We all love binge viewing now, don’t we? Be it Game of Thrones or House of Cards, streaming the latest episodes of these hugely popular television series, is something we simply can’t do without anymore. Pretty much the same thing can be said about the way we consume music, as underlined by the growing popularity of on-demand services like Spotify.
One common dynamic underpinning these dramatic shifts in consumer behavior, is the rapid rise of Cloud Computing. As Internet penetration continues to grow worldwide, broadband speeds keep improving, and smartphones become an intrinsic part of our lives, data consumption is increasing at unprecedented levels. And, that, among other factors, is necessitating storage of more information on the cloud.
How are other companies responding to these changes then? Well, Netflix is well on its way to virtually migrate its entire IT environment–including video streaming services, billing systems, and customer and workforce data management–to shared off-premise servers. The likes of Coca-Cola and General Electric have been aggressively downsizing their on-premise data center infrastructure, apart from moving email services, finance- and supply chain-related applications to the cloud.
Growing cloud adoption
According to Everest Group’s 2016 Enterprise Cloud Services report, 86% of companies polled cited cloud services as being integral to their digital transformation strategy. And, firms are putting their money where their mouth is, with Gartner projecting a 16% growth in worldwide corporate spending on public cloud services, to $204.2bn, in 2016, as compared to a 13.8% jump last year.
The accelerating pace of investments in the public cloud highlights enterprises’ growing desire to look beyond data center hosting and application testing, and run their data storage, IT infrastructure, software applications and processing remotely.
Simultaneously, private and hybrid clouds are increasingly becoming mainstream in the corporate landscape. The 2016 State of the Cloud Survey carried out by RightScale shows a spurt in private cloud deployments, from 63% last year to 77%. Consequently, use of hybrid environments–involving integration of public cloud services with private data centers–has risen from 58% in 2015 to 71%, the same study reveals.
The business case for cloud
So, what are the different ways in which you can generate optimal return on investment (ROI), as far as bets on the cloud are concerned?
Superior business flexibility and agility: Scale up and down the requisition of IT services, in line with evolving requirements; respond to fluctuating business conditions faster by reducing the time-to-market for new products and services, through quicker IT rollout; avoid the risk of deployment ‘lock-in’ amid rapidly shortening tech lifecycles.
Increased operational efficiency: Avert large, upfront capital expenditure incurred on on-premise solutions, and shift costs to operating budgets; harness virtualization to realize substantial savings on power consumption, rack space, etc. This can help you reduce total cost of ownership (TCO); capitalize on the ‘pay-as-you-go’ model to slash overheads pertaining to installation, upkeep, upgrade and support services.
Enhanced workforce productivity: Foster real-time collaboration among your employees by providing them with access to data and applications from anywhere, across all devices.
Robust risk management: Avoid disruption to your daily operations by implementing comprehensive backup and disaster recovery mechanisms; orchestrate centralized storage and real-time data synchronization for robust document control; ensure consistent file version control by avoiding data fragmentation.
And while we’re talking about this, here’s a plug for a recent report by Agatha Poon of 451 Research, on LTI’s Cloud Practice…