With today’s business and consumer internet environments relying heavily on multimedia, there is an increased need to support the data requirements that both businesses and individuals have. As such, enterprises are turning toward alternative means of storing data, which do not require expensive hardware and maintenance on their parts.
Cloud computing services are increasingly gaining popularity among enterprise customers, mostly due to the service-oriented nature of cloud computing, as well as the scalable nature of these offerings. With cloud computing, enterprises no longer have to pay for expensive servers, storage arrays and physical plant for these facilities. Rather, storage is offered as a service by cloud providers. Small businesses likewise get the benefit of spending for these resources as operational expenditure rather than CapEx, which helps minimize overhead and contribute to other cost-savings like tax expenditures.
Successful cloud implementations will require that businesses focus on finding the right kind of services, though. These will require some effort on their part.
- Hybrid approach. Most enterprises are concerned about the security of their data, as well as Service-Level Agreements (SLAs) that would meet their data requirements. As such, many organizations are eschewing a purely cloud-based approach to a hybrid cloud computing deployment. This entails a mix of both public and private clouds, such as data and processes are shared both on public cloud servers, as well as on-premises infrastructure. Modern virtualization technology makes it all possible as a seamless experience for the enterprise, which also makes it easy for service providers to manage.
- Application prioritization and testing. Not all cloud applications are built equal. As such, IT administrators will need to assess the viability of a cloud storage offering, and determine whether this is a good mix for their business. Experts recommend a tiered approach to cloud storage, with the public cloud being the lowest tier, in terms of reliability and security. As such, enterprises can place their most secure and mission-critical applications and data on a more secure platform, and keep those that are not considered critical in a public cloud setup.
- Efficient organizational communication. Organizations are aware of the benefits of the cloud in terms of external service delivery. However, in terms of servicing internal clients, there are different requirements and IT departments will need to assess the viability of these cloud-based offerings given their own requirements.
Cloud computing is blurring the line between product and service, as well as between ownership and responsibility. As such, it will be the responsibility of an organization’s IT department to look into the viability of cloud computing and data storage, and efficiently utilize these resources for their organizations’ needs.