Cloud computing remains as one of the more important lines of technology for most organizations today, increasingly acting as the foundation for virtually all other components of strategy and provisioning in the form of infrastructure, platforms and software services. Thanks to the purchasing models that cloud services brought into the foreground years ago, companies are indeed enjoying greater agility and speed in their IT management strategies.
At the same time, there is still plenty misinformation floating around the small business sector and other parts of the economy with respect to cloud services, ranging from traditional security concerns to more recent service level agreement issues. Despite the setbacks and obstacles standing in the way of cloud computing adoption since the technology first became a more popular option among organizations, it has made its way into the majority of firms.
However, when leaders do not understand the facts and trends that are shaping the cloud services market, they will be far less likely to make the right decisions related to provisioning, alignment and otherwise, and might struggle to monetize the investments over time. Knowledge is always power and entrepreneurs need to do a bit more heavy lifting to truly identify all of the valuable functions that the cloud offers and capitalize on the technology to the fullest extent.
If you would like a quick rundown of the more common and important ways in which small business owners are leveraging cloud services today, check out this video from Kevin Murtha:
Now, while companies are innovating with respect to the ways in which they use cloud services, vendors and developers are likewise moving quickly to try to reach the top of the market and increase their own revenues. The relatively perpetual changes in the market have been mostly progressive and positive, and entrepreneurs who keep up with these advancements in real-time will likely make better decisions down the road than their less-persistent counterparts.
First things first: Money
Several studies have indicated that the financial benefits of leveraging cloud computing technology might have been blown out of proportion in the past, and that the tools might be too expensive and yield too few returns to be worth it. Suffice it to say that this is simply erroneous and, more often than not, a failure to boost revenues and profit margins following the deployment of the technology will tend to be the product of misuse or poor provisioning practice.
Instead, maybe something like this: "Despite the implication from several studies that the financial benefits of leveraging cloud computing have been blown out of proportion due to limited or insubstantial returns, such failures might be more demonstrative of an internal issue than representative of a flaw in the technology." And then elaborate on how businesses screw it up in the second sentence}
For some evidence, Tech Republic recently reported that a new study from Pb7 Research sought to uncover the actual financial impact of cloud deployments among small businesses in the United States, questioning 750 individuals in the sector to ensure accuracy. Although doubters have been plentiful for years, this survey did indeed back the assertions so many analysts and experts have made in the past few years regarding the advantages involved.
According to the news provider, the researchers found that the average small business has seen 25 percent higher revenues following cloud computing deployment when compared to the entities that have yet to begin using the tools. Interestingly, it is important to keep in mind here that very few companies remain completely in legacy IT, with many reports indicating that 90 percent of organizations have at least one cloud service in place today.
However, the source pointed out that 30 percent of entrepreneurs in the U.S. have already begun to use at least three cloud-based services for their core business process management needs, which is slightly higher than the 27 percent recorded in the United Kingdom. With respect to the applications of the technology, security was found to be the most common pursuit, which should indicate that the fears and concerns of the past have largely subsided.
After all, experts have been praising the security powers of cloud services for years now, especially in the modern age when centralization of management, monitoring and oversight frameworks can make such a major difference. Furthermore, Tech Republic noted that a little more than a quarter of respondents to the survey stated that IT cost reductions were the primary goal, and the streamlining of maintenance demands pulled in 23 percent of citations.
Still, the news provider hinted at the fact that there is much more work to be done to reach optimal performance across the market, and that will be reliant upon users and vendors in the coming years.
"Market segments have converged in the age of hybrid IT."
Although visualization and software-defined networking are not synonymous with cloud services, these market segments have become a bit more converged in the era of hybrid IT. As companies scale up their cloud computing programs, they are more likely to begin leveraging the most robust models for IT service management and delivery, and this increasingly includes software-defined networks and data center visualization, representing the next-generation of corporate technology infrastructure.
Visiongain recently released its latest report on the market for these solutions, and affirmed that software-defined data centers will experience significant growth this year, estimating investments to reach $19.3 billion globally. One of the reasons behind this trend is the increasing popularity of software-defined networking and data center visualization among cloud services vendors, as this method of boosting compute power can keep costs low for themselves and their clientele.
What's more, the obvious driver of these trends in adoption is the constant proliferation of new technologies that can be somewhat disruptive for companies that have not yet modernized their IT frameworks. This includes the Internet of Things, telecommuting, enterprise mobility and unified communications, each of which rely upon intelligent and advanced infrastructure to function properly and serve the adopting organization's bottom line well.
As a note, Visiongain's analysts argued that workload management automation is gaining steam, and more advanced infrastructure options that include software-defined data centers and other models are helping to migrate between public and private clouds seamlessly. The end result is a more intuitive and efficient experience among enterprise and small business users that can significantly improve the returns on relevant investments made.