The Key Advantages of Cloud Computing

Satish Hemachandran
Often resource-constrained, IT departments in companies and government organizations are immersed in workday responsibilities needed to support the business. Cloud computing can help take pressure off IT staff while also helping deliver measurable business benefits. For instance, with cloud computing, organizations can leverage the benefits of a shared IT infrastructure without having to implement and administer it directly. 
While it took virtualization many years to be widely accepted by businesses, cloud computing is experiencing a much shorter ramp-up period for acceptance. With cloud computing, the battle has already been won, in part, since organizations rely heavily on virtualization. The business benefits are also much clearer than they were initially with virtualization. At the end of the day, cloud computing can help businesses save money on day-to-day operations, making it an easy adoption decision for most organizations.
Cloud Advantages:
Simplified Cost and Consumption Model. Prioritizing activities that align with core business needs and drive tangible business value and top-line revenue are top IT concerns. This focus has driven IT organizations to reassess the costs of procurement and maintenance of infrastructure and non-core applications. Cloud computing allows companies to better control the capex and opex associated with non-core activities.  
Enterprise Grade Services and Management. Typically, 70 to 80 percent of IT budgets are devoted to maintenance of existing infrastructure-a massive overhead. Cloud computing offloads this burden from the shoulders of companies, freeing core IT resources to focus on initiatives that drive revenue growth.
Faster Provisioning of Systems and Applications. Traditional methods to buy and configure hardware and software are time consuming. Cloud computing provides a rapid deployment model that enables applications to grow quickly to match increasing usage requirements. It can accommodate 'peak times' where a company needs to scale up dramatically, such as a holiday season or special event.
Size Adjustments to Address Business Changes. Clouds are elastic. They can contract if necessary to meet changing business needs. With an in-house data center, if a company over-provisions, it can't scale back. In a cloud, an organization can quickly and easily re-size its environment if necessary.

Ease of Integration. An increasing number of enterprise applications require integration with third-party applications that are often hosted outside the enterprise firewall. The cloud, with its configuration flexibility, integrated security and choice of access mechanisms, has a natural advantage for serving as a core platform and integration fabric for these emerging applications.

Highly Secure Infrastructure. By taking a system-based-not point-based-approach, cloud environments can perform security at all levels (applications, middleware, operating system, compute/store/network). This will safely support highly mobile users that need a variety of connection options-coming into the cloud from secure and non-secure networks.
Compliant Facilities and Processes. Many midsize companies don't have the resources needed to manage audit and certification processes for internal data centers. Compliance standards cut horizontally-like Sarbanes-Oxley-and vertically, such as PCI DSS and HIPAA. Cloud facilities and processes that address both areas can help companies address regulatory and compliance processes.
Flexibility and Resilience with Business Continuity/Disaster Recovery. Managing business continuity and recovery internally require a dedicated focus so companies typically concentrate only on the most critical applications. Utilizing cloud environments allows organizations to safeguard their full IT infrastructure because the cloud's inherent scalability integrates disaster recovery capabilities.


Add Comment      Leave a comment on this blog post
Jan 5, 2011 2:01 AM Dave Dave  says:
I would have liked to see a comparison of the advantages and disadvantages of Cloud Computing. One of my main issues which I think is a disadvantage of Cloud Computing is the lack of control over the Remote Servers. I guess that could be looked at as a advantage too depending on who you are. haha. Reply
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