Cloud Adoption: Are You Part of the Upward Trend?

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According to cloud expert Jared Wray, the CTO of Tier 3, “businesses need to move the cloud, simply because they are at a competitive disadvantage if they don’t. Companies that figure out how to harness the transformative power of cloud infrastructure, as well as platform services, will run circles around those that fail to do so.”   The cloud offers a less expensive, more practical way to conduct business, streamline operations, and manage big data.  But according to a research report done by Virtustream, only 54% of enterprise organizations have adopted the cloud.  So what gives?

The main concerns for most organizations about moving to the cloud are security and reliability.  According to an SMB study done by Microsoft, these concerns however, seem to be a misconception generated by those who have yet to adopt the cloud, misconceptions that are contradicted by early cloud adopters.

The Cloud & Control:

  • 45% of on-premise organizations were concerned that using the cloud would result in less control over their data BUT…
  • 62% of cloud-adopters said their levels of privacy protection increased

The Cloud & Security:

  • 32% of the on-premise respondents said they would be more likely to consider cloud adoption if there were industry standards for cloud security BUT…
  • 94% of US businesses said their security had improved after adopting cloud applications

The Cloud & Compliance:

  • 39% of on-premise users who said compliance requirements barred them from using cloud applications BUT…
  • 91% of the SMBs using the cloud said their cloud provider made it easier for them to satisfy compliance requirements

The cloud is proving to be better than advertised.  According to Whitney Vickrey, the Chief Service Officer at GCE, a leading cloud-based financial accounting services provider here are all the benefits the cloud can provide any organization:

  • Security: While a legitimate concern, cloud-based, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platforms can still VirtueStream safely handle sensitive financial information. Cloud vendors stake their entire reputation on their ability to provide secure service, and a significant amount of financial information is already stored safely in the Cloud, including payroll and banking.
  • Reliability: Business decision makers often place the Cloud in one big bucket when analyzing reliability and performance. They might read in the news of a Google outage or other disruptions to services accessed through a public cloud. The fact is that cloud-based applications can ensure 99.9+% uptime, guaranteeing availability and continuity equal to and exceeding the reliability of premise-based solutions. Plus, cloud providers incorporate the most stringent security and compliance controls to maintain the integrity, confidentiality and availability of data.
  • Control: Business decision makers want to ensure that they have access to their data whenever they need it. While it’s understandable that executives don’t want to forgo ownership, this isn’t how the cloud works; just because the data is outside the walls of the organization doesn’t mean that it’s open to the public. The Internet is simply the delivery method for the technology.
  • Integration: Decision makers don’t want an outlier system that runs independently from the rest of their operations. Many cloud/SaaS companies understand that and are getting proactive about integrating with e-commerce or other CRM tools. Organizations shouldn’t assume that a cloud-based system couldn’t be integrated.
  • Costs: While it is true that enterprises often expect to experience real and immediate cost savings once they fully transition to the Cloud, there is still a belief among some that it would be cheaper to simply upgrade an existing legacy system rather than undertake a Cloud implementation. In reality, system upgrades can be very costly on the front-end, and even costlier over time as IT is forced to spend more time and resources troubleshooting issues and simply keeping an aging system running. Organizations must take a wider cost view that encompasses hardware, software, IT staffing, security and operations, and maintenance support to fully gauge if the costs of a upgrading an existing system outweigh the benefits.

So what are businesses using the cloud for? Take a look at the research that Gartner has put together:

Gartner predicts that the worldwide market for cloud computing will grow 18.5% this year to $131 billion.  Are you going to part of that growth?

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