In my last post titled "Characteristics of Cloud Computing," I introduced the 5 essential characteristics of the cloud, along with a straightforward definition from the NIST. Those characteristics of cloud computing help us understand the many ways that enterprises can benefit from cloud services and why the cloud is changing IT organizations’ ability to drive business value. In this post I will discuss the major benefits of adopting the cloud.
Access to New Technology
By leveraging the cloud, enterprises are no longer hindered by infrastructure costs and limitations in supporting rapid global expansion and the ability to quickly adopt the latest technology. When an enterprise has its infrastructure or software delivered through the cloud, it doesn’t have to worry about refreshing the underlying components that keep it current. The cloud will always stay up-to-date, allowing the enterprise easy access to new technologies quickly and conveniently. Something I call "evergreen" technology.
Many organizations have simply run out of existing capacity due to limitations on power consumption, storage, or space. With the cloud, companies can scale quickly and efficiently without added investment, and enterprises have access to virtually limitless computer and storage resources. Many cloud providers even offer “burstable” infrastructure that automatically expands and contracts to meet peak performance periods. Or even bursts into the capacity of other clouds.
Time to market is accelerated by empowering departments to deliver speedy proofs of concept and product demos via the cloud. Shared sites can be easily set up, replicated, and torn down as needed to meet the collaboration requirements of a given project. The cloud also uses service-oriented-architecture (SOA) which has a shorter development lifecycle.
By eliminating the need to purchase and depreciate costly hardware and software, companies can save the considerable costs associated with building, maintaining, and operating a data center, especially facility-, power-, and cooling-related expenditures. Additionally, the model allows firms to possibly lower expenditures on support staff, particularly those providing infrastructure support, systems management, and help desk services. Lastly, cloud computing enables companies to change what has historically been capital expenditures to operating expenditures.
The cloud can help transform IT into a proactive and more innovative function that focuses less on keeping the lights on and more and more on improving the user experience. By delegating the operation and maintenance of commodity infrastructure and services to cloud service providers, IT organizations can focus on their core competencies and further develop capabilities that can differentiate their businesses in their respective markets.
- Ryan Reed, Cloud Evangelist