Make those minutes count

The Explosive Growth of the Cloud

Cloud GrowthThe IT landscape is shifting, and cloud services aren’t just center stage – they’re overwhelming the stage.

The Worldwide Semiannual Public Cloud Services Spending Guide, a publication of market intelligence firm IDC, analyzed Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS), and Software as a Service (SaaS) spending numbers across various global markets and a range of industries. The findings are clear: with a 2017 spending increase of 24.4% over 2016, cresting $120 million worldwide, cloud growth outstrips all other IT growth by a factor of seven. And the rate of growth is forecasted to remain high — above 20% per year through 2020.

SaaS Domination

Cloud computing is still dominated by SaaS applications, though there’s no guarantee that SaaS will remain the flagship offering of the cloud. SaaS represents about two-thirds of current cloud spending, but its growth is slower than IaaS and PaaS trajectories: through 2020, PaaS is expected to grow at a rate of 30.1% each year, while IaaS outstrips it at 32.2% annually.

Adoption by Industry

Not all industries are seeing equal cloud adoption. Manufacturing, professional services, and finance are forecasted to spend the most on cloud services, accounting for around a third of all cloud spending. The professional services industry also leads the pack in cloud growth, with a spending rate growing by almost 24% per year.

Cloud Spending

Despite the potential expense of moving large organizations (and entrenched infrastructure) to the cloud, companies with over 1,000 employees aren’t shy about migration: they account for over half of all cloud spending, and their spending rate is increasing faster than companies with fewer employees.

Global Cloud

Generating almost two-thirds of all global cloud revenue, the United States is the largest current public cloud market – though the Asia/Pacific region (Japan not included) and Latin America are each growing at faster rates: Asia/Pacific at 28%, and Latin America at 26.6% annually. In fact, globally, the US has one of the slowest cloud growth markets, increasing at a rate just shy of 20% per year.

As the market matures, it’s likely that previously untapped markets will come to regard the cloud as an essential piece of infrastructure. In particular, European markets have been more resistant to cloud adoption than those in the US, but they show healthy growth which is forecasted to continue through the end of the decade.

Domestically and worldwide, for large companies and small, the cloud is growing – and it’s not predicted to stop any time soon.

Making the Right Choices in the Cloud

shutterstock_328634297While it may be true that cloud services are not the perfect solution for all business computing needs, almost every business has at least some applications for which cloud is, indeed, the best solution. Premises-based solutions will continue to become less prevalent as time goes on. The focus of cloud services on scalability, efficiency, and flexibility is the primary driver of the move away from premises-based computing.

The biggest problem with traditional solutions is that in order to maintain capacity for peak loads, it’s necessary to maintain a great deal more computing resources than are needed the rest of the time. Overspending becomes a necessity. There is also the onerous process required to upgrade server capacity or other infrastructure.

Cloud solves these problems admirably by placing the onus for hardware purchasing and maintenance on someone else’s shoulders. There are three ways in which cloud services can be deployed, each serving a slightly different set of needs.

SaaS

Software as a Service (SaaS) involves the hosting of individual business applications in the cloud, to be accessed remotely by end users. The business has no control over the environment in which the application ‘lives’ under this model.

PaaS

Platform as a Service (PaaS) provides all the infrastructure, management, development, and deployment tools a business needs to create and maintain their own software applications.

IaaS

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) consists of hardware and other components (networking, storage, servers, and software) and gives businesses more control over the system than SaaS.

One of the most difficult aspects of moving to the cloud is not deciding what type of service a business needs, but rather what parts of the business can best utilize the cloud in the first place.

What Not to Move

Business critical applications should certainly not be among the first to transition to a new environment. Nor should any applications where performance is touchy, or that require intensive number crunching. Any system with a high level of complexity and tight integration with multiple apps should also probably wait until the organization has more cloud experience.

What Should be Moved

Non-critical systems are a good first step, including departmental applications where a smaller number of people will be affected by growing pains. Email servers and other well-established and easy to maintain apps are also likely candidates.

Other Considerations

Before making the jump into the cloud, it’s important to consider a few other details:

  • What are the company’s requirements for a service level agreement (SLA)?
  • Is a service provider able to provide the required level of security with the type of cloud model that fits the business’s other needs?
  • Do any of the apps that will be hosted in the cloud have special requirements?

The cloud isn’t more difficult to understand than on-site resources; it’s the same, only different. The differences can, however, complicate individual situations and turn wrong decisions into costly mistakes. Contact us for help simplifying the complicated.

 

The Benefits of Using Infrastructure as a Service

shutterstock_184875824Despite the increasing popularity of cloud services, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is often underutilized. Many businesses may not be aware that IaaS gives CIOs and CEOs the ability to take advantage of infrastructure as a means of expanding the company and increasing efficiency.

 
 

How IaaS Works

IaaS specifically deals with virtual services, including security strategies, maintenance, and backup, all through an Internet connection. Because IaaS is a per-use service, companies only need to pay for what they use, which can ultimately help them save money while being able to take advantage of the latest in cloud technology to enhance their business operations.

Why Use IaaS?

There are several reasons to use IaaS in business operations. With effective IaaS services, companies can see positive results in the long term, including:

Lowered Costs.​ One large advantage of IaaS is that it is inexpensive. Companies only need to pay for the specific aspects of IaaS that they use, helping them avoid spending more than they might with set monthly payments for services they don’t often use. IaaS also gives business owners the ability to rely on a smaller team of IT professionals without any increased risk of breaches or other issues.

Access to State-of-the-Art Technology. IaaS gives customers access to many innovative technologies that business owners can customize to meet specific needs. The limitations that come with other services aren’t there with IaaS, with technology freely available to help businesses evolve.

The Ability to Expand. IaaS allows businesses to grow because of outsourced IT. The less time companies have to spend focusing on the technologies they use for business platforms, the more they can return their focus to running the business. With a managed infrastructure handled by a devoted team offsite, business owners can spend much-needed time promoting their company and developing better business strategies.

Complete Scalability Based on Needs. IaaS is flexible and scalable, and accommodates technological needs as the business evolves. Companies can easily make changes without the hassle of completely changing the workspace and altering hardware or software.

Implement IaaS in Business Operations for Simplified Technology

IaaS gives businesses the chance to focus more on developing the company itself, without the pain of having to decide on the right technologies and deal with implementation. Outsourced IT through IaaS can help ensure that companies’ business platforms stay secure and efficient, with the ability to change on-demand. Contact us today to learn how we help businesses implement IaaS.

Finding the Silver Lining in the Cloud

shutterstock_92683114With cloud services continuing to blanket the market, analysis paralysis has truly set in for countless clients and agencies. Cloud computing and storage is the next big thing, and the overabundance of services has resulted in a quagmire of uncertainty and endless options. No truer is this than when it comes to finding the right vendors to meet a company’s needs. The only way for a business to tackle this challenge is to focus on one clear and simple cloud goal.

 

The Cloud Dilemma

Cloud-based services are now visible in several industries and applications. From digital cable to telecommunications, it is next to impossible to keep up with all of the changes and developments. From Cisco and Microsoft to NEC and Shoretel, there are now over 40 different ways to utilize and implement cloud services on-site or from remote locations. As such, it can be overwhelming for a business to effectively analyze and assess which services meet its goals. Additional complications include:

  • new cloud products, services, and changes happening at a moment’s notice,
  • cloud services evolving based on existing industry trends and changes,
  • shifts within the landscape that are affecting how cloud experts offer services to clients, and
  • clients possessing little to no knowledge of cloud benefits.

With seismic shifts happening in the cloud industry at rapid rates, only organizations that know precisely what they need are benefiting.

Cloud Cover

Sifting through the many cloud options available today can be an obstacle that limits productivity and performance. While it’s great for clients to carefully weigh their options and choices, selecting the right vendor has become a time-consuming and tedious process. In order to secure the best possible outcome, there are many factors to consider:

  • Company executives and staff must be on the same page to meet cloud initiatives and directives.
  • Effective and strategic planning is needed to find the right and most affordable cloud solutions for enterprises.
  • Businesses must take into account all potential opportunities, risks, expenses, and management challenges.

Only with these options and facets in mind can a sound and lasting decision be made about which cloud provider or service to attain.

Gray Clouds

Unfortunately, this level of strategic planning rarely takes place anymore. Many businesses simply do not have the time, and even having a solid management plan does not guarantee finding the right cloud solution. It can take several attempts along with trial and error to finally secure a cloud provider and achieve desired results.

By firmly establishing a single clear goal, clients can amend or modify solutions based on their particular needs and aspirations. Company objectives must be precise throughout the chain of command. Setting the simplest goal is the only way to truly find the silver lining in the cloud.