cloud-servicesBack when cloud services were a new trend, many IT professionals resisted their implementation. A few traditional techies had a perception of relinquishing control if they moved services away from the usual comfort zone of an on-premise model; citing concerns about security and reliability.

Much has changed since then. For a start, cloud services have matured significantly, and we now live in a world where fast Internet access is far more widespread; removing concerns about the possible performance implications of accessing services online, rather than via local servers.

In fact, as many companies have now discovered, the use of cloud services has actually levelled the playing field, and allowed smaller businesses to enjoy the kind of IT provision previously only open to large enterprises. What’s more, the costs involved are small, consistent and controllable. IT pros who continue to stick to traditional ways are now starting to seem old-fashioned and closed-minded – and rightly so.

Recent IBM research reveals that cloud adoption will be seen as strategically important for around 72% of business decision makers within the next three years.

There are many benefits of moving services to the cloud, including:

  • Flexibility: in terms of working location – for all employees including IT staff. It’s now ‘the norm’ for people to work from wherever they happen to be, using whatever device they have to hand. A quick glance around the nearest Starbucks shows the extent of this ‘work anywhere, anytime’ trend.
  • Minimise expensive hardware: companies can move away from the old fashioned model of having one central server room full of expensive hardware as they move to cloud-based services. This setup always provided a worrying single point of failure and tied IT staff to a central location.
  • Effective, predictable costs: cloud services can make the costs of effective IT provision predictable and more manageable. Rather than having to set aside significant sums of money for periodic hardware and software implementations, companies of all sizes can buy into cloud services on an “as needed” basis, making budgets easier to manage.
  • Innovative technology: cloud services allow companies to continually use the most up-to-date technology, without bouncing between “state of the art” and “end of life”; depending on where they are in an on-premise upgrade cycle.

Above all, the use of cloud services allows companies to focus IT resources where they are most useful, such as on project work, staff training and overall system security. Sending IT staff from site to site doing routine tasks seems daft in an age where it’s now possible to do routine support and maintenance work from any Web browser.

A wholesale move to cloud services may not make sense for every business, and many will still find that some on-premise infrastructure makes sense. However, companies of all sizes should look very carefully at what really makes sense in the modern IT world.  Having a bank of on-premise servers for things like software updates and antivirus deployments is no longer necessary, and very unlikely to be cost-effective.

Learn more about why cloud services levels the playing field for small businesses here.