Cloud adoption is happening. And, with all of the benefits touted by cloud service providers — lower operational costs, easier IT maintenance, etc. — you’d think businesses would be less skittish about adopting the cloud. Saving costs, reducing the need for workers, and lessening the burden to buy equipment should be an attractive proposition.
Yet with cloud adoption comes security concerns and questions about reliability. Businesses like to feel in control of these issues. When it comes down to it, executives feel much better when their security is in their own IT department.
But the tables are turning. As it turns out, businesses that do adopt the cloud end up taking on even more cloud products and services. Issues of reliability and security end up being non-issues, as most cloud providers are better capable of providing a solid, stable IT infrastructure than most business IT departments. In fact, even the IT departments feel this way, as evidenced by the rate at which they are adopting cloud services.
Businesses That Use Cloud Services Want to Use More
If there were actually problems with reliability and security, then businesses that tried cloud services would have troubles and back out. The reverse is happening: those that take on a “significant” cloud program end up putting even more of their applications and operations in the cloud. In fact, most businesses that describe themselves as having “significant” cloud programs have either moved 75 percent of their apps to the cloud or plan to in the near future.
The fact is, most cloud service providers have much deeper pockets to provide a high degree of technical quality. They can afford better equipment, can afford to hire the absolute best talent to set up and maintain that equipment, and can afford backup servers and networking equipment so that a single server outage or two doesn’t lead to any downtime whatsoever. Not many businesses can compete when it comes to investing in top tier IT infrastructure of their own.
The Actual Costs of Downtime and How the Cloud Can Help
A previous estimate by Gartner claimed that downtime costs businesses an average of $42,000 per hour. More recent estimates by Aberdeen puts this figure closer to $98,000 and as high as $138,000 per hour. Of course, the costs of downtime to any particular business varies greatly depending on the size of the business, it’s annual revenue, how dependent they are on digital operations, and other factors.
But downtime costs a business much more than lost revenue. It damages their reputations. Many customers simply visit a competitor to make a purchase when their primary source for a product or service is unavailable. There are also investors to answer to, considerable overtime for the IT help desk, the lost productivity of workers, and a hassle for the public relations and marketing folks. If cloud services were indeed leading to more downtime, then businesses would be pulling out of the cloud as fast as possible.
Tips for a Successful Migration to Cloud Services
How can you migrate more of your operations and applications to the cloud to reduce downtime and lessen the burden of managing IT infrastructure?
- Choose your cloud provider and services carefully. Opt for the bigger names with the strongest reputations.
- Start with a manageable cloud service that delivers instantaneous benefits, such as asset management software.
- Develop a business continuity plan that outlines how you will keep operations running smoothly in a variety of circumstances.
Your cloud service provider should also be able to show you their plans for keeping servers available during an emergency.
With issues of reliability and security falling aside, it’s expected that cloud services will continue to grow and thrive in the coming years.
About Greg Ghia
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