CLOUD COMPUTING FOR MIDSIZE BUSINESSES
DELIVERING INNOVATION AND EFFICIENCY
2nd of 3 simple understand guides to help you to discover:-
PART TWO:- WHY CLOUD….
- There are a number of reasons why midsize companies should consider cloud as an option for meeting their challenges and addressing their priorities. Cloud is simple to deploy quickly. You pay just for what you use. It allows internal resources to focus on higher value IT services to your business. How does it do this? By offering:-
- Single virtual appliance workloads
- IT development and test environments
- Mature packaged offerings, such as email, collaboration, salesforce automation
- Web application assessments for security and compliance
- Isolated workloads where latency between components is not an issue
- Desktop, storage, backup and restore solutions and services
Using these Cloud capabilities and solutions, you can:-
- Increase agility
- Turn information into insight
- Protect data, application and systems
- Connect and empower people
- Drive effectiveness and efficiency
- Enable your internal resources to focus on providing higher-value IT services to your business
The following sections describe how:-
In this complex and uncertain world, midsize companies struggle to keep pace with change. This becomes difficult when business processes cannot be altered as fast as the market demands. Also, the high cost of maintaining the infrastructure that supports applications and services can make it difficult for midsize companies to accommodate market changes. Because Cloud computing simplifies infrastructure management and builds inflexibility, it helps increase business agility because applications can respond immediately to new business requirements. Cloud computing makes it possible to manage service levels in a controlled fashion, route traffic based on changing demands and run more workloads with fewer servers. In addition, you can significantly speed time to value when you deploy business process management (BPM) solutions and other workloads from the cloud. In short, the increased agility provided by cloud can help you roll out new products faster.
Turning information into insight
Having access to the right information at the right time is what enables smart businesses to make the right decisions in a timely fashion. Yet, a recent IBM Institute for Business Value study discovered that one in two business leaders do not have sufficient information from across their organization to do their jobs. Business analytics and reporting can help. With business analytics, companies take information that is either isolated or scattered all over their organizations and transform it into insight that can improve decision making and company performance. However, many business analytics solutions are compute intensive, requiring a great deal of processing power.
Cloud computing offers an alternative to acquiring the power, servers and applications for business analytics by making it possible to access a single business analytics environment capable of supporting all users in the company. Midsize companies can take a self service approach to delivering business analytics services to new divisions, departments and users that reduces time, resources and costs.
Protecting data, applications and systems
Midsize companies understand the need for information security, but still struggle to manage the cost and complexity of a myriad of security technologies for everything from threat prevention to email security, vulnerability scanning and security event and log management. However, it is possible to secure data, application, systems and infrastructure at a lower cost—by taking advantage of security solutions that are available on the Cloud.
Cloud-delivered security enhances the security of the IT network in a practical way, requiring fewer IT resources and providing access to security experts whenever it is needed. In addition, there are no hardware and software licenses to purchase and no associated maintenance fees. The cloud delivery model also helps reduce security complexity because companies do not have to manage, configure and patch a proliferation of security devices and technologies.
Because Cloud providers manage the data center that the cloud solutions are delivered from and those providers and centers are shared by multiple customers, Midsize companies can feel confident that their systems are secure. Cloud helps provide a valuable backup to on-premises computing.
Connecting and empowering people
A new generation of social media savvy workers has emerged. They prefer to use communities, forums, wikis and blogs todiscuss and refine ideas with one another and with customers.
In fact, more and more, an organization’s brand is experienced through its people. As a result, there has been a significant rise in demand for social networking capabilities in midsize businesses.
Cloud is an easy and cost-effective way for Midsize companies to provide social networking and other collaborative tools such as email and instant messaging. By moving applications that connect employees, companies and customers to the Cloud, midsize companies can empower employees without the responsibility of maintaining applications and infrastructure. Everything can be done with a web browser. As a result, everyone can work more efficiently and effectively.
Driving effectiveness and efficiency
Improving the economics and elasticity of infrastructure and development processes can help midsize businesses achieve new levels of business efficiency and effectiveness. Moving activities such as developing, testing and accessing applications to the cloud is one way to reduce cycle times, improve quality and lower the costs of these activities. When development and testing is delivered from the cloud, Midsize Businesses can save on most capital and licensing expenses, reduce operating and labour costs with automated provisioning and configuration and improve quality by reducing defects from faulty configurations and poor modelling. Cycle times can be reduced with reuse of codes and images.
When application and business services are provided from the cloud, Midsize Businesses can benefit from efficient desktop management, application monitoring and lower user IT support costs. When they are not being hampered by difficult access to the applications and environments they need to get their tasks done, developers and workers are not only more productive, but also what they produce is higher quality.
Cloud really is ideal for midsize businesses
When you take into account the needs of Midsize Businesses – doing more with less, reducing risk, higher quality services and breakthrough agility – Cloud is an ideal fit. Accessing business services, software, platforms, infrastructure and security from the Cloud provides all kinds of benefits to Midsize companies who often must work with limited resources and budgets. With Cloud solutions, midsize companies can:-
- Reduce capital expenditures and operational expenses.
- Ensure the right levels of security and resiliency for all business data and processes.
- Improve quality of services and deliver new services that help the business grow and reduce costs.
- Increase ability to quickly deliver new services to capitalize on opportunities while containing costs and managing risk
With these kinds of benefits, it makes sense to adopt cloud as an integral part of your IT strategy.
Savvy Midsize Businesses are already pursuing the use of Cloud Computing, primarily because it helps them transfer capital costs to operational costs, reduce operational costs, improve product and services time-market and raise levels of quality. The key to achieving these benefits is to be precise about which of your capabilities can benefit from Cloud and move specific workloads rather than simply trying to “cloud enable” an entire IT infrastructure all at once.
How to get onto the Cloud……
1) Finding a trusted advisor with Cloud experience to assess your business processes and architecture and make recommendations – here are a few examples of people for you to speak
2) Try it for free for one month with SoftLayer, an IBM company. This free one month trial of CloudLayer Computing from SoftLayer allows you to deploy public cloud instances with exceptional features in as little as five minutes.
This is the second part of a three step guide that was produced for Service Address by Simon Porter who is the Vice President for Mid-Market Sales, Europe for IBM ( for connecting Simon via Twitter – @SimonLPorter ) and thus as a result, it enables Service Address to share the answers to questions that we are commonly asked. We do hope you have found this blog informative….