Part 3 of the “Cloud-Driven Competitive Advantage” series.
Fear, uncertainty, and doubt are characteristics of our human nature that keep us from making serious mistakes. We feel in our gut that we shouldn’t leap off a cliff without any preparation. We hear that little voice that tells us we don’t have the time and money to make an investment. And we freeze at the top of a pool slide, not knowing all the twists and turns on the way down.
We are all uncertain about something – and for small and midsize businesses, that “something” is most likely the cloud. What if jumping to the cloud could be the start of a transformational step towards future success? And what if the twists and turns are worth the final destination?
In the IDC InfoBrief “Using Cloud Capabilities for Competitive Advantage: How Small and Midsize Companies Worldwide Are Adopting Cloud Technology to Meet Key Business Goals,” sponsored by SAP, over three-quarters of surveyed executives from small and midsize companies worldwide are experimenting with the cloud. However, concerns over cost, control, and security still linger – potentially stunting widespread cloud adoption and maturity.
Is fear of the cloud working against your firm’s best interests?
Whenever I first talk to business leaders from small and midsize companies, I hear pretty consistent thoughts about the pros and cons of cloud adoption. For the most part, firms recognize that the cloud delivers significant advantages by giving affordable access to technology once reserved for large companies with deeper pockets. But on the other hand, they may not be sure whether the cloud is really right for their firm. Meanwhile, IT leaders are exercising caution due to perceived loss of control over architecture performance and reliability.
Maybe they’re right, and maybe they’re wrong. But often, I find that these observations depend on how businesses approach the cloud. For example, for most firms that have adopted a private managed cloud, the migration can be the start of greater effectiveness, higher savings in time and cost, more informed decision making, and immediate action.
8 ways a private managed cloud help firms overcome cloud doubt
The beauty of a private managed cloud is the combination of the agility, scalability, and efficiency of a public cloud and the control and security of a single-tenant, dedicated environment. More important, experiencing this platform can empower businesses to dispel critical concerns.
- Data security: By augmenting internal IT capabilities with experts from a cloud service provider, businesses can protect themselves with the latest best practices and technologies. Capabilities include threat and vulnerability management, 24×7 security monitoring, biometric access control, and data center fire detection and extinguishment.
- Recurring cost of ownership: A range of options for subscription-based pricing moves IT costs from a large-sum, one-time capital expenditure to a predefined, incremental operational expenditure. For small and midsize businesses, this is an opportunity to access the innovations they need to grow and expand while staying within budget and managing cash flow with ease.
- Service reliability: Reliance on dedicated technical support specialists that understand the help that business and IT need improve how infrastructure and operating systems are monitored and managed. Firms benefit from a level of expertise that ensures all backups, upgrades, and restorations are done properly – maintaining application integration and nondisruptive access.
- Control over applications: By establishing a service-level agreement that covers an entire solution stack (infrastructure, operating system, in-memory computing database, and application layers), some managed cloud service providers can ensure 99.95% availability, 24×7 global support, and activity reports.
- Access to more than one service provider: Subscription pricing gives small and midsize companies the flexibility to decide whether to stay with their current provider or enlist the services of another. Firms can also choose to purchase services from more than one provider or even a hybrid strategy of public and private clouds.
- Compliance obligations: Governing bodies worldwide have certified many cloud providers as compliant with a variety of global, local, and industry regulations. Compliance requirements include International Standards Organization/British Standard (ISO/BS), system and organization control (SOC) reports, Payment Card Industry (PCI) data security standard, FISMA, Information Security Registered Assessors Program (IRAP), and Cloud Security Alliance Security, Trust, and Assurance Registry (CSA STAR) certification.
- Software ownership: When it comes to owning software, it can be difficult to stay up to date. Technology changes so quickly that a software package can be outdated in months – and later become a lost investment. Private managed cloud helps firms keep their technology continuously current while maintaining integrations and smooth-running operations.
- Flexibility and customization: A private managed cloud integrates seamlessly with existing systems. But more important, it allows customization of applications and the development of new innovations. Plus, firms have the flexibility to choose which processes run in the cloud and which remain on premises or in another cloud.
Are you ready for the fastest, simplest way to benefit from the cloud’s promises?
Transforming a small and midsize business while unlocking the full value of all IT investments can present a range of challenges. The cloud offers a clear opportunity to overcome the risk of change while taking advantages of opportunities as they begin to emerge. However, not all clouds are the same.
To achieve unique, strategic goals, firms should consider a private managed cloud approach that addresses needs and complexity with the right level of support. Only then can companies realize the full potential of the cloud: accelerated growth and innovation, IT and business transformation, fast delivery of expected outcomes, and continuous compliance and security.
Find out how cloud technology is helping firms achieve their strategic goals and become a disruptive force in the marketplace. Read the IDC InfoBrief “Using Cloud Capabilities for Competitive Advantage: How Small and Midsize Companies Worldwide Are Adopting Cloud Technology to Meet Key Business Goals,” sponsored by SAP. And don’t forget to check every Tuesday for new installments to our blog series “Cloud-Driven Competitive Advantage” to explore the possibilities for your company.