The ‘cloud’ is and has been the biggest buzzword in the IT industry for quite some time now. Yet despite this, the cloud is still proving to be a confusing concept for many.
Adoption of cloud services is continuing to accelerate with the Cloud Industry Forum suggesting that 90% of UK businesses will utilise 2 or more cloud services by the end of 2015, whilst 45% are looking to move their entire infrastructure into the cloud.
The reason for the cloud explosion lies in its undeniable benefits. Charged on a ‘per user’ or ‘per month’ OPEX model, organisations can simply scale up or down as their business demands, benefiting from IT infrastructure that never ages, is continuously upgraded and suffers near zero downtime.
"90% of UK businesses will utilise 2 or more cloud services by the end of 2015"
The ability to pay for all IT services using one fixed monthly cost is extremely attractive, especially when it provides a mobile workforce that can work anywhere, any time using any device – driving both productivity and revenues.
With buying behaviour of cloud delivered services now shifting from ‘if’ to ‘how’, the primary questions being asked by UK businesses are what can I move and how?
With an ever-growing menu of cloud solutions, choosing the correct one for your business can be challenging. Not only that but choosing what elements of your business’s IT to move and understanding the process of how to migrate them can be extremely puzzling.
You can take the leap, moving your entire infrastructure in one fell swoop or use a more considered phased approach, migrating your data, email, desktops, applications and telephony one at a time. Not only that but you may choose to keep some business critical elements and applications onsite utilising what is known as a hybrid approach.
Once committed to the idea of adopting cloud based working and 'as a Service' solutions, the real challenge lies in the choosing the right cloud provider to suit your business.
When choosing a cloud provider to help you agree an approach, considerations’ should include; are they ISO accredited? Do they understand my applications? Do their SLA’s and T&C’s around data security meet our expectations? Will they allow me to sweat my existing assets? And do they provide the additional managed services and connectivity to make my cloud solution a success?
With security, location of data and user performance still the main concerns, the key requirement is to feel confident that your chosen cloud provider suits your business and understands your long term goals.