Cloud computing is a term used to, according to Microsoft, “describe a global network of servers”. The cloud then, is a virtual entity that allows communication between several remote servers throughout the world and whose objective is to function as a single ecosystem. The question that arises is: what do these servers, that are spread around the world, do, precisely?
These servers are responsible for storing and managing data, running applications or other types of services such as analytics, content delivery or even intelligence, so that information is quickly made available to those who need it. Instead of accessing services and files locally through their computer, employees can access everything online, where information is accessible anywhere via the Internet.
The cloud’s goal is to allow access to computing and storage capabilities to any company regardless of their size, as long as they have a business model that can support this approach. At present, there are several cloud providers: some examples include Amazon AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure.
The right cloud for your business and its benefits
It should be noted, however, that not all clouds are the same. In fact, each business is a business and each of them has individual needs. Thus, several types of clouds emerged to help each company choose the most adequate solution for their business. There are three types of clouds:
– Public cloud: managed and operated by third-party providers, such as Microsoft Azure. In these instances, all resources are managed by the cloud provider;
– Private cloud: computing resources are used exclusively by a single company. This cloud can be physically located at a datacentre or at the company’s offices;
– Hybrid cloud: it is a mix between the public and the private cloud and where everything can be shared from one cloud to the other and vice versa.
Regardless of the type of cloud that best suits your business needs, it is undeniable that its adoption has a relevant impact in the way you run your business and also in the tangible benefits in the companies’ day-to-day operations. Often, however, these benefits may not be clear or even noticeable to anyone who’s considering adopting cloud technology in their business. That’s why we made a list of 6 ways you can benefit your business by adopting a cloud technology such as Microsoft Azure:
One of the biggest benefits that comes from adopting the cloud is scalability: with it, it becomes possible to increase or decrease resources and services you use, based on your needs or your workload. Better than that is being able to allocate or deallocate resources at any time, in a matter of minutes and wherever you are – something that was not possible in the daily lives of companies up until now. Additionally, you can choose to make this change manually or automatically, based on specific behaviours such as CPU usage, for example.
Unpredictability and rapid changes in context are, nowadays, an expected part of our existence that can have a serious negative impact for the companies if they are not prepared to respond to new circumstances in a timely manner. However, with cloud technology it becomes possible to adjust to the ever-changing reality, by adding or removing resources automatically. Imagine your website experiences an increase in traffic overnight: by taking advantage of the cloud’s elasticity, it can automatically allocate additional computing resources in order to cope with the traffic spike, automatically readjusting itself by removing the additional resources when the traffic normalises.
When we talk about security, we don’t just think about physical security (physical access to the company’s offices or servers), but also about digital security (who can access your company’s systems and data). Cloud services providers have a wide range of policies, technologies, controls and technological skills that offer a better security, both physical and digital, than most companies would be able to achieve independently. All of these measures by cloud services providers result in enhanced security that helps ensure the protection of data, applications and infrastructure from potential threats.
4) Investment optimisation
When it comes to investment, cloud services have many benefits: not only are they based on consumption models, that is, the client only pays for the resources consumed, but they also do not have any initial costs (CapEx), there’s no need to buy or manage expensive infrastructure and, finally, you only pay for additional resources when you need them – when they are no longer need, they can be deleted. All these benefits translate into cost optimisation: in fact, Microsoft Azure displays the prices of individual resources and services so that companies can predict their investment for a given period of time based on their estimated usage.
Sustainability is on the global political and economic agenda and cloud technology adoption is a step towards a company’s full sustainability, as it is responsible for reducing the carbon footprint, it is eco-friendly and addresses all aspects of waste across the whole of the organisation. In reality, cloud services make a relevant contribution to companies’ sustainability: it encourages employees to use digital services rather than physical products. Additionally, with the cloud, resources can be allocated where they are most efficiently used. Essentially, cloud adoption helps to dematerialise our economy: thinking about companies’ sustainability means thinking about solutions that address waste in all its aspects and, adopting cloud technology allows us all to contribute to our planet’s health.
All the benefits we listed above translate into a competitive advantage in the market your company operates in. Why? Because by adopting cloud technology, your company will be better prepared to deal with and manage workload increases more efficiently or even changes in the market context or economic conditions. Your company will be more flexible and more agile in its decision-making process and it will have better data in order to make informed decisions. Finally, by reducing costs and by better managing internal processes, your company will be able to dedicate more resources to adding value in other areas that will allow you to be ahead of your competitors.
Digital Xperience and Microsoft Azure
Xpand IT’s Digital Xperience business unit is focused, since its dawning, in developing solutions that take advantage of cloud technology and, in particular, of Microsoft Azure. From the first moment, the goal was to use platform services (PaaS – Platform as a Service) and not infrastructure services (IaaS – Infrastructure as a Service), due to all the potential that PaaS has, namely in the aspects mentioned above. In other words, practically all the solutions we develop take advantage of a combination of different components such as App Services, API Management, Cosmos DB, Cognitive Services, among others. In addition to initiatives of development native projects in the cloud, we often work alongside our customers to reengineer existent solutions, so that they can take advantage of all the benefits the cloud technology provides.
Find out how you can make the most of this technology in your specific context: get in touch with us here.