A look forward, a look back — why *are* businesses using cloud?

Well, January is coming to an end. So no doubt we’ve all had our fill of technology and business predictions for 2015…

I could, for example, state the statistic that cloud spending is expected to increase from $156bn in 2014 to $183bn in 2015, or that by the end of 2017 half of large enterprises will be using hybrid clouds. They’re impressive figures and show what is for us at least (as a cloud service provider!) an encouraging trend.

And? So what?

But do they really mean anything to you as a potential user of cloud infrastructure? What relevance do these uptake statistics have to you, your business, and your decision about the way that you work with IT now and in the future? Unless you’re one to jump on the bandwagon simply because everyone else is (apparently) doing it, I doubt they carry much weight or significance.

Something more useful

Just as it’s a logical time to look forward, so the turning of a year is a natural time to look back at the twelve months now fading from memory. And with that in mind, how about something that might actually be more useful in helping you to make an informed decision about cloud? A look back at the reasons why businesses have taken the decision to start using cloud services.

Revisiting the infographic above, we’re given some of the incentives that drove businesses to make the move to cloud. Business agility (55.2%) and scalability (54.9%) lead the way as goals sought through cloud adoption, while cost, mobility and innovation take up the remaining spots in the top five motivations for shifting to this new way of working with technology.

Agility, scalability, cost and innovation

These are the keywords that we see time and again when discussing cloud — they’re at the forefront of what we service providers admittedly preach as benefits that are genuine differentiators from the traditional way of building and maintaining a physical infrastructure. Ram Lakshminarayanan, writing at ZDNet brings these concepts together quite neatly:

“When it comes to infrastructure, is your company best served by having its limited IT staff maintaining ageing servers, while the IT manager fights for budget to upgrade old equipment, add storage, and implement automated backup systems, or is the company better served by offloading these low-end infrastructure nuts and bolts to a third party?”

Ram continues, suggesting that by moving to cloud “IT teams can focus more on activities that add business value, rather than maintaining the infrastructure”. It’s really interesting that he should say this, as these themes are reflected in what our customers have said to us about their reasons for migrating to a virtual infrastructure:

“We wanted a dependable, flexible platform without the capital investment and management overhead.”

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“We sought freedom from the limitations and responsibilities of managing our own physical infrastructure.”

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“We needed flexible options, and to have the ability to tailor our infrastructure to our specific requirements.”

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What might be your reasons?

Cloud isn’t the answer to every single business issue, but maybe it can help to address some of the challenges that you and your staff will face this year. Call or email, and we can have a chat about it. You might even like to get hands on with a free (full service, no less!) evaluation of a cloud data centre.

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