With the markets getting oversaturated and the competition more fierce by the day, it is hard for businesses to get to the top and stay there. The profit margins are getting thinner and thinner, especially for startups and SMBs, regardless of the industry or niche they operate in. However, staying ahead of the curve is a must, and it can be done with just the right ratio of smart investments and cost-effective strategies.
One of the main aspects of getting this equation just right is the process of cloud enablement. Gone are the days when companies used to run all their applications and processes via on-premise systems and use software that needs to be downloaded, installed, and maintained manually. It is hard to think of a business that isn’t running at least a portion of its infrastructure on the cloud, regardless of its size. According to the LogicMonitor study, over 80% of top-player companies have the majority of their workflow in the cloud, while 93%of enterprises deploy a multi-cloud strategy.
Cloud-based platforms are getting increasingly more reliable and secure, while the costs of moving your business processes onto them have been on the decline – allowing for a perfect climate to make the shift.
The Pitfalls of Legacy Infrastructures
Although most cloud-based infrastructures have become far superior when compared to physical on-premise systems, it appears that a large portion of chief executives still aren’t aware of the most dominant pain points that almost all on-premise servers and static infrastructures involve.
Some of them include:
Low Scalability – Most physical systems are static by nature and design, which means they are not easily scalable. This extremely low level of horizontal scaling and flexibility leads to more overhead costs and slow growth, especially when the business starts to expand.
Costly Hardware Updates – On-premise systems and servers, in order to stay functional, require hardware updates every 3 to 5 years, which can be extremely inefficient in terms of long-term cost optimization.
Workflow Bottlenecks – Slow and unreliable servers can interrupt your teams’ workflow
Not Disaster-proof – Physical disasters, though rare, do happen and can cause beyond-repair damage to your data centers and make you lose valuable information.
High CAPEX (Capital Expenditures) – Having operational and highly functional on-prem servers isn’t possible without significant capital expenditures that are necessary, especially in the early stages of your investments. Physical servers are quite hefty priced and you need to make sure they are fast and capable of withstanding high usage peaks.
Moving to a flexible cloud-based infrastructure solves all these issues and brings much more tangible benefits, both long-term and day-to-day.
Benefits of Moving Business Processes to the Cloud
What growing companies need in order to stay in the game and become successful is a highly dynamic, functional, accessible, scalable, and cost-effective solution. Moving your business’ processes, or at least a portion of them, onto a cloud-based provides you with a plethora of advantages.
Here’s a quick overview of them, while later in this article we delve a bit deeper into the most important ones:
- You can access your data whenever/wherever you are
- You gain complete control over your infrastructure and are free to scale it according to your current needs
- You are able to optimize your monthly costs so you only pay for the services you are actually using
- You gain access to streamlined services, processes, and operations that streamline your workflow and create a more efficient environment
- You increase the overall productivity of your entire company
- You automate maintenance and server repairment, obviating any need for manual interference of your busy staff. No more complex and time-consuming tasks involving manual server updates, software/server upgrades, licensing, etc
- You have a more reliable and safe infrastructure overall
Although the upside is very obvious, there are still doubts regarding the not-so-easy process that is moving your business and projects in the cloud. Some of it is understandable, though. The very decision is a tough one, while the convoluted process isn’t helping at all.
The transition can be costly and complex. It requires detailed planning, coming up with an effective and expedient migration strategy that won’t obstruct your company’s workflow or day-to-day process. Certain projects simply cannot be stopped or paused, and the transition is rarely seamless. However, embracing this type of technology and deciding to make this huge step will definitely be worth your while, especially in the long run.
Now, let’s dive into some of the most game-changing benefits of moving your systems onto the cloud.
Reduced Overall Costs and Improved ROI
According to Gartner, the businesses that make a successful transition to the public are capable of saving anywhere from 14% up to 40% of both their capital and operational budget, depending on the company size, resources, workflow, personnel expertise, and workload. These cuts are made possible due to the following factors:
- Decreased server needs
- Optimized server usage according to workloads
- Significant Capital Expenditures (CAPEX) cuts as you no longer need physical servers (more details on this in the following segment of this article)
- Significant Operating Expenses (OPEX) cuts
- Optimized person-to-server ratio and lower personnel requirements
- Reduced maintenance costs
- Lower hosting and software costs
When you factor all these into the overall cost/revenue equation, it inevitably accounts for an increase in your direct return on investment.
Server Cost Scalability of a Dynamic Infrastructure
One of the major issues with legacy systems and static infrastructures are the significant Capital Expenditure costs in the initial phases of building these systems. Namely, the organizations that deploy on-premise infrastructures have to pay vast amounts of money for the physical servers in order to have sufficient server potential and be capable of withstanding usage peaks and adhere to the growing workloads.
This basically means that you overpay for these servers in the beginning as you are not using them in an optimal manner right away. And even when your workload matches the server potential, it doesn’t last long as you have to buy additional servers as your company grows.
Dynamic and scalable environments, however, enable you to deploy a pay-as-you-go pricing model and optimize your server costs on a monthly level since you are paying only for the server power and the services you are actually using at that particular time, thus reducing any unnecessary overheads to a minimum.
Higher System and Data Security
Security is certainly among the main reasons why some CIOs and CEOs of businesses are still on the fence about migrating to cloud-based environments. The truth is that no system, on- or off-premise is perfectly sealed and 100% impervious to outside threats and attacks. However, it is a common (or now perhaps even outdated) misconception that public or hybrid cloud models feature flawed and subpar security levels.
For instance, the American government is among those organizations that are using the AWS cloud infrastructure, which should be a tight case for cloud security in and of itself. If the migration process, subsequent maintenance, archiving, and email retention policy strategy are all properly tackled, you can rest assured that all your data, projects, apps, and services are safe from 99% of cyber attacks.
Reduced (TTM) Time To Market of Your Product or Service
Regardless of the niche your business operates in, TTM is always among the most crucial metrics you should be paying attention to, especially in modern, fast-paced, and extremely dynamic markets.
In case you are not familiar with the term, Time to Market is “the length of time it takes from a product being conceived until its being available for sale. The reason that time to market is so important is because being late erodes the addressable market that you have to sell your product into.”
If your business has long TTMs, the current commerce and marketing landscape may quite quickly render your product and/or service outmoded, beaten by your direct competitors, and even turn obsolete. Moving vital processes to the dynamic cloud-based environments will help you reduce your product’s TTM and improve your chances of hitting the market in a timely manner.
Improved Environment Stability and Workflow Efficiency
The companies that adopt the cloud enablement model – in terms of internal systems, projects, data, workflow, and overarching goals – manage to establish an ecosystem of processes that is instantly more stable, reliable, and cost-effective.
Your employees no longer have to deal with manual maintenance-related tasks, therefore having more time to deal with product/service improvement and innovation. To put these claims into actual numbers, the organizations that move their processes in the cloud report a 36% overall reduction of support-related work done by the IT personnel.
The paradigm shift in terms of cloud architectures becoming the norm has already begun. The businesses that do not follow suit are not likely to keep up with those who are already deploying these dynamic, scalable, and cost-effective systems. We hope this article has managed to, at least, nudge you and your mindset in the right direction. The rest is up to you.
Featured image credit: Unsplash.com
MP Staff Writer
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