Chief Information Officer.
The meaning of that title has changed pretty drastically since the introduction of cloud computing. Traditionally the CIO focused on purchasing hardware and software, overseeing implementation, maintenance and security, and simply making sure everything worked.
Then came the cloud and an absolute reliance on technology in the business world. Suddenly, everything has to be better and faster, but also cheaper. The CIO has turned into a leader and strategist, instead of simply a maintenance person. This role includes keeping up with ever-changing technology, delivering business value, focusing on growth and the competitive landscape, identifying problems and solutions and choosing new tools to implement. Though the role has changed, it will continue to be valuable and demanding.
But some CIOs still haven’t moved to the cloud, despite it’s impact on the role. There are many reasons to make the move, and the CIO and business will ultimately benefit. Here are five convincing reasons to move to the cloud:
1. Spend Less and Get More
With a utility-based payment model, the cloud has proven to be extremely cost effective. The technology reduces operational costs overall, while also saving in countless other areas. Organizations will reduce IT spending, as well as spending on purchasing and maintaining expensive hardware. And since the cloud provider manages upgrades and maintenance, the IT team is free to tackle other important projects. While these savings occur, businesses simply pay a monthly fee, based on their usage of the cloud services. The cloud makes computing and IT resources much more affordable, allowing businesses of all sizes to experience the latest technology. Seven in 10 respondents either agreed or strongly agreed that the cloud environment had delivered significant efficiencies and cost savings – and it’s this fact that is driving cloud adoption today.
2. You Can’t Use What You Don’t Know
But lowered costs isn’t the only reason to move to the cloud, though it’s one of the most well-known. With the cloud, CIOs are able to access and use valuable business insights, thanks to advanced analytic capabilities. Today, organizations can truly utilize data for business strategy and reporting. You can better manage your own growing data while accessing new sources of data to gain amazing insight. With these insights, businesses can meet their goals, develop strategies and grow significantly.
3. See Productivity on All Levels
With cloud computing, productivity improves in your employees as well as in your hardware.
Users are able to remotely access their files and documents from anywhere, at anytime, using any computing device. And that means they can work freely, no matter where they are. They will be more productive while having greater capabilities for collaboration. This also trickles down to customers, who will experience better customer service when your employees can quickly respond to problems.
More specifically, the IT department will be able to switch gears. Instead of focusing on the constant tasks of updating software and licenses, dealing with security breaches, and maintaining equipment, they can turn their focus to innovation and business improvement. The cloud provider will handle automatic updates and behind-the-scenes management.
In terms of hardware, you’ll simply get more use out of what you already have while experiencing great reliability. It’s rare for on-site servers to operate at more than about 20% of their capacity, and that means that a lot of resources go to waste. With the cloud, you use virtual machines that increase this efficiency, allowing servers to operate at higher capacity. This leads to better hardware performance, cost savings and productivity. Additionally, cloud computing better handles all types of failures and creates true reliability. With redundancy, the cloud maintains your data, even if you lose access to a certain machine or a data center experiences downtime.
4. Who says the cloud isn’t secure?
There is still much disagreement surrounding security in the cloud, but cloud providers are standing up to the challenges. While some people worry about the risk, many are finding they receive better security in the cloud than they traditionally had in-house. That’s because cloud vendors can stay up to date on the latest technology and devote more time and personnel to security. What’s more, the vendors are completely aware that this is a big obstacle, so they’ve focused on security substantially in recent years.
Problems that do arise with security tend to originate from the management of the service, rather than the virtual cloud location. In other terms, security isn’t a cloud-specific problem. It’s a human problem. The factor behind 95% of security breaches is human error. And that simply means organizations need to do their research before choosing a provider, because not all providers are equal. The cloud should majorly simplify security processes, and a great provider should have dozens of measures in place to protect data.
While security used to be a major factor hindering cloud adoption, today it’s a key factor for migrating. 94% of cloud adopters say it produces security benefits, and more than 50% of IT professionals rank security as a top reason for moving applications to the cloud. Those numbers certainly display the change of heart businesses are having in terms of security in the cloud.
And the fact is this: if your business doesn’t move to the cloud, your employees will. They will find easier ways to do things, whether that’s using an online service like Dropbox or Google Drive, or adding applications to their mobile devices. And honestly, it’s better if you know how your users are accessing their data. The only way to give them the freedom and flexibility they want while maintaining necessary control over confidential business information is to move to the cloud.
5. Meet All Business Demands
Maybe you’re in a business where content spikes naturally come or go. Or maybe you’re in a period of major business growth. Whatever the situation is, scalability is extremely valuable for any organization. To meet these business demands, you can either continue to buy more and more equipment that will soon be obsolete, or you can move to the cloud. Scalability, or elasticity, is the ability of a provider or an application to instantly and automatically provision compute capacity to meet spikes in demand. You can support business growth without making expensive or timely changes to your current setup. It’s quick and easy to get the resources you need – as described above, you simply pay for what you need, when you need it. The cloud provider ensures that overloading is never a concern, as its team will manage the servers within the data center.