Advantages of moving to the cloud
Article by Hyland country manager for ANZ Jamie Atherton.
Digital transformation and the need for more flexible options across the APAC region — and indeed the world — is driving enterprises from on-premises technology deployments towards cloud-based technology.
There are several reasons why a move into the cloud makes sense for many businesses. Most notably: cost, technical burden, and operations.
From a cost perspective, a cloud deployment removes the age-old challenge of budgeting for a large-scale IT roll-out. Often there are challenges securing the needed funds, or justification to approve the financing of the project.
A Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud model relies on monthly subscriptions. Therefore, moving to the cloud and a subscription model negates any significant up-front investment. Additionally, the software platform is maintained and administered by the vendor, resulting in less hands-on work for the IT team.
Using a vendor’s hardware also removes the capital expenditure required to house that data within the organisation. There are no end-of-life replacement expenses or the need for continuous upgrades and expansions. The cloud environment will be managed and optimised by the vendor to deliver the best possible outcomes to customers.
From a technical burden perspective, upgrades and updates to cloud-based software are performed in the cloud itself, taking the stress out of updating a platform and ensuring an organisation stays on top of security patches. Minor updates and other tasks that can take time and effort to maintain are performed automatically and without additional stress on the IT department to schedule and maintain. The efficiency of cloud-based software solutions is the responsibility of the vendor/SaaS provider, freeing up enterprise resources to achieve organisational goals.
Cloud-based updates can be rolled out continuously in the background, with little to no disruption to the end-user. In an on-premises scenario, it is normal for an IT administrator to miss an entire night of sleep performing updates in the hope that business can continue the next day with a modernised application. With cloud-based software that is updated and maintained frequently, data and information are always available to the end-user, and they are always using the latest version.
Operationally, security is a focus area driving businesses to cloud solutions. A reputable cloud-based content services platform will have high-level security built into the platform itself, as well as enterprise-grade security at the data centre level.
Scaling is also easier with a cloud-based product — both up and down. Adding a licence can be done in a few clicks or with a call to the service provider. It is as easy to add modules or expand the solution to quickly meet an organisation’s needs as they evolve.
On-premise deployments are only as safe as the organisation’s own hardware and risk avoidance strategies. Professional-grade data centres typically have higher-level security, failovers, redundancy, and disaster recovery (DR) policies. Carefully selected data centres are purpose-built, with high-grade air-conditioning, uninterrupted and backup power supplies, storm and weather-proof buildings and more.
All this adds up to a safer, lower-risk environment for housing content in the cloud.
A cloud delivery model can also work well for public sector bodies that often require data to be stored in more than one location and have robust governance around the movement of data. In most cases, governments will not allow data to leave the physical bounds of their country. This means that the data must be stored either in a hybrid-cloud scenario or at two separate, locally-based data centres. Vendors who want to work in the public sector will be aware of this and have very tight governance and visibility over the data of all their customers, both public and private sector.
Cloud-based software deployments are critical for today’s organisations and success in the modern business world. They may free up enough time and budget, and provide the mental clarity to allow the average IT manager to focus on higher-level tasks, interact more directly with end-users, and have more time for overall business improvement.