10 Ways Cloud Solutions Make You More Efficient
From reducing costs to better security, there are many ways that cloud computing can help housing organisations face the future with confidence. It’s even predicted by IDC Research that by 2020 we might not even be calling it ‘the cloud’ anymore, it’ll just be the way we do business.
More and more social housing providers are understanding that the cloud can make them more efficient, more agile and better suited to the digital economy. Here are our 10 top tips for why you shouldn’t wait to move to the cloud any longer.
1. OpEx not CAPEx
Running your own servers means buying hardware. Even though you can spread the cost over the server’s life you still have to pay form them up front with hard cash. That’s money you could be investing elsewhere. An operational rather than a capital model for expenditure has to be the way forward.
2. Optimised hardware
Having servers lying idle at non-peak times leads to unnecessary expense. Cloud computing ensures your costs are smoothed out over the ups and downs. With scalability on a shared server infrastructure you’re not paying for un-used capacity.
3. Better use of staff
Moving to the cloud frees up time your IT staff would normally spend on maintaining and monitoring hardware, checking backups etc. The staff budget can be one of the most costly items in an organisation’s IT budget. Moving to the cloud shifts that responsibility to the Cloud Service Provider so they suck up those costs leaving you better able to allocate staff where they’re really needed – to drive forward your organisation’s digital transformation.
4. Power savings
Your Cloud Service Provider will utilise their server hardware much better than you would be able to do in your own data centre. With specially designed, power efficient cooling systems and by operating to official environmental standards, data centre operators work hard to reduce their carbon footprint. This optimisation means more efficient use of energy and results in lower costs to customers for power usage.
5. Spoilt for cloud choice
There is no one-fit for the cloud. Different parts of your business are likely to require different types of cloud. The important thing is, there is a choice. Public cloud for non-sensitive and/or unpredictable workloads; private cloud for mission-critical and security conscious operations; or a hybrid cloud combining the best of both and even your traditional environment. Cloud Service Providers can also act as consultants to ensure you get the right solution for your needs.
6. Disaster Recovery
Previously DR was only regarded as achievable for those with significant IT budgets. Cloud can help all sizes of organisation to invest in disaster recovery. Cloud-based backup and recovery solutions are huge time savers as well as cost-savers. Relying on a Cloud Service Provider to protect your data and IT systems covers off the expertise and quick-response capabilities you might not have in-house at a time when disaster strikes.
As you grow, your cloud services can grow with you. The cloud gives you the ability to test and launch new services quickly in a cost-efficient way. There’s flexibility to scale up and down according to demand, all the time only paying for what you are using. CIOs consistently rank this as a main driver for cloud adoption.
8. Collaborative working
Cloud tools make it easier to communicate and share documents in real time with colleagues whether you’re sitting in the same office or working remotely from different locations in different time zones. Software as a Service allows you to be more agile as a business but if you can’t manage it yourself then using a Cloud Service Provider to do this can truly enable your organisation.
Believe it or not, the most likely security lapse will come from your staff, not your Cloud Service Provider! If your information is in the cloud you can access it whatever happens to the machine it’s stored on. Better to use a trusted provider who takes security extremely seriously, invests in highly trained staff, operates to the highest accreditations and industry standards and can help you meet your regulatory and compliance obligations.
10. Better business focus
Moving to the cloud makes good business sense.
If you’re a new or small social housing provider with a great idea, you can be lean and mean from the get-go. You get immediate and low cost access to enterprise-class IT infrastructure which can accommodate your future growth.
If you’re medium sized housing provider, a Cloud Service Provider gives you access to a huge range of compute, storage and network resources. It’s less expensive than doing it in-house and means you can focus on running your organisation.
If you’re a big housing provider, the cloud can help you drive down costs, increase operational efficiency and meet your much more complex hosting requirements.
All organisations need to innovate and look forward and not back. Moving to the cloud allows you to take advantage of innovations in technology and use of data as they happen, keeping you effective, efficient and at forefront of the social housing market.
So what's holding you back? Whether you want to cut costs or just do more with less, the efficiency brought by cloud solutions has the capacity to transform your organisation.
Posted Monday, May 23rd, 2016 by Andrew Westhead