Top 10 Advantages of Cloud Computing

Posted November 14, 2017 By  Cynthia Harvey
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    Top 10 Advantages of Cloud Computing
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    Top 10 Advantages of Cloud Computing

    These benefits are driving enterprise migration to the public cloud.

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    10. Location Independence
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    10. Location independence

    In the Cloud Adoption in 2017 survey, sponsored by vendor Zetta, 32 percent of respondents said that their need to support a distributed or remote workforce was driving their cloud adoption. Similarly, in the RightScale 2017 State of the Cloud Report, 40 percent of respondents cited geographic reach as a key benefit to the cloud. As workforces become increasingly mobile and widely distributed, employees expect to be able to get their work done from anywhere. With cloud services, particularly with SaaS offerings, workers can access applications from any device, at any location, at any time of day or night.

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    9. Agility
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    9. Agility

    Today's enterprises need IT infrastructure that provides the flexibility to respond to an evolving business landscape. And many of them are looking to the cloud to provide that agility. In the IDG 2016 Cloud Computing Survey, 23 percent of respondents said that "greater flexibility to react to changing market conditions" was one of the business goals or objectives driving their cloud initiatives. For these organizations, the cloud's ability to turn applications and infrastructure on or off and to scale quickly makes it uniquely suited to their needs.

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    8. Performance
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    8. Performance

    In the RightScale survey, 38 percent of respondents said that the cloud offered higher performance, and in the Zetta survey, 46 percent of respondents pointed to the attractiveness of features and functionality as a reason for choosing cloud-based applications. Many enterprises are finding that public cloud and SaaS vendors offer capabilities that they either can't get or can't afford with other deployment models.

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    7. Availability
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    7. Availability

    Although occasional cloud outages get a lot of attention in the media, many enterprises choose the cloud because of the availability it provides. In the IDG survey, 33 percent of respondents said the cloud supported their business goal of enabling business continuity, and in the RightScale survey a full 56 percent of respondents said that they had experienced greater availability as a result of moving to the cloud.

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    6. OpEx vs CapEx
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    6. OpEx vs CapEx

    Cloud computing provides a number of financial benefits. One of the more significant is that the public cloud allows organizations to reduce their capital expenditures (CapEx) because they are no longer paying big sums of cash upfront for equipment and software costs. Instead, they are spending more on operational expenses (OpEx) in the form of regularly recurring subscription fees. Spreading costs over many months in this way looks better on a company's balance sheet and makes it more attractive to investors. In the IDG survey, 27 percent of respondents said they were using the cloud in order to reduce CapEx, and in the RightScale survey 38 percent said that moving CapEx to OpEx was one of the key benefits they had experienced with the cloud.

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    5. Replacing legacy technology
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    5. Replacing legacy technology

    Most enterprises replace the infrastructure in their data centers on a regular refresh cycle, which may take several years. But with the cloud, they can get immediate access to the latest hardware and applications. In the IDG survey, 35 percent of respondents said this ability to replace on-premise legacy technology was one of their reasons for investing in the cloud.

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    4. Scalability
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    4. Scalability

    With on-premises infrastructure and applications, scaling to accommodate increases in usage often requires a lengthy process of getting approval for more hardware, deciding which hardware to purchase, ordering the hardware, waiting for it to arrive and finally deploying it. But with the cloud, scaling happens automatically as demand increases or decreases. In the Zetta survey, 47 percent of respondents pointed to scalability as a key factor in their cloud migration, an 61 percent of those surveyed by RightScale said that greater scalability was one of the benefits they had experienced as a result of moving to the cloud.

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    3. Lower Costs
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    3. Lower costs

    Converting CapEx to OpEx isn't the only financial benefit of the cloud; organizations also often find that their overall costs decrease. In the RightScale survey, 35 percent of respondents reported cost savings as one of the key benefits of the cloud. In addition, 42 percent of respondents to the Zetta survey said cloud applications reduced costs, and 42 percent of those surveyed by IDG said lower total cost of ownership (TCO) was driving their cloud investment.

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    2. Reduced burden for IT Staff
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    2. Reduced burden for IT Staff

    One of the key reasons why the cloud lowers TCO is that it reduces the amount of time and effort IT staff must spend deploying, managing and maintaining infrastructure. And that frees them up for other projects that might be more mission-critical or more beneficial to the company. In the Zetta survey, reducing the burden on IT and staff was the number one reason for choosing cloud-based applications, cited by 61 percent of respondents. And in the RightScale survey, 34 percent of respondents said that the cloud had improved their IT staff efficiency.

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    1. Speed of development/deployment
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    1. Speed of development/deployment

    For many organizations, the most important benefit of the cloud is that it speeds up IT processes like deploying new infrastructure and development new applications. In the RightScale survey, faster access to infrastructure was the number one benefit of the cloud, cited by 62 percent of respondents. In addition, 51 percent said they had experienced faster time-to-market as a result of the cloud. Similarly, in the Zetta survey, 40 percent of those surveyed said the speed of deployment was a key factor in their decision to use cloud applications, and in the IDG survey, 32 percent of those surveyed said they were looking to the cloud to increase their speed of development.

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Given the advantages of cloud computing, it's no surprise that enterprise migration to the public cloud shows no signs of slowing.

An October 2017 report from Synergy Research found that the cloud computing market is growing 40 percent per year and that quarterly revenues for infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) and hosted private cloud services have reached $12 billion.

And Gartner has predicted that the total public cloud market, including software as a service (SaaS), cloud management and cloud advertising, as well as IaaS and PaaS, will likely be worth $246.8 billion in 2017, growing to $383.4 billion by 2020.

"As enterprise application buyers are moving toward a cloud-first mentality, we estimate that more than 50 percent of new 2017 large-enterprise North American application adoptions will be composed of SaaS or other forms of cloud-based solutions," Sid Nag, research director at Gartner, stated. "Midmarket and small enterprises are even further along the adoption curve. By 2019, more than 30 percent of the 100 largest vendors' new software investments will have shifted from cloud-first to cloud-only."

That begs the question why are enterprises migrating to the cloud? What advantages does the public cloud offer to organizations?

In surveys, enterprise leaders point to numerous benefits from cloud computing, which are featured in the slides that follow.



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