Once just a buzzword, the public cloud is now a fully established $153.5B industry. After initial fears over IT security, public cloud services are now a cornerstone of many modern businesses. According to Gartner’s Top Technology Trends for SMBs Survey, about two-thirds of small and medium-sized businesses are currently using cloud technology, with another third looking to implement cloud computing solutions to their business in future.
In fact, the cloud services industry is expected to grow by around 21,4% this year alone. What’s more, by 2020, 41% of enterprise workloads will be run on public cloud platforms, a 10% increase from today’s usage. So why are companies going all-in? We’ve all heard the hype around the public cloud, but here are the five most important actual benefits for businesses:
5 Main Benefits Of The Public Cloud
Trust in public cloud security has increased significantly in recent years. Cloud providers have rolled out better protective solutions and more users have reported positive experiences. In fact, 94% of companies state that moving to the cloud has resulted in similar or better IT security performance than on-premise infrastructures. Another study shows that, by 2022, more than 95% of cloud security failures will be the fault of the customer. This means we should see the conversation move away from whether the cloud is secure, with questions now focused on how businesses themselves can use the cloud in a more secure and effective way.
Cloud providers have access to economies of scale, which enable them to implement sophisticated IT security solutions that leverage technologies such as AI and ML. For the same reason, public cloud hosts are also able to hire the best IT security talent on the market. They can build dedicated teams to monitor the cloud environment 24/7 in order to anticipate, detect and prevent any potential attacks, mitigating the risk of data breaches. On top of that, public cloud providers typically offer automatic backups and disaster recovery solutions which further enhance security.
Easy To Scale
Arguably the biggest advantage of the public cloud is that it makes it easy to scale up or down, due to the flexibility of common monthly subscription models. These models require no minimum commitment and can be canceled at any time. This enables firms to adjust their investment on IT according to evolving needs. Rather than being charged for their highest potential demand at all times, companies only pay for the server load they actually use on average. This is a perfect model for scalability. Increasing capacity for peaks in demand doesn’t have to mean businesses are hit with extortionate costs, allowing them to scale dynamically.
Cloud-based apps, services and cloud storage foster innovation for companies under pressure to keep up with the rapid pace of technological evolution. Those that purchase cloud-based programs benefit hugely from the fact that their premium software is updated and maintained by their cloud service provider, so they can keep their focus on developing cutting-edge products. In addition, the money saved by reducing outgoings on IT staff and on-site storage space for data hosting can be directed towards business development. Further savings made through optimizing resource utilization thanks to monthly subscription models can channel extra funds into development projects that help businesses stay ahead of the game. All in all, a self-maintaining public cloud service unlocks time, money and creativity that can be invested in innovation and business growth.
The main driver for moving to the cloud in previous years has been pressured to save IT costs. However, today it’s the need for speed and agility. In fact, the 2018 Cloud Computing Survey by IDG reveals that the two primary reasons companies move to the cloud are that it allows them to deliver IT services faster (71%), and that it enables them to become more flexible (63%). The public cloud helps businesses to become more flexible due to two main reasons.
1. By shifting IT investment into public cloud solutions, firms can lower their capital expenditure and convert it into operational expenditure. Investing in operations allows firms to optimize workflow to respond to demand with speed and agility.
2. Cloud-based contracts can be canceled with ease and, if an adequate IT infrastructure has been developed, firms can even migrate their data between hosts without hassle. That means public cloud or hybrid cloud environments enable companies to avoid the lock-in effects typically associated with on-premise storage solutions, helping them prevent stagnation through outmoded infrastructure.
Investment in the public cloud means investment in the future. In contrast to on-premise solutions which have to be acquired, maintained and sometimes replaced at high cost, public cloud services are kept up-to-date. Due to the competitiveness of the market, cloud hosts must constantly invest in their infrastructure in order to provide the best services. If clients aren’t happy, it’s relatively simple for them to just switch cloud providers, if they have the right internal infrastructure in place. As a result, cloud hosts like Azure run automatic software updates, replace their own hardware regularly and handle maintenance to ensure they maintain a competitive service that provides their customers with state-of-the-art technology that moves with the times.
Still unsure how to leverage the public cloud in a way that benefits your business? The Cloud Checklist is a valuable resource for any organization moving to the cloud.