There Are Many Cloud Entry Points, as Well as Barriers

 
 
By Eileen Feretic  |  Posted 2011-12-09
 
 
 

Cloud computing has become an industry buzzword ripping through IT departments and forcing them to scramble to get in the game. But while the benefits of moving IT functions over to a cloud environment are numerous, many companies are still resistant, citing security concerns and stringent contracts as obstacles.

Every organization, regardless of size, can benefit in some way by moving to a cloud computing environment. Cloud computing represents a major IT transformation, and it's not slowing down. Through it, small and midsize companies can harness the same computing power and efficiency previously available only to larger enterprises.

Though organizations initially moved to the cloud looking for IT cost savings, this technology trend has become much more beneficial than just saving IT budgets. Companies are looking to cloud computing for ease of use, availability, flexibility, scalability and efficiency.  IT departments are constantly being challenged to make their organization's infrastructure more agile, resilient and efficient, and cloud computing can help in all these areas. But IT leaders will not embrace any technology advancement if they believe it puts their company's data at risk.

The main benefits of cloud computing can be divided into five major buckets: cost savings, agility, resiliency, elasticity and security, according to Howard Cohen, Senior Resultant, Tech Channel Partners Group. Cohen refers to these areas as "Cloud CARES".

Cost Savings

There is no argument: A cloud environment can reduce IT costs in the areas of capital investments on hardware, cost of server space, electricity, air-conditioning and cooling, maintenance and staff. But there are many other benefits.

Agility
Embracing a cloud environment in terms of data backup and storage or software as a service allows employees to work from anywhere, on any device, and it provides a consistent user experience. This empowers an organization and enables it to access its data easier and make quicker business decisions.

Resiliency
Backing up your data in the cloud provides automatic redundancy that otherwise might be too costly and time-consuming to do in-house. Routine functions are taken over by the cloud provider, adding an extra layer of backup.

Elasticity
In a cloud environment, an organization pays only for the storage it is using. The capacity can easily be throttled up or down depending on business needs. Further, the need for new resources is no longer a barrier to progress.

Security
Due to recent high-profile hacking attacks, many organizations are still questioning data security in a cloud environment. However, Cohen argues that cloud service providers actually provide higher levels of data protection, transfer and storage than most IT departments can afford. Service providers ar

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