Choose your language:

Hong Kong
New Zealand
United Kingdom
United States

The Cloud: Progress and Potential

The cloud has made a tremendous amount of progress in a relatively short time on the technological landscape. Cloud solutions faced doubts soon after their introduction, largely from industry analysts and leaders who were concerned about the cloud’s ability to keep data secure. Now, however, even companies that previously doubted the cloud’s effectiveness have begun to adopt cloud platforms.

The cloud’s many advantages include the efficient nature of its pricing model, its ability to easily integrate with mobile solutions, scalability and the effective high-speed deployments it offers. All of these traits fit in with corporate priorities as the economic outlook remains uncertain in many parts of the world.

Businesses should consider the state of their own cloud deployments now, or else risk being left behind by competitors that have taken a head start. Third-party IT staffing, talent management or services providers can help in these situations, either by matching businesses with experts in the field, training existing workers or running initiatives through an outsourced model.

State of the Market

More than simply another technology option, the cloud is now an inevitable next step. Business executives now believe this is the way to advance their enterprises and are more willing to devote their time and resources to working on cloud solutions.

Industry and business size are largely irrelevant when deciding whether to adopt cloud platforms. Nearly every type of firm can benefit, and many have already tried. A recent Evolve IP survey found that mid-market businesses have taken to the cloud aggressively, maintaining an average of more than two cloud services per company.1 The survey also found that 75 percent of personnel in the mid-market sector plan to add more cloud tools within three years.

The early worries about the cloud, which focused on security readiness, tended to mostly emanate from organizations with the need for careful data protection, such as healthcare providers and agencies in the public sector. However, cloud use has picked up everywhere, including government entities.

Some regions are more likely to adopt the cloud than others, or have a higher concentration of mature deployments, according to Gartner, Inc.2 This has generally meant that still-developing markets are smaller than their mature counterparts, but are experiencing rapid growth. This dichotomy between expanding and established use groups means the cloud has at least some presence and is exerting its influence everywhere. Gartner found that China is the one region that combines both fast growth and strong adoption.

No matter where a firm is located, there is some cloud acceptance in the local market. This means that firms lagging in adoption will likely have to act soon to avoid being left behind by more tech-savvy competitors.

A recent Evolve IP survey found that mid-market businesses have taken to the cloud aggressively, maintaining an average of more than two cloud services per company.1

Why to Join 

There is not one single motivation for becoming a cloud computing user. Firms need deployments that fit their own needs and industries. Fortunately, the wide variety of tools available on the market allow for diverse applications. 

Often the cloud will be brought in to address a deficiency with the way a process is currently managed. Hosted services can grant flexibility that may be hard to come by through on-premise IT. For example, data growth can be a problem for businesses that maintain all of their IT in on-site hardware. In such cases, companies will have to allocate money for new servers every time their information becomes too large to fit the current hardware, paying for the deployment up front out. The cloud, by contrast, scales smoothly up and ensures firms pay only for what they use. 

Mobility could be another problem for businesses with no cloud deployment. With the cloud, the entire operational environment is available to workers anywhere. Whether at home or on the road, employees can perform all the actions they could in the office. Adding such capabilities can help businesses stretch their geographic reach and employ the best workers for the jobs, even ones who cannot make it to the office every day. 

Software deployments enabled by the cloud can change and evolve quickly, with new options and updates being implemented at the cloud host’s headquarters, rather than the client company’s. If a firm wants to keep its on-premise software up to date, applying the changes to every affected machine can take a long time and expend plenty of staff effort. Simply reflecting changes made by the hosting firm is a more agile model. This also means that trying out a new productivity application is far quicker and easier on a cloud model. 

Businesses interested in enhancing data backup and recovery can likewise find cloud applications to suit their purposes. The same traits that make hosted deployment effective for functions such as remote work also make it a suitable technological approach to disaster management. For instance, data backed up in the cloud is accessible through an Internet connection, removing the need to physically back up information to tapes or disks.

Companies will have to allocate money for new servers every time their information becomes too large to fit the current hardware, paying for the deployment up front out.

How Third Parties Can Help 

Going to the cloud is advantageous in many ways, but the move is not automatic and requires a certain amount of specialized knowledge that businesses may not possess. Third-party IT services providers offer several different types of intervention that can ease the process of purchasing and implementing cloud solutions and ensure the selected options truly suit the business in question.

  • Training: The workers within a company may not be ready to optimize cloud adoption. This is where training can come in. IT training providers can ensure employees at client firms observe best practices when buying and using cloud computing services and products. Failure to use the cloud carefully could lead to serious liabilities for companies.
  • IT staffing: Perhaps it’s not a matter of training the employees who are already with a company, but bringing in workers who already understand the technology. This is where staffing services come in, either through consulting or taking charge of the talent search. Providers can leverage their contacts within the IT workforce to find workers with the right credentials.
  • Talent management: Consultants can go beyond initial staff selection and advise employees on a number of long-term employee issues. These experienced professionals can leverage their years in the industry to help firms keep their workers at peak efficiency, strengthening the departments handling solutions like the cloud.
  • Outsourcing: Since cloud computing is hosted offsite, hiring a provider to manage it outside the office is a natural expansion of the concept. IT service providers can dedicate teams of specialists to make sure client firms get the best cloud experience possible. In the hands of these providers, hosted deployments give the users the affordability and flexibility they need.

Whatever option businesses choose, they can appreciably improve their cloud performance. IT services providers offer consulting to ensure leaders pick the option that meets their objectives, budget and timetable for project completion.

Third-party IT services providers offer several different types of intervention that can ease the process of purchasing and implementing cloud solutions.

Making the Switch

The cloud has fully arrived, meaning now is the time to take action and adopt the technology. Businesses that switch to the cloud now will be one step ahead of their competitors. When technology trends change in high-profile ways, there is a short window in which aggressive adopters can use the new method as a differentiating factor and, in the best case, gain significant ground. But making sure new tools are not just implemented but also used effectively requires strong performance from the employees assigned to the project.

Ignoring the human element of any technology adoption can be a costly mistake. Leaders need to know that the best people available are managing the upgrade. One way to increase confidence is to work with an outside company that specializes in IT staffing or services.

Whether this partner provides training for the existing IT department, establishing contacts with the best job candidates or turning operations over to its own team of experts, the desired end result is the same: a better deployment that suits the client firm’s unique situation.

TEKsystems has become a leader in this field by providing services for both companies and individuals and helping these two groups find one another, to their mutual benefit. With a network of contacts in different facets of IT providing key experience, the provider can become a partner for companies trying out new deployments.

The promise of the cloud is better IT functions and a new pricing and deployment model that can keep up with the pace of technological innovation. Making sure that promise is fulfilled could mean calling on a trusted outside source.