility and scalability. They ensure that the provider will always provide resources in the right way. Initially, sizing will be done based on the needs presented by the business.
As the business grows, the supply of infrastructure or systems will increase. If there is a period of low demand, resources will be withdrawn so that nothing is idle and so the customer does not pay for something that is not in use.
3.3. Only companies with high IT budgets can invest in the Cloud?
No, there are cloud services for every type of business, regardless of their branch or size. Smaller companies, with low capital available for investment, face difficulty in modernizing their IT precisely because they do not have the cash to purchase equipment.
The cloud is a great way for innovations to be internalized in the business, without the company having to pay for everything needed for new solutions to work. It pays only for what is materialized as value-that is, only for what it actually uses.
3.4. Is the security offered by the cloud reliable?
The first thing to think about is that cloud service providers have their business built on credibility. If a customer has leaked data and losses as a result, the market will know this and that supplier will be marked as incompetent at what it does.
Aware of this, third-party cloud infrastructure and applications invest heavily in upgrading solutions to ensure the highest level of security possible. So corporate firewall and antivirus systems are always kept in the latest version at no additional cost to the hiring company.
There are chances of failure, of course, but there are contingency plans and data and systems recovery for extreme situations – such as a cyber-attack or another incident that has the potential to impact the continuity of the client’s business.
3.5. Besides the reduction of expenses with the installation of a data center of its own, what other types of the economy does Cloud Computing bring?
When you do not have a data center to maintain, space, electricity, asset security, and specialized IT infrastructure management teams are waived.
In addition, you do not have to worry about renewing software licenses or updating security solutions. Whoever assumes all of these onuses is the supplier and the cost is prorated among all customers – which lighter the value that will be embedded in the monthly invoice of each one.
3.6. Does the cloud replace my IT staff?
Technology often appears as a villain when it comes to maintaining the employment of professionals. However, this concern is misplaced: the computational intelligence still does not surpass the human and there is no strategy that avenges without the triad people, technology and processes.
What the cloud means is that it allows IT teams to stop fires by implementing strategies that are important to the business and to deliver solutions that are closer to the needs of departments and customers.
4. How to choose the best cloud solution for your business
Even when managers are convinced of the benefits of migrating to the cloud, there may still be some difficulties. The main one is to define which modality and which features will be most interesting for the business.
Actually, there is no standard answer to this doubt. Each company is a case and for each company, there will be a better choice. The first step is to understand the reality of the business, its operational flows, its bottlenecks, its strengths, and its future prospects.
This diagnosis is important because it will allow the manager to make the right decision and not waste efforts with wrong choices. Some issues may also make it easier to choose the type of cloud, please note.
Do I have the resources to acquire robust equipment? Do I have physical space or can I afford to rent an appropriate environment to behave? Do I have the staff or can I hire professionals to maintain this data center? If the answer is no, the trend is that the company is not ideal for installing a private cloud.
Do I have a high flow of information? In this universe, can I categorize my data so that there is a large part that does not require high-security criteria to be used in my business? If so, this block already leads to the hiring of a public cloud.
I have an experienced IT internalized, but I realize what business needs to expand? I prefer to direct the investment to the core business and not to increase my technological infrastructure? In positive responses to these issues, it is worth considering the use of the public cloud to enhance what already exists today, privately.
My client is looking forward to a better experience, digital service and features that give you the autonomy to solve some points that today are only solved when they trigger the company? Positive responses to this scenario suggest the need for cloud services to be delivered to the customer, and the criticality of what will be available to determine the best form of hosting should be assessed.
These are just a few examples of the reasoning that will facilitate adherence to the cloud type (s) most aligned with business objectives. In addition, it is important to evaluate the software used in the company. The ideal is to migrate only the ones that can be accessed by the web, without any security implications.
It is also necessary to evaluate the possibility of integration between systems that will remain “at home” with those that will be hosted in the cloud. Migration can be done gradually, as adjustments are made so that there is a complete synergy between what is outside and what remains within the company.
Business processes also need to be reviewed, as it is possible that adherence to the cloud may lead to some adaptations, especially to accommodate increased automation.
When it comes to opting for the cloud, it is worth having the support of partners who have experience in the subject. A consultant who dominates the subject facilitates the diagnosis and allows the best plan for each business to be drawn.
Cloud-based companies often offer this kind of support because they also have an interest in understanding customer needs to deliver bespoke solutions and earn their satisfaction.
5. The cloud is not just a trend, it is a matter of survival
There is a compelling advantage over Cloud Computing and it is with it that we want to close this post. The cloud is the instrument that will ensure that a company’s digital transformation journey is successful.
This argument is strong enough to impress and motivate managers to better understand this tool and seek opportunities for its implementation. As a result, the business will experience greater agility, security, availability, scalability, and access to innovations.
On the client side, greater usability will be perceived, shorter response time and more effective service of their needs. In addition, it will be noted the simplification of processes and alignment with best practices in the market, which is increasingly intolerant of failures, and delays.
Following this trend is not a fad, it is a crucial question for companies to continue to be able to compete and can see growth, with lower costs and greater profitability.
Once the stage of choosing the most appropriate cloud types is over, what will come next will be the capture of the gains we address here. Putting the cloud on the agenda of the day is a priority and the time to start thinking about it is NOW.
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