They say the grass is greener in the cloud, but as a company leader, moving to the cloud with your entire company might seem like a distant, hazy mirage. We’re bringing the cloud into focus for you, so you can make an informed decision about moving to the cloud based on concrete cloud facts, not pie in the sky.

Let’s start from square one – a clear definition of cloud computing: A model for enabling ubiquitous, convenient, on-demand network
access to a shared pool of configurable computing resources that can be rapidly provisioned and released with minimal management effort. (NIST Definition)

Okay, thank you National Institute of Standard & Technology for writing a definition that no one understands! To help break it down another way – look at it as a general term for anything that involves delivering hosted services over the internet. There are five main characteristics that help define cloud computing:

  • On-demand self-service: the ability to provision computing capabilities (virtual machines, storage, bandwidth, etc.) automatically as needed.
  • Broad network access: these services are delivered via the network (wired or WIFI).
  • Resource pooling: resources are pooled to serve multiple users via what is called a multi-tenant model. Different physical and virtual resources can be dynamically assigned.
  • Rapid elasticity: resources can be elastically provisioned and released, either manually or automatically, to enable rapid scaling to meet demand, giving you the ability to add or delete seasonal or temporary employees, etc.
  • Measured service: cloud services automatically measure the resources being used, providing information on the amount of data, applications, or compute power being consumed by users.

According to a 2015 Gartner report, only 54% of organizations polled are currently using some form of public or private cloud technology. Now consider this stat according to the GTAI 2015: “organizations actively using cloud, mobility and big data technologies are experiencing up to 53% higher revenue growth rates than those that have not invested in these technologies.” It’s time to take a closer look at the cloud.

Major benefits of cloud computing:

1. Predictable & Manageable Costs

In a recent poll taken by fortune 500 CIOs, top goals for the coming year include reducing cost, improving security and increasing speed (productivity) and flexibility. Companies are achieving these goals by moving to the cloud. Among cloud adopters, 82% have reported saving money while 80% have seen improvements within the first 6 months.

The cloud also shifts spend from capital expenditure to an operational expense, allowing the investment to be made closer to the actual time of the return. The cloud is creating a time like no other for business agility that will allow for higher levels of innovation and customer engagement.

2. Security & Reliability

A cloud solution needs to have complex layers of security, and Microsoft Office 365 is a great example of how it’s done right. On a physical level they provide 24-hour monitoring of data centers that include multi-factor authentication, biometric scanning and motion sensors for data center access. Their internal data center network is segregated from the external network. Any faulty drives and hardware are demagnetized and destroyed, and role separation renders the location of specific customer data unintelligible to the personnel that have physical access.

On a logical level, with Microsoft’s Lockbox processes, human access is limited to your data through a strictly supervised escalation process. Risk from malicious code is minimized by servers only running processes on whitelists, while dedicated threat management teams proactively anticipate, prevent, and mitigate malicious access. Additionally, port scanning, perimeter vulnerability scanning, and intrusion detection prevent or detect any malicious access.

From a data security view, encryption at rest protects your data on all Microsoft servers while encryption in transit with SSL/TLS, protects your data transmitted between you and Microsoft. Further threat management, security monitoring, and file/data integrity prevents or detects any tampering of data. Microsoft has invested billions in their cloud infrastructure and they are setting the standard for cloud security and reliability.

3. Productivity & Flexibility

By the end of this year, more internet connections will be made by mobile phones than computers. In the report by Security Intelligence, 89% of companies offer some form of BYOD. The proliferation of mobile users needing access to consume company data in real time, has grown exponentially.

Enabling your employees to be productive from anywhere is critical. Businesses who have embraced remote workers, allowing them to view, communicate and collaborate from anywhere at any time, saw a rise in productivity by 22%.

What should you be asking about the cloud?

  • Governance: Cloud computing enables speed, agility and innovation, but you need to move from the drawing board to deployment. Is your organization ready to adapt?
  • Cloud Computing Environments: You need to choose a cloud computing environment that’s right for your organization. Should you consider private cloud, public cloud or a hybrid cloud solution? Which vendors play in this space? Will they be in business 12 months from now?
  • Security & Privacy: If someone else is running your computers and software, you need strategies to stay secure. Your security policy depends upon how much you control – the more you own, the more you need to handle. Are you prepared to extend your enterprise security policy to the cloud?

Choosing the Right Partner

The cloud can help you reach your IT transformation goals, but selecting a cloud service provider that helps meet your needs and protects your company from unnecessary risk is critical. With our extensively trained and seasoned IT service professionals, CCB can be the partner you need to get your cloud environment up and running and help manage it as well.

We can help you outline your needs for security, performance and compliance when you meet with one of our IT service engineers. By discussing the operational goals your organization would like to achieve, we can find the right cloud “fit” for your environment, whether it’s all in the cloud or a hybrid model.

Stop running from the cloud.

Learn more about driving the most value from the cloud through operational transformation and performance. Elevate.