Business value in the cloud is all about “-ity” – security, availability, scalability and profitability.
Cloud computing uses the resources of much larger organizations to provide on-demand computing needs around the world. Organizations of all sizes can tap into the same secure hardware and software resources used by the Fortune 50. We all use the cloud every day, perhaps without knowing it. A voice search you make with your phone captures your voice, which gets sent it to Cortana, Alexi, Siri or Google for processing and understanding, then translated into a search, and the results are sent back to your phone or device. This happens so quickly; most people think this processing is happening on their phone when it really happens on supercomputers in the cloud.
For businesses and organizations of all sizes, cloud computing reduces (or eliminates) the need for large IT infrastructures – saving on hardware, maintenance, energy – and frees staff to focus on higher value endeavors. “End-point” devices like PCs, laptops, tablets and phones can be lighter and faster relying on connections to the cloud for heavy processing. Notably, since most documents and files are stored in the cloud, should one of those end point devices break or get lost, your data remains safe.
Security is another great advantage to the cloud, although that may seem counterintuitive. When computing services are outsourced to a reputable cloud provider, that provider has bet massive amounts of resources against their cloud security infrastructure. These facilities have military-grade protection, are redundantly backed up, and employ top of the line firewalls and physical controls. With the servers and infrastructure secure, cloud providers (specifically, Microsoft) have moved to focusing on document encryption and loss prevention known as DRM (digital rights management) and DLP (digital loss prevention) ensuring security and control of individual documents. Microsoft, in particular, has also made it quite clear that the data their users store in the Microsoft Cloud is the property of the user. Document ownership and control in the cloud is retained.
So cloud computing is nothing more than renting the resources you need, when you need them from world class, enterprise grade resources that are kept secure, upgraded and maintained by industry leading professionals at a fraction of the cost of building and maintaining an inferior platform on premises.
We recently returned from the Microsoft Partner conference and the focus was almost entirely on cloud computing. It is clear that the industry sees the cloud as the future – enabling individuals to do more with less, and empowering people across the globe to connect and collaborate to achieve great things.
When it comes to cloud computing, you get much more for less with predictability, reliability and security.