By Sharon Florentine
You don’t have to be an IT expert to grasp that the cloud translates to cost savings and operational efficiencies. But knowing the key cloud attributes can make selling a migration to the cloud an easy business decision to make.
Cohesive Flexible Technologies (CohesiveFT), an enterprise application-to-cloud migration services company, has a great blog post explaining the major benefits and features of the cloud. Knowing the basic features of cloud computing can help you, as an executive, explain to any skeptics how migrating to the cloud will translate to efficiencies outside of the IT department and have a positive impact on the entire business.
Here are the top five cloud features you should know about as an executive:
On-demand self-service: Your business can use the cloud to obtain, configure and deploy apps without any IT heavy lifting. Many cloud vendors provide templates to front-load most of the configuration work your IT team would otherwise have to create
Resource pooling: The cloud gives you the ability to centralise your IT resources while spreading use across all available servers. The cloud maximises the shared computing power to efficiently distribute capacity as needed. You will hear the IT folks talk about this in terms like multitenancy, peak–load capacity, and utilisation efficiency.
Virtualisation: Virtualisation is an important facet of the cloud. By creating a virtual, rather than physical, version of your application topologies you can move those topologies at will across clouds and between your data centre and the cloud.
As an added bonus, the cloud increases accountability of usage and scalability. As the CohesiveFT folks put it, "Just think of how, in the early days of email, all electronic communication was saved to your particular computer, whereas it’s now accessible from any computer, network or device."
Cloud vendors work the same way to provide virtual access to the CPU, memory, storage, and network.
Accessibility: The cloud allows your business to launch applications across platforms – from laptops to Android phones to Apple TV – making your resources more accessible and also more reliable. If the office network goes down, data are backed up to the cloud and still available on a tablet, for example.
Scalability: The cloud’s ability to scale up or down means your company doesn’t have to hoard data or computing capacity for the rare instances where demand spikes. On-demand scalability is sometimes better expressed as elasticity.
To prove the cloud’s value to your business, executives must first appreciate the cloud features that can boost the enterprise’s efficiency beyond the IT department. As an executive, it’s your job to lead your team in the right direction, so they can capture the real savings and potential of cloud computing.
Sharon Florentine is a freelance writer who covers everything from data center technology to holistic veterinary care and occasionally blogs for Rackspace Hosting.
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