This article recasts our minds to cloud solutions. ‘Cloud’ is an already familiar landmark in contemporary IT trends.
Let’s face it! As IT investment decision takers, we all cringe at the thoughts of maintaining varied IT infrastructure. And, of course, at justifying new purchases. All these and more are the very solutions delivered by cloud technology.
For refreshers: What is Cloud Solution?
The well-known, age-old IT administrator’s pain points include:
- Justifying the Capital Expenditure (CAPEX) for more servers, workstations, PCs, SATAs, PATAs, routers, etc.
- Painstaking crafting of standard operating procedures (SOPs) for servicing and maintaining these infrastructures.
- Ensuring that these SOPs are executed according to details.
- Ensuring that detailed schedules for each resource are carried out.
- Ensuring that carrying out these SOPs will be at minimal or zero disruption of business operations.
Also, there must be a top management shot with the onus and headache to vet and approve these CAPEXs. This dude needs proof(s) that these CAPEXs must result in huge returns. Or else!
To all of these envisaged challenges, an informed resourceful fellow out there will help by declaring as follows:
- ‘Take Problem X to the Cloud’
- ‘Carry Challenge Y to the Cloud’
- ‘Move Nightmare Z to the Cloud’
The Notion of Cloud
Simply put, the cloud is on-demand computing resources delivered to you over the Internet. You may also think of cloud as a computing service you traditionally did locally (i.e. on your company’s premises understood as ‘on-premises’), but now performed remotely on your behalf across the Internet (also understood as ‘off-premises’).
Meaning that the above-envisaged challenges of the IT administrator and top management simply transfer to someone else, thanks to the cloud.
We can then say that cloud computing is an approach to computing which leverages the efficient pooling of an on-demand, self-managed, virtual infrastructure. It is also a pool of resources you can access for the applications you need.
Having said this much, let’s examine at least 7 out of the numerous wonders of cloud solutions.
The 7 Wonders of Cloud Solutions
To illustrate this concept, we use the analogy of elastic, stretchy (expandable and contractible) characteristics of a rubber band. Whenever there’s the need for more length, you stretch it and any time this need reduces you allow the band to relax (contract).
In cloud solutions, you no longer need to invest and tie-down huge sums of money for high-capacity IT purchases when you only use a fraction of that capacity all of the time. Here, if your use case is small it is readily accommodated. Whenever again the use case shoots up, cloud automatically adjusts to your growing needs.
Cloud transparently aggregates the resources you use over some time (say one month) and only bills you for that period of use. You either elect to be configured for per-second or per-hour billing (as the case may be) which ultimately extrapolates for over a one month.
This feature mirrors the popular “One man’s meat another man’s poison” mantra. This is for the obvious reason that the need for IT experts in your organization no longer becomes critical once the cloud is adopted. If you must pay for your use of IT resources hosted somewhere else, why must you retain and pay local IT personnel any more?
- Fast Access to Resources or Applications You or Your Company Needs
All you need is to maintain an account with a cloud solution provider. At any time you identify more use cases, they are provisioned in no time. This is quite unlike when you procure new IT equipment. Which can take from days to weeks to configure, install all the dependencies, and fully set up for use.
- You only Pay for What You Use
Under on-premises IT solutions, you likely purchase software licenses for say 1000 staff (in anticipation of future expansion) when only 500 currently need and use the software. You simply tie down capital that can be channelled to other equally important scenarios.
However, in the cloud, if only 50 staff need particular software for their jobs, you just configure and pay for exactly that number. Any time the demand rises, the cloud will accommodate for your exact needs.
- No CAPEX Requirements to Get You Started
Cloud is generous enough to allow upfront configurations and deployments of your IT solutions without you committing to any capital expenditures. You only pay for what you use at the end of a chosen period.
- Re-Deploy IT Staff to Focus now on Business Bottom line
Instead of paying for IT manhours required for the monitoring, maintenance, servicing, and sustenance of local IT infrastructure, your IT personnel can now redirect their expertise into IT solution use cases for optimizing business bottom line.
We can go on and on about the incomparable benefits that cloud solutions provide. The taste of the pudding is in the eating. There’s a lot more to cloud solutions than profiled in this article. You may do well to research for more facts. One way to do this is to consult sister companies already using the cloud to share their experiences. But, suffice it to say that you are probably using aspects of cloud solutions without picturing them as one.
For examples: All the Gmails, all the Yahoomails, all the Dropboxes, all the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) offerings, etc.
They are all cloud solutions!