When you start down your cloud journey, all of the unanswered questions can be overwhelming. “How do I choose the right vendor? Do I just do a “lift and shift” on IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service), or is it better to implement a PaaS (Platform as a Service) option?
It’s very easy to take common, everyday things for granted until they are no longer everyday things. Simple things like greeting your coworkers at the coffee station or the comfort of your desk chair (my home office desk chair doesn’t hold a candle to my office chair) have changed in a flash. While I’m certainly grateful for the ability to work from home, I realize it’s a luxury I have taken for granted. Our company has almost everything in the cloud; our email, phones, and documents are all in the cloud. So when we got the notice that we would be working from home for the next few weeks, it was a relatively easy transition for us. Other companies are not so lucky. In reflection, here are 3 ways cloud infrastructure has your back when the future looks like one big question mark.
Cloud gives your team access to work from anywhere.
Now, more than ever, it is crucial to have the ability for employees to work remotely. With SaaS applications such as O365, Google Suite, and Zoom, companies can communicate and continue working together without needing to be by their desk phone or be connected to drives. Even meetings can now be held virtually (although they don’t feel quite the same). All of this without needing to worry about storage or server maintenance. While you may already have these applications in your workplace, what about your infrastructure needs?
Traditional data centers may still require that a person physically be there to oversee patching and maintenance. With cloud infrastructure, that’s no longer a responsibility for you. Cloud providers such as AWS and Azure provide portals that can be accessed anywhere, allowing teams to work together, no matter the situation. Portals offer a real-time view into your infrastructure environment for general maintenance and addressing any issues. For resources that are still on premises, cloud VPN allows team members to access those resources via the cloud to perform their necessary tasks.
Cloud allows your business to instantly meet demand.
When your business needs change abruptly, so should your infrastructure. Cloud allows businesses to meet demand and slim down capacity during low traffic hours. This can be beneficial for both steady traffic and unpredictable traffic. For the steady traffic, in which you know what’s going to be used, you can easily estimate the costs of the service for day-to-day business, potentially saving money with reserved instances or with a hyper-converged infrastructure setup. For unpredictable traffic, whether up or down, autoscaling can meet traffic demands so that the consumer still gets a reliable experience, and the company only pays for what it used. Your business benefits greatly when you can reach and serve more customers when they need you most — or cut costs when activity lulls.
Cloud enables your business to shift priorities quickly.
Right now, it seems like anything could happen. Your business priorities may shift a little — or a lot — during this unpredictable time. Cloud infrastructure can shift along with those priorities. It eliminates the long wait it often takes to purchase and set up server resources for a new project. With traditional infrastructure resources, setting up servers and networking for a new project could take 3 plus weeks, only to find out afterward that the idea doesn’t work or the focus needs to be elsewhere. This is not only a waste of company resources, it’s a waste of time. With cloud computing, a new project can be set up into a proof of concept in a fraction of the time (hours instead of days). This allows for items to be validated more quickly — or scrapped if needed — with little waste of resource time. It benefits the company by allowing the infrastructure to keep up with changing priorities.
As the world changes, business needs and priorities can change rapidly with it, and to be successful, you need an infrastructure to support those changes. Cloud offers so many benefits not only in your day-to-day business operations, but also in uncertain times. Adopting a cloud infrastructure is a small step in the grand scheme of your digital transformation: preparing yourself for anything the future throws at you.