There’s no shortage of online information regarding the benefits of moving to the cloud. And the number of organizations taking action to reap those benefits continues to grow. According to Gartner, Inc., worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services is expected to reach $494.7 billion in 2022, up from $410.9 billion in 2021. In 2023, global spending for cloud services is forecast to hit nearly $600 billion.
It’s not just a matter of more companies moving to the cloud. Many of those already in the cloud are increasing their usage of cloud services. In its 2022 State of the Cloud Report, Flexera reported that heavy cloud users ─ those running more than 25% of workloads in the cloud ─ are up to 63%, an increase from 59% in 2021.
That same report noted that enterprise respondents plan to increase workloads and data in public cloud over the next 12 months by 6% and 7%, respectively. For SMBs, 63% of their workloads and 62% of their data will reside in a public cloud within the next 12 months.
The previously referenced Gartner forecast also reported that Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) will experience the highest end-user spending growth in 2022 ─ 30.6%. Desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) is right behind at 26.6% growth in spending. End user demand for cloud-native capabilities will drive PaaS spending to $109.6 billion, representing 26.1% growth.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) remains the leading public cloud destination, holding 33% of the market share during Q1 2022, according to data from Synergy Research Group.
Cloud Computing Benefits
So just what are the benefits of moving to the cloud? The following are some of the most popular ─ and among the most compelling:
- Cost savings and reduction. Capital expenditures are reduced because the cloud services provider (CSP) is responsible for purchasing and maintaining the infrastructure and the real estate and facility that houses it.
Plus, IT leaders can easily right-size cloud computing resources according to their specific business requirements, reducing wasteful spending. Rather than estimate capacity needs in advance, they can adjust on the fly.
- Eliminate End-of-Life Concerns. Without hardware to deal with, organizations don’t have to worry about obsolete legacy equipment, application life cycles, or contract terms. They simply pay as they go for crucial cloud capabilities and take advantage of updates as they come available.
- Increase Business Agility. Having access to flexible, on-demand IT resources is crucial for keeping pace with competitors and rapidly changing industry dynamics. In the cloud, over 99% of what you need is available on-demand. Organizations don’t have to wait weeks or months for hardware components and installations. Instead, they can purchase valuable capabilities directly from cloud providers and get to market much more quickly.
- Accelerate Growth. Technology is more important than ever when it comes to organizational growth, whether it be through organic expansion or mergers and acquisitions. Enterprises with infrastructure in the cloud can integrate new acquisitions into existing platforms more easily. They can also scale rapidly with demand using auto-scaling functionality and flexible data management services.
- Innovation facilitation. With the cloud, users can start small and experiment. If the project works, it’s easy to quickly increase storage, computational resources, and users, and even scale across geographies. If the project doesn’t work, it can simply be shut down. There’s no commitment to a long-term capital expense.
- Communication and collaboration. Cloud services enable anytime, anywhere access to applications and data. They also facilitate collaboration by enabling connections between end users, vendors, stakeholders, and others, making it easier for them to securely share information and work together in real time.
- Interoperability. The cloud supports greater interoperability, making data available for easier distribution and for generating insights.
- Business process improvement. Cloud services can facilitate workflow automation and the digitization of manual and paper-based processes.
- Security. Security in the cloud is usually based on a shared responsibility model in which the cloud services provider (CSP) takes on some of the responsibility for security (as opposed to on-premises IT where the organization is solely responsible for its IT security.) Most CSPs invest in top-of-the-line security technologies and highly trained security professionals. Many also offer single-tenant private clouds, eliminating the worries associated with multi-tenant infrastructure.
- IT efficiency. It’s easier and quicker to implement updates and patches with the cloud as opposed to dealing with hardware. This saves time and energy for the IT staff charged with implementing them, freeing them up to focus on more strategic, often revenue-producing initiatives.
Cloud Migration for Digital Transformation
Yet another benefit of moving to the cloud: digital transformation (DX). DX is a must-have for organizations to compete in an increasingly technology-driven world, and the cloud is the mechanism that can help make it happen.
That’s because the cloud is the go-to model for the underlying infrastructure that enables the technologies that are all essential to DX, and harnesses the value of data.
The cloud delivers the robust compute, storage, and networking resources required for big data analytics, cognitive computing, AI, IoT, sensor technology, nanotechnology, and other resource-heavy applications. These resources are on-demand and scalable, offering maximum flexibility, and are available on a pay-as-you-go or subscription basis. While you can manage the data integral to AI and other technologies on your own hardware, the cloud makes it easier and more cost-effective.
For instance, you can use an open-source machine learning (ML) framework, such as CNTK and TensorFlow, to build an ML solution on your on-premises hardware. But building and training ML models requires considerable compute resources. The same goes for data analyses and other aspects of AI. As you experiment with various ML models and architecting workflows for data collection and analyses, the costs can add up quickly. It’s not cheap to invest in the infrastructure required to support resource-intensive processes.
Most cloud services use a pay-as-you-go model so you only pay for the resources you use. There’s no need to overprovision resources to ensure you can handle fluctuating workloads. Resources are available on-demand, so you can scale up and down as required.
The cloud also offers affordable, flexible storage. As data volumes grow, it’s often less expensive for organizations to store data in the cloud rather than continuing to house it in their own data centers. Businesses can also take advantage of tiered storage plans that enable them to move data to lower-cost object storage for data archival, compliance requirements, and other reasons.
In addition, most cloud services are highly secure. That makes them ideal for businesses that need to protect vast volumes of data. As noted previously, CSPs employ high-level security to keep customer data safe – and customers satisfied.
The cloud’s agile nature also helps companies deploy new solutions and products more rapidly and with greater ease. They can quickly test ideas in the marketplace, gather feedback, and make necessary changes to meet customer demand. That means they can deliver results sooner and be more responsive to market changes. And if they’re employing public cloud services, they can operate more cost-effectively since there aren’t any capital expenses required with that model.
The Cloud Native Consideration
As organizations increasingly move to the cloud to take advantage of the benefits it offers, there are a few things to consider. Among them are the benefits of going cloud-native.
Cloud-native apps are architected to specifically leverage the cloud’s inherent qualities to increase speed, flexibility, and quality and reduce deployment risks. They can scale horizontally on demand, support multiple environments and offer application portability.
The problem is that most apps were previously built as large monoliths, and can’t fully leverage cloud computing benefits. A single monolith would contain all the code for the business activities the app was to perform. Monolithic apps usually have complex coding and data integration requirements and are heavily coupled to existing systems and infrastructure. Making changes, as well as migrating and scaling them across new infrastructure, can be complex, time-consuming, and risky.
Cloud-native apps, on the other hand, are created as collections of independent, loosely coupled services. Functions are divided into microservices, which are independent components that run each app process as a service and communicate via application programming interfaces (APIs) or messaging.
Each microservice is independent of the others and performs a single function. The individual services can be designed, tested, deployed, or replaced with no effects on the others. Work can be done by different teams without affecting each other’s work, so there’s less chance of delays.
Maximize Your Cloud Benefits
The benefits of moving to the cloud are well documented, but making that move can be complex and time-consuming. Adding in the need to make sure the workloads can perform optimally in the new environment further complicates things. That’s particularly true if apps have to be recreated as cloud native.
Among the reasons so many companies choose AWS as their destination cloud is that it provides an abundance of resources to simplify cloud migration ─ and help continue optimizing things so customers get more out of their cloud services.
Unfortunately, not all organizations, or even third-party development companies, have expertise in AWS cloud migration best practices and resources, much less using things like microservices, containers, container orchestration, agile development, and DevOps to optimize, accelerate, and accommodate the processes involved.
That’s why many companies choose to work with ClearScale. We’ve earned the AWS Migration Competency based on our extensive experience that spans more than 400 successful migrations to AWS from on-premises environments, hosting facilities, and other public clouds. Our cloud migration services leverage the latest AWS tools and technology, as well as our own expert DevOps engineers and developers.
Our migration experts have experience in AWS’s most common cloud migration services. This includes CloudEndure, Migration Evaluator (TSO Logic), AWS Control Tower, AWS Server Migration Service, AWS DataSync, the AWS Transfer Family, the AWS Snow Family, and more. They also are well versed in post-migration, ongoing cloud resources, and cost optimization.
Our team also excels in application modernization and cloud-native application development, helping to ensure that what you move to the cloud will perform optimally.
To learn more about the benefits of moving to the cloud – and how ClearScale can get you there and maximize those benefits, contact us.