With the advent of the Remote Workforce, many businesses are now migrating from an on-premises to a cloud-based platform, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure. But what are the benefits of migrating to the cloud? We explore that further in this article.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
Here are some of the key ones that you need to know about:
- Fixed and Affordable Pricing:
With on-premises infrastructure, you are pretty much responsible for all of the expenses that are incurred with its upkeep and maintenance. For example, there is the cost of the software licenses, hardware upgrades, making sure the latest software patches and upgrades have been installed and ensuring that the latest anti-virus/malware packages have been deployed across all of your servers (as well as other devices), etc. If your infrastructure is large enough you may even need to hire extra personnel, which means more costs. But with the Cloud, all of this is taken care of for you by the provider that you decide to choose. The end result of this is that you pay a monthly fee which is extremely affordable, and best of all is fixed throughout the term of a contract, so there are no surprises
There will be obviously periods of contraction and expansion of your business. If you have an on-premises infrastructure, trying to adjust like this can be hard as well as costly. With the Cloud, you can scale up and scale down your resources as needed, with just a few clicks of the mouse. For example, if your business is growing, and need more computing resources, all you have to do is create the additional Virtual Machines (VMs) that you need in just a matter of a few minutes, using the latest technology at a fraction of the cost if you were to acquire them at the retail price level.
3. Much Greater Security:
There is no doubt this is a topic that is on everybody’s mind today, given the rash of Ransomware attacks that have occurred. Deciding what you need to get to protect your on-premises infrastructure can be a very time-consuming process, which is a commodity that you cannot afford to lose. The good news here is that both the AWS and Microsoft Azure already come with a great set of security tools that you can deploy instantly, at no additional cost, because it is included with your package. For example, there is Multifactor Authentication (MFA), Identity and Access Management (IAM) tools, and Security Incident and Event Management (SIEM) packages that allow you to see your Cyber threat landscape from a single holistic view, with the ability to create specialized Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) tools that you can use to protect your endpoints.
4. Automated Software Updates:
Although this is a key component that should be a part of your overall security policy, the fact of the matter is that many businesses fall behind on this, especially if you have an on-premises infrastructure. But when you have a Cloud-based platform, once again, this is all taken care of for you. It is the responsibility of your provider to fully ensure that all software upgrades and patches have been deployed across all of your VMs and databases.
5. Constant Support:
With an on-premises infrastructure, your IT department is normally your first line of support. But the main problem here is that they are typically available on a short notice during business hours. But what about after that? More than likely, you would have to outsource this function to a third party, which can cause a rather large security risk. By making use of the Cloud, there is always a support team available 24/7/365 through a multitude of channels, such as email, chat, and by phone. Another huge benefit is that there is no extra cost for this, because it is part of your Service Level Agreement (SLA) with your provider.
6. Secure Transmissions:
With many employees still working from home (WFH), the sending and receiving of information and data, as well as confidential documentation has been a huge concern for businesses. This has been further exacerbated by the fact many remote employees are still using their home network in order to access the corporate one, which is also a huge security risk. If you have a Cloud-based platform, this problem is largely negated. For example, with Microsoft Azure, you can create database repositories in which you can centrally store your confidential datasets and documentation. From here, your employees can then access them from just about any device in a secure manner.
7. Advancements in Meeting Platforms:
With employees now dispersed in different geographic locations, the ability to conduct private meetings is a must now. Right when the pandemic hit, Zoom became the most popular choice to use to hold video conferences. But as we saw, this too became a huge security nightmare, especially with the many episodes of “Zoombombing” that were transpiring on a daily basis. Today, many Cloud providers their have own versions of Video Conferencing, with a primary example being that of Microsoft Teams. With this platform, you can hold meetings in a very secure manner, in which only invited members can attend. For example, high levels of encryption are now built into it, so there is no fear now of malicious third parties intercepting and causing havoc by hijacking the session.
8. Constant Access to Your Infrastructure:
One of the other great advantages of the Cloud is that you will have access to everything in your infrastructure on a 24/7/365 monitoring basis. In fact, this should be specified in your SLA, in which your provider will guarantee 99.999% uptime. Also, when you set up your Cloud platform, you will be given the option of deploying it across different data centers located throughout the world. So if one data center were to go offline for some reason, all of your resources (such as the VMs) will be automatically rolled over to the next data center, so that you will not experience any kind of downtime whatsoever.
How Can My Business Embrace the Benefits of Cloud Computing?
It is important to keep in mind that making a full, 100% transition from on-premises infrastructure to a Cloud-based one takes lots of planning and should be done in phases. If you need help with this or have additional questions, please contact us today.