Cloud computing has been a huge boon for businesses that make the leap. Despite hesitancy from companies to migrate operations, the cloud’s ability to provide system resources on-demand has become widespread, especially after heavy hitters such as Amazon, Google, and Microsoft entered the space and brought standardization.
The digital tools cloud services provide—rather than traditional on-site product vendors—come in a few flavors. They include Software as a Service (SaaS) options like Zoom, Platform as a Service (PaaS) like Amazon Web Services, and Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) like Google Compute Engine. Most software vendors now also offer cloud-based offerings, even on-premise stalwarts such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) solutions.
Regardless of any reluctance from small and mid-size enterprises to shift from in-house platforms to online tools, the cloud isn’t going anywhere. Quite the opposite. Tech research and consulting firm Gartner projects that global spending on public cloud services will hit almost $600 billion, a 20.7 percent jump over 2022, with IaaS seeing the biggest growth.
Expanded demand for cloud-based IaaS will continue as businesses strive to modernize IT, increase efficiency, and optimize resources. Getting the most out of your IT systems is one of the key reasons the cloud is so attractive to so many enterprises.
One immediate cost-saving benefit to using the cloud for IT systems is not needing to create or maintain an in-house data center. Having a physical footprint gets expensive fast, not only in terms of buying equipment and electricity usage, but also because it requires constant attention from your staff of IT professionals.
If your business infrastructure is off-site in the cloud, staff can shift from upkeep and monitoring to implementing improvements that will help the business.
There’s also the advantage of not needing to waste the company’s budget on hardware that isn’t being used, or replacing older equipment. Cloud-based infrastructure is more flexible than traditional data solutions.
If extra server space is needed, that can be accomplished with a few button presses from the vendor instead of buying more gear. That scalability is particularly useful for fast-growing enterprises. In-house IT doesn’t need to worry about finding the right hardware and getting the installation done, which once again frees up the company’s manpower.
Companies can also save money with the cloud because it requires less of an up-front cost. Since servers don’t need to be housed on-site, there’s no need to build a data center at the office. That lowers the initial investment for any business.
Cloud solutions are available in multiple tiers with multiple pricing options. Subscription models differ, but can be obtained per-user and per-month, depending on what a company needs. Getting an estimate is easy.
And if the fit isn’t right, businesses can always look around for other options--without eating the cost of creating an in-house data center.
Cloud-based IT can lead to an increase in productivity as well. The cloud makes it easier to deploy software since it doesn’t require traditional installation from computer to computer across the entire company by the IT staff, which can take hours if not longer.
Any SaaS applications the business needs its employees to use can be accessed in the cloud once the employee online. The less time spent on rolling out updates and installations, the more time employees and IT staff have to get work done.
Of course, one of the big questions is whether moving to the cloud is safe. According to a Deloitte study, cybersecurity and data protection is the primary reason IT executives look to move to the cloud: 58 percent ranked it as their No. 1 or No. 2 driver for migration.
Professionals are looking more and more to third parties who can manage system security without leaning on in-house IT staff. Security professionals are in high demand and come at a premium cost. Cloud providers can deliver more robust security capabilities to thwart increasingly sophisticated threats from bad actors without straining staff or budgets.
Moreover, vendors such SAP take extra care to ensure their cloud platforms are secure. In addition to the built-in security of Amazon Web Services that undergird the SAP cloud platform, for instance, SAP adds additional layers of protection on its cloud offerings such as its small business offering, SAP Business ByDesign. This further enhances cloud security and makes SAP’s cloud ERP offerings more robust from a security perspective than all but the most security-focused business could achieve with an on-premise ERP installation.
If you’d like to learn more about cloud ERP and how it can help your business, download our free guide, Understanding Cloud ERP for Non-IT Executives. You can contact one of our experienced ERP consultants by calling us at (801) 642-0123 or sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.