These days, many companies are opting to migrate to the cloud. The technology media company, Foundry (formerly IDG) annually conducts a study called Cloud Computing Study that measures trends in the world of cloud computing. According to its most recent study, nearly 70% of companies have accelerated migration to the cloud in the last year. It is expected that the percentage of companies with their IT infrastructure in the cloud will increase from 41% to 63% in just over a year.
Now, why do companies decide to migrate to the cloud instead of having their data on-site? Below we examine the main advantages of cloud computing services.
Scalability and elasticity
One of the main disadvantages of companies that have their servers on-site is that they permanently need to have enough capacity to cope with peaks in resource demand. Formerly, this inherently meant a waste of resources during times of falling demand, since many of those servers became unnecessary.
On the other hand, companies that use cloud-based services can scale according to the pace at which their computing needs grow (or decrease). It is easier and less expensive than scaling their on-site infrastructure, and deployment times are much shorter. The cloud allows companies to scale resources quickly to cope with prominent traffic peaks and unexpected usage (scalability), as well as reducing those resources when traffic decreases (elasticity).
Arguably the best part is the simplicity of scaling in the cloud. With just a few clicks we can increase or reduce the available resources according to our needs. In addition, many cloud services have the function of autoscaling, thanks to which resources increase or decrease automatically.
High availability and more local resources
Having more local resources with high availability improves the user experience, bypassing system failures and reducing latency.
If we had our servers on-site, these would probably be located together in a single place. If a user tried to connect from the other side of the world, they would experience a significant delay. To avoid this type of problem, cloud computing services have different points of presence with servers spread all over the world grouped in regions. This way we can host a copy of our application in each of these regions (this creates redundancy). In turn, this redundancy helps protect our system from failures, preventing our service from being interrupted. If an event were to occur that caused servers in one of these regions to fail (power outage, fire, flood, etc.), we could quickly redirect traffic to any of the other servers where we have our application hosted until we could recover the fallen server. In this way, we essentially achieve 100% availability of our service.
By not having the information in a physical location, you can access it from anywhere in the world. Cloud solutions can be accessed at any time, from any device, through a simple internet connection, making it a real advantage when it comes to improving the availability and mobility of employees. Additionally, it allows for improved collaboration with other colleagues or external contacts, allowing for coordinated work from different locations. This translates to greater work flexibility and a significant improvement in productivity.
For companies that are transitioning to the cloud, the solid security that cloud computing services offer is essential. Typically, companies that provide cloud computing services have much better security systems than those that we could implement on our on-site servers and at a lower cost. Some of the security measures that are usually offered are:
- Identity and Access Management (IAM): The main functionality of IAM is to create digital identities for all users with only exclusively necessary permissions for the tasks they will perform, so that we can control who does what with a certain resource.
- Advanced firewalls and security filters: These prevent attempts of attacks that exist today and that are constantly evolving.
- Data encryption: Cloud services keep our data safe by encrypting it both at rest and in transit, minimizing the risk of data theft.
- Periodic and automatic backups: This helps to avoid a possible loss of data in case of any failure.
- Strict physical security measures: Cloud computing provider’s data centers have a large number of security measures to prevent servers hosted there from being compromised in any way. Some of these measures are:
- Secure locations, which are built away from areas with a high risk of natural disasters and other threats.
- Access controls to the facilities, to allow only authorized personnel to pass.
- Video surveillance systems and security personnel in all facilities.
Investing in cloud computing leads to significant cost savings. Companies only pay for the services they contract, without having to pay large amounts of money to buy and maintain equipment. Some other advantages include:
- It does not require a large initial investment in infrastructure, as cloud services are responsible for managing it. This reduces the economic risk assumed.
- We avoid our equipment becoming obsolete, as the provider is responsible for keeping the equipment always updated, using the latest technologies. This, in turn, increases your competitiveness against other companies.
- Cloud computing services offer tools to manage our expenses so that we have complete control of how much we will spend each month.
Environmental concerns and a sustainable model have become major drivers of innovation in companies. One of the main goals of companies dedicated to cloud computing is often to minimize their carbon footprint. In fact, according to a recent study by Accenture, companies that migrate their services to the cloud can reduce their carbon emissions to the environment by up to 84%.
For example, one of the largest companies offering cloud computing services, Google, states that by 2030 it will supply all its data centers with 100% carbon-free energy on an uninterrupted basis.
After analyzing some of the main advantages that cloud computing services have over companies that have their servers on-site, it is not surprising that the majority of companies are switching to this model. It is increasingly clear that any company that wants to be competitive in its sector should bet on the cloud.
Check out Google’s latest video about their Cloud solution: Let’s solve for what’s next
Do you want to migrate your business to the cloud? At Making Science we have a team of experts capable of advising you on your specific case. Write us! ⛅️