By Darren White, Practice Director, Cloud Advancement at Synoptek
The cloud offers organizations a new approach to implementing and maintaining their information technology (IT) infrastructures and computing environments. Adopting a cloud-based methodology provides multiple benefits that facilitate addressing fluctuating business requirements. The advantages of a cloud computing environment enable companies of all sizes to compete more efficiently with market rivals. That said, examining how the cloud enhances an organization’s business agility (BA) and provides a streamlined path to implementing advanced technological solutions is a key aspect to ensuring business-driven results.
A Cloud-Focused Approach Promotes Business Agility
Agility is one of the hallmarks of successful companies in today’s rapidly evolving business landscape. An organization needs to be able to swiftly pivot and change direction to take advantage of emerging trends and altering business requirements. The cloud provides multiple short- and long-term advantages to promote business agility that include:
- The reduction or elimination of capital expenditures when implementing new services;
- An increased speed with which new technologies and innovative processes can be implemented;
- Timely disaster recovery procedures that allow customers to quickly restore business-critical applications;
- Robust security and prompt updates to address vulnerabilities;
- Economies of scale that allow small companies to compete with larger rivals.
A Cloud-Based Environment Fosters Technological Advancement
The use of advanced technological solutions is a factor that differentiates market leaders from the rest of the pack. The cloud promotes technological advancement in multiple ways that include:
- The use of a consolidated and uniform platform that lends itself to continuously adding new features and services;
- The flexibility to take advantage of new technologies that are beyond the capabilities of on-premises resources;
- Access to the technical expertise required to use new technologies efficiently and effectively;
- The ability to implement cutting-edge technologies for innovative methods of addressing business objectives.
Four Major Benefits of Implementing Cloud Services
The following four major benefits of implementing cloud services address enhanced business agility and allow a company to take advantage of new and powerful technological advancements without extensive capital expenditures or in-house technical resources.
The ability to seamlessly scale resources up and down to address changing business requirements and objectives is one of the most attractive benefits of cloud computing. Scalability enables precision around the number of resources a company allocates to address current or future needs. With the cloud, an organization can add storage or compute power when required and reduce its footprint when applicable to save money by only paying for the resources they need.
Flexibility is another major benefit of implementing cloud services and is essential in supporting a mobile workforce. With cloud services, employees can access business data and applications from any location that has an Internet connection. Another aspect of the cloud’s flexibility is the ability to quickly add new functionality through SaaS or PaaS offerings. Working with cloud providers minimizes the costs of implementing and maintaining a new solution, allowing a company to use the tools that best fit their computing needs at any moment.
Access to Cutting-Edge Technology
Cloud providers typically offer access to cutting-edge technology that is typically beyond reach for an organization to implement by itself. An entity can take advantage of advanced technologies such as artificial intelligence and machine learning without worrying about supporting the required infrastructure with in-house resources. Effective use of the technology available in the cloud levels the playing field and allows small companies to compete with large corporations with extensive IT budgets.
Security in the cloud is a responsibility shared by the provider and customer. While customers are accountable for securing their data, the provider secures the infrastructure including network services. Relying on the provider for security allows a company to concentrate more fully on running its business. Advanced security tools and techniques are used to keep cloud resources secure. Additional security is provided by a cloud provider with consistent patch management procedures that ensure systems are updated promptly to address newly discovered vulnerabilities.
Finding the Right Managed Service Provider
Companies embarking on a cloud journey should look for a managed service provider (MSP) that can assist in controlling costs and optimizing the expected benefits. Working with the right strategic partner can spell the difference between a successful cloud implementation that promotes company growth and one that merely shifts processing from an on-premises data center.
Care needs to be taken when selecting a third-party MSP to help a company navigate the intricacies of cloud computing. While working with the right MSP will result in a smooth and effective move to the cloud, the wrong provider will never be able to maximize the potential benefit. The following are some of the characteristics to look for when choosing an MSP for your business.
- Experience – The MSP you select should have a proven track record of designing, implementing and maintaining cloud services. Ideally, they have successfully assisted other companies in your market sector to enjoy the benefits of the cloud.
- Long-term support – Choose a provider with a long-term support model that includes 24/7 management, maintenance, and monitoring. Your MSP needs to be available for any issues that arise after the services are implemented to ensure your company achieves the maximum benefits.
- Security – Your MSP must prioritize security to ensure the environment and your data resources are kept secure. Services should include data encryption, multi-factor authentication to minimize unauthorized access and compliance with all regulatory standards regarding data security and privacy.
- Flexibility – It’s imperative to source a partner who is flexible and offers customizable solutions that directly address your company’s business objectives. Try to avoid MSPs that only offer rigid solutions with no room for customization.
The cloud offers companies a streamlined path to improving business agility and advancing their use of technological solutions. Organizations can expect to improve their security posture, gain access to cutting-edge technology, and enjoy enhanced flexibility and scalability by adopting an IT approach that focuses on cloud services.
Engaging a reliable and experienced strategic partner can help a company optimize spending and maximize the benefits made possible by the cloud. Working with the right MSP greatly improves the chance of successfully using cloud services to address your business objectives while improving business agility and technological advancement.
About the Author:
Darren White serves as the practice director for cloud advancement at Synoptek, bringing 25 years of professional experience to his role. At Synoptek, White is responsible for the growth and strategic direction of the company’s public cloud practices and oversees cloud-related development, cloud center of excellence, sales campaigns, solution offerings and cloud operations.