Experience with the cloud means all the difference

Businesses of all sizes now have the opportunity to lower operating costs and compete with rival firms thanks to innovative technologies like cloud computing. Although many companies want to rush in and implement the solution as quickly as possible, ensuring cloud health is essential at all times. True success with the cloud, however, takes time and experience. A recent CloudTweaks report by Florence de Borja explained what IT decision-makers have to do to take full advantage of the cloud's capabilities. "In order for cloud computing to be successful, IT leaders must be able to obtain hands-on experience with cloud computing," de Borja wrote. "These people must first have a direct experience and let their staff learn cloud computing before they can admonish them for their shortcoming[s]. It is best to assign a group to study various public cloud platforms to learn the cloud’s capabilities." In addition to ensuring cloud performance and security, many businesses have compliance concerns regarding the use of the technology. The writer explained, however, that if companies take a closer look at their applications, they will likely find other apps that do not meet certain compliance regulations. By understanding the nuances of the cloud, organizations can learn more about what apps are ideal for the hosted environment. Businesses that are successful with their cloud implementations will reap the most rewards, according to de Borja. Some of the advantages of the solution include helping companies establish more effective security, scalability, efficiency and overall IT performance compared to other IT systems. Companies considering adopting the cloud should be on the lookout for vendors that offer true cloud services, according to de Borja. What this means is that some service providers include virtualization, application outsourcing and even traditional hosting solutions, so businesses can run into trouble if they adopt these systems instead of the cloud. Cloud computing simply makes sense for businesses A recent survey of 310 U.S. senior finance executives by CFO Research found that a majority of companies believe their success relies heavily on cloud computing. More than 75 percent of respondents said that a sound cloud strategy will be crucial to their company's success within the next 12 to 18 months. However, the research firm explained that not every participant said their businesses are or planning to adopt the cloud. Those companies that are currently leveraging the technology have experienced significant benefits. More than 70 percent said their organizations' expectations for hardware-related costs have been met or exceeded since migrating to the cloud, while 66 percent answered similarly for data backup and recovery. Another 66 percent said the cloud was successful for software-related costs and 59 percent named IT labor. But perhaps the most significant advantage of cloud computing is its ability to help organizations lower overall operating costs. The CFO survey found that 64 percent of respondents believe a full implementation of the technology can reduce such expenditures by as much as 20 percent. Another 15 percent said these savings are even greater. The benefits of the cloud do not end there, according to the research firm. Sixty-seven percent of respondents said the cloud can also help companies improve IT innovation, while a similar percentage believe the technology helps IT departments add even value to their businesses. "Finance executives see the cloud as means of improving IT performance," noted CFO Research editor Matt Surka. "The cloud certainly offers cost savings, but finance executives are most interested in using the cloud to redirect IT resources to high-value activities - not strip resources out of IT."

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