Did you know that 77% of companies rely on the cloud for at least an application or a section of their enterprise computing infrastructure? Did you also know that companies are increasingly putting money in the cloud? This is according to a Forbes article citing insights from the 2018 IDG Cloud Computing Study.
What is the cloud?
The cloud is a ubiquitous term and technology that comprises a network of servers, each with its specific function. Some of these are designed to provide services to clients. For example, you used to purchase office productivity applications as individual installers in CDs or box sets. This is rarely the case today since services have mostly moved to the cloud.
In other cases, servers exist solely for data storage. If you are interacting with social media platforms on a regular basis, such as posting photos, you can bet that your photos are stored in their cloud environments other than in your phone’s internal storage.
The different types of cloud
The cloud is not limited to those things though. You may have heard of public, private, and hybrid clouds, which are the different classifications of the cloud.
A public cloud is provided by companies like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, and IBM. You would have encountered the services they offer in this regard: AWS, Azure, Cloud Platform, and Cloud, respectively. They have service tiers that you can pay on a subscription basis or on a pay-as-you-go model. Numerous companies use these services.
A private cloud, on the other hand, is for the use of a single company only. It is designed for the unique infrastructure of an organization and for its use case. Unlike a public cloud, it can be deployed on-premises or in data centers that offer colocation services.
Lastly, the hybrid cloud is a combination of at least one public and one private cloud services. They are unique entities but are connected with different technologies.
Abiquo Hybrid Cloud Management Platform helps companies in their move to the cloud, making it easier to manage private and public cloud resources.
Who uses the cloud?
Even an ordinary individual uses the cloud, especially when they manage photos, files, and documents on websites and apps. Business-wise, though, 77% of businesses are using cloud apps, platforms, and services, as mentioned above.
Organizations have varying use cases but there are those who go beyond the ordinary use cases. These innovative companies conduct cloud management to drive growth and to adapt to an ever-changing technological landscape.
Below, we discuss the different methods that advanced organizations utilize cloud management.
1.To meet unique hardware specifications
Early in January 2018, a Forbes article shared the forecast of LogicMonitor’s Cloud Vision 2020: Future of the Cloud Study that 83% of enterprise workloads would be in the cloud when 2020 rolls in. This is a brave prediction based on the high cloud adoption rate among enterprises (63%) and the fact that IT professionals are turning towards cloud services for more stringent security (66%).
This is not surprising considering the many benefits brought by cloud computing and cloud implementation. One of those is the fact that it enables organizations to meet special hardware requirements or configurations.
For example, a company with resource-heavy workloads require virtual machines with powerful computing capabilities would go for robust cloud management software. This allows them to build their own virtual machine setup cost-effectively. This way, they can manage the provision of immense computing capacities to users who require them without breaking the bank.
2. To comply with government or regulatory demands
Different governments and territories have variable cloud governance requirements. There are those that allow the use of public cloud services while there is some that push for the use of private cloud providers. Some examples of international, local, and regional cloud regulations outlined by TechTarget are:
- Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002 (SOX)
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA)
- Can Spam Act of 2003
- Dodd-Frank Act
- Federal Information Security Management Act (FISMA)
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS)
Navigating these regulations can be challenging, especially if you have operations in diverse geographic locations. It can be difficult to know which ones you need to pay attention to. However, if you have a globalized cloud management services provider, you can leave the heavy lifting of governance compliance with them. That is because such entities have already gone through the process of ticking off the compliance boxes before they were able to build their cloud businesses.
Of all the files in the cloud, 21% contain sensitive data. This is the breakdown, according to a McAfee Cloud Adoption and Risk Report.
They can offer you advice and some even handle the compliance and regulations parts for you, depending on your SLA. Regardless, it would still be prudent to hire a lawyer to review the SLA before you seal the deal to ensure that it works in your favor.
3. To derive more value from cloud investments
An average company invests in 1,427 distinct cloud applications. Among those are 210 collaboration tools and 76 file-sharing services, according to a McAfee report. Most of the time, these solutions are disconnected so companies cannot exploit their functionalities fully.
A cloud management platform, such as Abiquo, can change that as it helps you consolidate your cloud investments. It can draw an extensive list of cloud software that you have in your enterprise to assist you in determining which ones can be integrated as well as which ones you can strike off your cloud budget.
By generating business intelligence and cloud metrics, you can gain a better understanding of your overall cloud investments. Thus, you can maximize their use and cut down your financial resource usage where possible.
4. To test new applications
If you are working on a new application that you have yet to test, it can cost you steeply to run it in a private cloud. That is why many businesses choose to assess cloud solutions they build in hybrid cloud environments. This resolves the problem of having to put in large capital expenditure on a tool whose success is still uncertain.
Through this approach, you can establish whether this latest cloud application is worth the private cloud investment and whether it is able to meet your requirements. Once you are confident that it does, you may begin considering moving the application to a private cloud and introduce it to your target market.
5. To promote high availability and disaster recovery
Did you know that 75% of small businesses do not have strategies for disaster recovery? Data loss and downtime can happen any time and yet there are commercial organizations that have no way to prevent or mitigate such issues. Without such plans in place, they go out of business a year after suffering a major data mishap, phoenixNAP shares in an article.
This is understandable in a way because cloud environments that offer true high availability and geo-redundancy come at steep prices. They require more capital investments and it necessitates the storage of data away from the main data center. If you are unwilling to go to these lengths, your disaster recovery plans may be in trouble.
Fortunately, there are cloud management platform tools that offer resiliency when it comes to system crashes and unforeseen disasters. With these, you can ensure the continuity of your services for the sake of your clients who rely on your offerings for the stability of their own businesses.
Hybrid cloud structures can also meet your availability and disaster recovery needs without the exorbitant price tag. There are also management tools that let you roll out operational data first and non-operational data at a later time. This way, you can make your services available to customers with moderate spending.
6. To provide self-service IT
Not everyone in your organization is technologically knowledgeable. That is why it can be beneficial for your organization as well as for your end-users if you have self-service IT plans in place. With this, you can allow them to deploy applications to either private or public clouds without the help of IT professionals. Since they only have to push some buttons to get it done, you can also reduce the burden of your support staff.
Abiquo helps by providing self-service to the cloud consumers, whilst allowing the cloud administrator, or infrastructure owner to remain in complete control.
7. To automate the cloud infrastructure
It is no secret that artificial intelligence can save SaaS teams time, which is why cloud management involves AI for gaining deeper insights regarding cloud infrastructure and application performance. Beyond that, AI can drive greater cloud automation that diminishes the grunt work of IT staff.
Since this would involve real-time decision-making, it would mean that applications with AI as their backbone would be capable of intelligent real-time data assessment. Not only can this save time, but this can also ensure better cloud management decisions.
Abiquo provides automation capabilities with autoscaling, vertical scaling and action plans that help automate complex systems.
With the Abiquo API you can automate all your cloud resources and so support your DevOps culture with one integration point for all your cloud managed services, whether it’s private, public or hybrid.
The state of the cloud
Cloud computing trends are looking up based on various studies; companies are investing more in cloud services and companies are feeling the need to accelerate the process. This move can propel growth because they attract more customers due to their convenience. Apart from that, adopting a cloud model can provide flexibility in work hours and productivity approaches.
Coupled with smart cloud management, the use of cloud apps can bring greater benefits to your enterprise.
Abiquo is here to help companies transition to the cloud by putting the existing IT resources in the same pane of glass and enabling enterprises to incorporate hyper-scale clouds, thus, helping them to move to the cloud.