Top Advantages of Using the Cloud

This article focuses on the benefits of using cloud-based software.

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Selecting the correct implementation strategy for a particular new application you are considering can be daunting. Many organizations today are adopting a “cloud first” strategy when deploying new applications, but what makes sense for your business?  When thinking about the answer, hosts of other questions arise, “Does this approach work in all cases for all of my applications?” “What are the security and infrastructure considerations faced when deciding how to implement a new system or product?” Answering these questions will help set a strategy for future application placement and your organization’s evolution in the era of the cloud.

 

What is the Cloud?

First, what is the cloud and how do you move your organization to the cloud?  In its most generic definition, the cloud translates to an offsite service provided by a specialized expert organization.  The product or service must be geographically agnostic, resilient to infrastructure and software failures, and typically be delivered as a rented service to end-users.  Although the definition might seem rudimentary, defining the key aspects of cloud-based software will help establish what implementation strategy best fits your business strategy.  The “cloud,” in general represents an ever-changing ecosystem of services and service providers.  Given its transformative nature, the consensus about cloud software’s chief benefit is the it offers.  Cloud-based software readily allows businesses to change the way they create, develop and organize.  While use of the cloud will vary between industries, it always significantly affects businesses.

 

How Does the Cloud Help Your Business?

The answer starts with how a cloud-based software functionally differs from on-premise software.  Primarily in service delivery, cloud differs from traditional hosted or web-delivered interface in that the end-user’s experience does not rely upon data being in one place at one time.  Companies will offer cloud services but only have one or two data centers.  Without being truly geographically agnostic and having real-time site failure resiliency, the software in question cannot be considered cloud software.  Moreover, this has become a standard in the business world.  According to  , one of the ways using a cloud-platform can transform a business is that it makes collaboration across different locations much easier.  Using a cloud platform also allows a business to deploy updates in service or a product faster, a major plus from both the business and end-user perspective.  With seamless communication and updates, cloud inherently supports expansion and growth.

 

Who Uses Cloud Software?

“We don’t really need it,” or “Our business is predictable and we’re already set up and trained with on-premise,” are a few common objections we hear when discussing about migrating to the cloud.  Namely, that the benefits of using cloud-based software sound nice but are not necessary for certain businesses.   .  Accordingly, the information technology (IT) landscape has experienced a significant trend in migrating from on-premise software to cloud software.  One of the results of this trend is a variety of industries.  Cloud companies range from transportation such as Uber and Lyft to telecommunications companies like Vonage and Ring Central.  From eCommerce (Amazon) to enterprise software (SalesForce, Dynamics365, NetSuite), the sheer array of businesses that find use and productivity in a cloud platform shatters long-held expectations of the kinds of companies are a good fit for cloud software.

 

How Did We Get Here?

Revisiting how the trend of cloud migration occurred and the context in which it did, answers why we care so much about it today.  According to Enabling World-Class Decisions, in the mid 1990s, the concept of server co-location gained prominence with the rise of retail co-location.  In other words, where a host company would build and operate a space for other companies to house their servers.  This process required a great deal of capital in building and maintaining the infrastructure required to safely and securely operate servers, which in turn required deep expertise in many different technical areas.  Overtime, these technical skills became widespread within the IT workforce, prompting more competitors to enter the market and transforming a previously specialized service into a commodity service.  Why do we care about the IT market in the 1990s?  It drove down costs and broadened access to server hosting capacities across the globe.  We can conclude from how the marketplace propelled systems that support cloud platforms, that migration to the cloud isn’t so much a trend as the natural next step in software and therefore, a new standard.

 

What Do You Need to Switch to Cloud?

As stated at the beginning of this blog, any significant change in an application your business is considering, is daunting.  To help you get started, these are the first items that should be addressed:

  • Do you have a current service catalog of your organization’s applications?
  • Do you have a road map for the life cycle of each application in your service catalog?
  • Do you have a defined strategy for cloud adoption on an organization-wide or service level basis?
  • Have you discussed the challenges that each application owner experiences and considers how these challenges could be addressed by thoughtful system placement?

 

Overall, using cloud-based software offers companies flexibility and ability to scale.  Even for companies that do not envision scaling, migrating to “the cloud” still allows them to improve upon current processes.  In this way, transferring to cloud computing is an opportunity to reassess and re-organize your business.   As cloud platforms become the new standard in computer software, the question of migrating from on-premise to cloud warrants serious consideration. If you need assistance or help getting started, Solver has a team of experienced professionals that can get your organization started in building the right template for you.

 

Solver enables world-class decisions with BI360, leading web-based CPM suite made up of budgeting, reporting, dashboards, and data warehousing, delivered through a web portal. Solver offers BI360 through cloud and on-premise deployment and is reinventing CPM with its next generation solution. BI360 empowers business users with modern features including innovative use of Excel in the model.

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