Cloud computing is very trendy at the moment, but it’s not a solution to every business and IT problem! That said, with the right approach, moving some aspects of your technology to the cloud can give you a lot more functionality at a surprisingly low cost. And some cloud solutions are in fact many, many times cheaper than existing solutions you install on your office computers.
One big benefit of cloud solutions is the flexibility it gives you. It’s much harder with the cloud, compared to locally installed solutions, to get ‘locked in’ so that you can’t move away in future.Let’s say for example you decide to host all your website content and functionality at AWS (Amazon Web Services). Amazon offers a huge amount of functionality that other cloud providers don’t, and you may feel happy sticking with them for the long term.But, with a bit of elbow grease, there’s nothing keeping you from moving all that over to Microsoft Azure or even Google Cloud Platform (or any number of other options, like Rackspace).
It’s Just Cheaper (Generally)
Related to, and expanding on, the last point – let’s talk about Oracle. Previously, if you required significant database functionality, you didn’t have a huge amount of choice. And often you ended up with Oracle.And one thing about Oracle is it isn’t cheap. Not at all. Okay, it’s hugely powerful, but most of that power is wasted on the vast majority of businesses. Plus since it’s an entirely custom solution, it’s incredibly difficult to move away from, which is just the way Oracle likes it!But instead, these days you have a huge amount of cloud database solutions available at an absolute fraction of the cost.
More Functionality Than Ever Before
Before the cloud really took off, there was nothing really like Dropbox. Previously, data back ups were a laborious affair involving LANs (Local Area Networks) and tape drive back up. Have you tried restoring something from tape? It’s not quick, nor easy!So despite the possible reservations people may have regarding the NSA snooping on every byte of their data, Dropbox, and other services like it, have taken off like gangbusters in lockstep with the rise of high speed internet, which really is required to get the most out of the cloud.And you even have functionality like instant access to an HR software cloud that effectively gives you a human resources department at your fingertips, with far less expense!
But It’s Not The Only Answer…
It’s worth noting that some businesses are going the other way. Moz for example moved away from AWS to having multiple servers in a data centre, and although that required more management and different areas of expertise, they’ve said it’s saved them millions every year and so has had a dramatic positive impact on their bottom line.
So simply put, the cloud is here to stay, and the functionality of the cloud will just keep on growing, as data transfer and storage gets ever cheaper.