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Cloud for Enterprises: What are the Benefits and Risks of Moving Your Business to the Cloud

Moving your business to the cloud comes with massive benefits but also involves risks. We explain the advantages and challenges related to cloud migration so you make the best-informed choice.

In 2015 around 30% of corporate data was stored in the cloud. Fast forward to 2022, and this proportion rose to 60% – and continues to grow. Each year, small, medium, large, and the largest companies are moving their terabytes to cloud computing platforms to increase their operational efficiency, boost security, and reduce costs. What exactly is there in an enterprise cloud that makes it so useful to business?

What is an enterprise cloud?

The simple answer is: an enterprise cloud is a cloud computing service dedicated to enterprises and suited to the requirements of large-scale organizations. Enterprise cloud computing has been one of the most disruptive technologies in the last decade. It’s also one of the pillars of digital transformation – enhancing business with cutting-edge technology by introducing it into products, services, and processes.

An enterprise cloud enables companies to modernize and, in fact, revolutionize their IT infrastructure. Cloud computing uses the power of remote data centers to deliver scalable and flexible computing resources over the internet, allowing companies to reduce their reliance on in-house hardware with all related costs and concerns.

With an enterprise cloud, businesses can access a wide range of services, including data storage, processing power, and software applications, on-demand and with pay-as-you-go pricing models. As a result, they are able to streamline their operations, enhance collaboration, increase cost efficiency, and gain a competitive edge.

Enterprise cloud platform examples include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, Microsoft Azure, Salesforce IBM Cloud, and Oracle Cloud. All these cloud platform providers operate large data centers and offer a wide range of features, high flexibility, and top-of-the-line scalability.

What are the types of enterprise cloud architecture?

Most of today’s businesses, irrespective of their size, have already adopted cloud solutions in one form or another. A commonplace example is the use of Google Docs for content sharing and collaboration. Tools like Google Drive, Dropbox, or OneBox are other examples of prevalent cloud solutions. A growing category of cloud computing services is project management applications readily embraced by companies of all sorts.

However, for larger and/or more complex organizations, moving to the cloud means much more than subscribing to Trello or Asana. The transition to enterprise cloud solutions requires in-depth needs analysis, careful planning, and a solution-focused approach.

Companies willing to ditch on-premise legacy solutions in favor of cloud infrastructure can benefit heavily from the transition – if they couple it with a neatly crafted cloud strategy aligned with their business goals. However, with multiple options available, it is essential to be aware of the different types of enterprise cloud architecture to make the best-informed decisions that agree with specific organizational needs. There are four common types of enterprise cloud architecture with varying characteristics and potential benefits.

Public cloud

A public cloud architecture involves leveraging services from third-party cloud service providers in a variety of models, including Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), and more.

Such an approach offers cost-effectiveness, scalability, and the ability to seamlessly deliver resources on demand. Public cloud environments are shared by multiple organizations, providing a high level of resource pooling and economies of scale – cost advantages obtained with an increased level of output.

Public clouds are a perfect choice for businesses looking for flexibility, quick deployment, and minimal upfront investment.

Private cloud

Unlike the public model, a private cloud approach is dedicated to a single organization. It offers greater control, enhanced security, and compliance with industry-specific regulations like GMP.

Typically, companies operating in this model choose to develop their own infrastructure, but private cloud platforms can also be managed by third-party providers. With a private cloud, businesses gain the flexibility to customize their cloud environment, ensuring seamless integration with existing systems and applications.

Private clouds are suitable for organizations that prioritize data security and compliance and have specific performance needs.

Hybrid cloud

As the name suggests, a hybrid cloud combines the best of both worlds by integrating public and private cloud environments. It enables businesses to leverage the scalability and cost-effectiveness of public clouds while maintaining control over critical data and applications in a private cloud. This architecture allows businesses to dynamically scale resources, optimize workloads, and achieve seamless data portability.

Hybrid cloud deployments are well-suited for organizations that require flexibility, want to maintain control over sensitive data, and seek to balance cost-efficiency with customization. A hybrid cloud is probably the most widely adopted infrastructure setup today since few businesses rely entirely on a single public cloud.

Multi-cloud

The multi-cloud model takes the hybrid cloud approach a step further by incorporating multiple public and private clouds from different providers. It allows organizations to take advantage of the unique offerings of various cloud platforms, such as specialized services or geographic reach.

Multi-cloud architecture offers greater resilience, helps to avoid vendor lock-in, and allows you to adopt a best-of-breed approach when selecting cloud services. On the other hand, the multi-cloud approach is more challenging.

It puts more stress on effective management and integration strategies to ensure smooth operations across multiple cloud environments, and is more demanding in terms of cybersecurity, as it requires “tinkering” with security configurations for particular clouds and enforcing multiple access control policies.

What are the benefits of moving your business to the enterprise cloud?

For large organizations, transition to the enterprise cloud is not a question of if but of when and how – assuming they haven’t already made the bold move. Cloud technology provides companies with business benefits they can’t ignore if they want to stay competitive. Here are the most notable advantages of embracing cloud infrastructure and cloud services.

Cost efficiency and reduced time to market

By migrating to the enterprise cloud, companies can significantly reduce their IT infrastructure costs. The cloud eliminates the need for on-premises hardware and the associated expenses of maintenance, upgrades, and power consumption. Additionally, businesses can adopt a pay-as-you-go pricing model, where they only pay for the resources they consume, further contributing to cost savings.

With improved efficiency, companies can reallocate part of their budget to innovation and tend more to core business operations. Cloud technology also helps to speed up a lot of processes, contributing to faster time to market. Obviously, end results depend on the chosen enterprise cloud strategy and fine-tuning the technology to a company’s needs. For example, public cloud services come cheaper than private cloud infrastructure.

Enhanced scalability and flexibility

Cloud deployment takes your business to the next level with regard to scalability and flexibility. An enterprise cloud solution gives you the ability to quickly adjust computing resources to your current requirements on-demand.

Whether your business experiences sudden spikes in traffic or needs additional storage capacity, the cloud offers the flexibility to scale resources up or down in no time at all. This agility eliminates the need for costly infrastructure investments and ensures that businesses can seamlessly adjust their IT capabilities to meet evolving demands.

Smooth collaboration, improved productivity

Cloud-based collaboration tools and applications will empower your IT team to work seamlessly across different locations and time zones. With centralized access to files, real-time collaboration features, and instant communication channels, employees can collaborate more efficiently.

Overall, any enterprise cloud model allows you to increase productivity, accelerate business processes, and shift the focus from dealing with a range of internal risks to fostering innovation.

Enhanced data security and disaster recovery

Cloud providers don’t save on security measures. Every respectable cloud provider employs industry-leading encryption protocols. By migrating to the enterprise cloud, companies level up on the security scale compared to legacy on-premise solutions.

They can leverage the expertise of cloud vendors and benefit from advanced features, regular data backups, and disaster recovery capabilities. Cloud-based storage ensures that critical business data is protected from physical damage, theft, or loss, providing you with peace of mind and freedom from security issues.

Immediate accessibility, globally

Cloud computing transcends geographical barriers and allows businesses to expand their operations globally without significant infrastructure investments. By leveraging private and public clouds, businesses can ensure seamless access to applications and data from anywhere in the world, facilitating remote work and international collaboration.

Rapid innovation and competitive edge

An enterprise cloud takes a lot of burden off a company’s shoulders concerning business processes and security considerations, unlocking the potential to experiment and innovate. With cloud-based infrastructure and a well-tailored enterprise cloud strategy, companies can quickly deploy and test new applications, rolling out their products and services much faster.

This agility allows businesses to respond promptly to market changes, adapt to customer needs, and stay ahead of the competition.

What are the challenges related to implementing cloud computing services?

For most fast-paced companies, leveraging the benefits of the cloud is a must, but getting there is not an easy task. The challenges depend on many factors, including your business strategy, the size and complexity of your business, the type of your preferred cloud architecture, and how advanced your organization is on the digital transformation path. There are several risks you should be aware of to get the most out of cloud computing and infrastructure services.

Security and data privacy concerns

Yes, the cloud does enhance your IT security, but it’s not 100% immune to cyberattacks and data leaks. Placing sensitive data in the hands of third-party providers raises questions about confidentiality, compliance, and potential data breaches.

You must carefully evaluate the security measures implemented by cloud providers, develop data protection strategies, and adhere to regulatory requirements to mitigate the risks. The more complex the architecture is, the more consideration it requires.

Dependence on internet connectivity

Cloud computing heavily relies on a stable internet connection. In cases of network outages or interruptions, access to cloud-based resources and applications can be compromised, resulting in downtime and potential disruptions to business operations.

Companies must assess their internet connectivity reliability and develop contingency plans to mitigate negative impact on productivity and performance.

Vendor lock-in and cloud provider’s reliability

Choosing a reliable cloud service provider is crucial since your business becomes dependent on their infrastructure, services, and technical support. There is also a risk of vendor lock-in – a situation in which a client is forced to continue using a product or service because migrating to a different provider or back to an on-premise environment is complex and costly.

Companies must keep that in mind and carefully evaluate contracts, and exit strategies, ensuring compatibility with their economic model and long-term business goals.

Performance and latency issues

There’s no question that cloud computing boosts scalability. Still, your business can experience performance and latency issues on rare occasions, which might compromise your customer relationships. The response times can be negatively impacted by network congestion, geographic distance between users and cloud servers, shared resource allocation, or other factors.

To minimize the risk of such issues and deliver an optimal user experience, it’s necessary to assess performance requirements, establish service level agreements (SLAs), and optimize cloud configurations.

Limited control and customization capabilities

Enterprises moving to the cloud give up a degree of control over software and infrastructure. Cloud service providers handle maintenance, software updates, and platform configurations. Companies with specific customization needs may face limitations in tailoring the cloud environment to their requirements.

To make sure the enterprise cloud will suit your individual needs, you should carefully assess the trade-offs between the benefits of the service and the customization limitations.

Unexpected expenses

Again, both public and private clouds, as well as more complex cloud architectures, are efficient in cost reduction. However, you need to be mindful of potential hidden costs. Over time, usage fees, data transfer charges, and additional services can accumulate, impacting the overall cost-efficiency of the cloud deployment in your company.

To avoid unwanted surprises, you should perform detailed cost analysis, closely monitor usage, and regularly review cloud service plans to optimize spending.

Cloud migration is easier with the right partner

A transition to the enterprise cloud is a complex process that can give you a headache, yet the business benefits are bound to outweigh the costs. Setting up your environment in a distributed cloud involves a lot of preparation, planning, examining multiple pros and cons, and crafting a customized strategy that suits your business goals. You need to analyze many alternatives, pick the right tools, find the best options, such as the most reliable data center or a managed service provider, and never lose focus on security.

At GoSolve.io we leverage Go-based enterprise-class systems and other technologies to help companies go through digital transformation. With our long-term experience and extensive expertise, we can guide you smoothly through the cloud migration process and help you optimize even the most complex cloud environment.

Golang (or Go in short) is a breath of fresh air in the coding market. A long-needed shakeup in the stale programming market with a cute gopher as a mascot. Its development was started in 2007 by designers Robert Griesemer, Rob Pike, and Ken Thompson.

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