Countless organizations have accelerated their digital transformation plans as a result of the global pandemic and the mass shift to remote working that followed. A report from the UK government found that businesses were quick to invest in technologies to re-shape the workplace and how we work and interact, and credits these technologies – such as cloud computing – as “essential to business survival”.
Some businesses, however, remain apprehensive about shifting their digital assets to the cloud. With legacy infrastructure and in-house IT departments managing to keep the machine well-oiled for some, it can be difficult to understand the benefits of cloud adoption without ever experiencing a different IT model to the one currently in their use.
Regardless, the global pandemic has brought the importance of cloud computing to the forefront. Not only has cloud-based software given entire workforces the ability to work remotely with little disruption, but migrating assets such as IT resources and on-premises applications to a cloud environment has enabled businesses to scale up and down with flexibility in order to better cope with volatile conditions.
This unprecedented shift to digitalization in the wake of the pandemic means that for those yet to do so, a move to the cloud is virtually inevitable. This might seem daunting, particularly from a cost point of view, but cloud computing can in fact help to reduce a business’s overheads.
So how does cloud computing help to reduce costs?
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No setup investments
Unlike creating and managing a data center, which can be costly in terms of equipment, maintenance and staffing, cloud computing is often much more affordable. A report from the UK government finds that, in most circumstances, a public cloud provides better value for money than on-premise technology,
When businesses first begin on their migration journey, they simply pick the right services for their business in terms of number of users, storage space and features. Because all their infrastructure needs can be fulfilled by a cloud service provider for a fixed cost, no upfront investments are involved. Of course, every business is unique and due diligence is required, but generally they will find that a shift to the cloud will deliver impressive savings. Moving a data center to a cloud provider, businesses will pay on average just a tenth of the cost.
Maintenance costs will be lower too. A cloud provider is like another utility in the sense that all the maintenance expenses are already reflected in the fees you pay – be it associated with hardware, software, infrastructure, monitoring or upkeep.
Cloud solutions allow organizations to become more flexible and collaborative and research has shown that this has a positive effect on productivity. Figures from ONS show that the use of certain cloud computing technologies – such as enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM) tools – are associated with a productivity premium of around 25 percent.
Not only does migrating to the cloud enable employees to work remotely effectively (something that has never been more important than in 2021) but migrating to the cloud and hosting apps and data online means companies are effectively creating a virtual office that travels with their employees no matter where they are. This also allows businesses to access talent all over the world, even to the point of becoming a business that’s not bound to a location.
In addition, migrating to the cloud may significantly reduce downtime, particularly if businesses are opting for a multi-location or multi-cloud environment. Compared to traditional in-house, onsite IT, cloud helps to prevent expensive and disruptive downtime and data loss incidents.
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No in-house team
While some might be daunted by the prospect of handing over control of their IT infrastructure to a third-party company, the money businesses could save as a result will likely make it an easier decision.
When companies move to the cloud, some of the money they pay for the service goes to the provider’s staffing costs – and this is typically a much smaller amount than if they did all that work in-house. That doesn’t mean that they’ll be forced to downsize their current staff either, as they’ll may be able to efficiently improve their IT department’s operations by deploying staff to other areas of the business, helping improve bottom-line capabilities.
Security is a greater concern in the post-Covid era than ever before. Not only can data breaches and data loss incidents have a far-reaching impact on organizations (both from a financial and reputational point of view) but cybercrime has risen sharply in recent months as criminals attempt to take advantage of the global coronavirus pandemic in their attacks. With employees working from laptops on home networks, phishing attacks have grown in popularity to become the most prevalent cyber security threat, and the number of ransomware attempts has also increased.
By migrating to the cloud, businesses are helping ensure that their critical business data is safeguarded by the most current security capabilities. Not only can data be accessed regardless of hardware issues and breakdown of the physical machinery, but the cloud also typically offers the most current security protections often missing in older, traditional data centers.
Cloud providers, for example, typically offer many built-in security features like security analytics, periodic updates, and cross-enterprise visibility, which helps reduce the threat of accidental or deliberate breaches.
Cutting cloud costs with processor technologies
Server processor technologies like AMD’s 3rd Gen EPYC processors may help to reduce overheads even further. The processors’ unique design delivers the highest performance of any server CPU.
What’s more, with AMD’s Radeon Instinct™ M100 graphics accelerator, the performance and cost-saving potential can become even greater. The M100 is the world’s fastest accelerator for machine intelligence and deep learning, delivering exceptional compute performance and performance-per-watt to help accelerate machine intelligence and HPC workflows.
Why now is the time to migrate to the cloud
While migrating to the cloud might seem intimidating, it’s clear that doing so can help improve operational performance and agility, workload scalability, security and, most importantly, IT overheads. Cloud computing enables organizations to trade capital costs, such as those associated with physical servers and data centers, for variable expenses, and gives businesses the support and the flexibility they need in order to innovate.
organizations can even start reaping the benefits from cloud technologies while continuing to run assets on existing on-premises environments by incorporating applications into a hybrid cloud model. When embracing the cloud, it doesn’t have to be all-or-nothing.
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Pawel Walczysko, Cloud Sales Manager, Northern Europe, AMD
Pawel Walczysko, Cloud Sales Manager, Northern Europe, AMD