How is Cloud Computing Changing the Future of Work for SMEs in 2023?
Accelerated by the cloud, long-term digital transformation and modernization initiatives have gained momentum. 85% of organizations will embrace the cloud-first principle by 2025, and all their digital strategies will use cloud-native architectures and technologies.
The rise of cloud computing is revolutionizing the way businesses operate. Those organizations that have already embraced the “cloud shift” (both startups and SMEs) reportedly experienced a positive impact on operational efficiency within a few months.
In the past, businesses had to invest in their own hardware and software to run their operations. With cloud computing, access to applications and services does not require any upfront investments. Cloud resources are more affordable as the users pay for only what they use. That is more cost-effective and especially beneficial for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) working with small budgets. With cloud leverage, SMEs can level the playing field and compete with larger businesses.
Global cloud computing supports access to data anytime from any part of the world. Cloud-based applications and services are more collaborative, allowing for more flexibility in how work gets done. That can lead to more productive and efficient workflows.
Cloud computing is thus changing the future of work for SMEs, optimizing operational efficiency and cost-effectiveness and thereby enabling scalability, helping SMEs build high revenue-generating businesses, faster than ever before.
5 Pro Tips for an Effective Cloud Computing Strategy
“There is no business strategy without a cloud strategy,”
- Milind Govekar, Chief of Research, Program & Portfolio Management (PPM) Research, Gartner, Inc.
Tip #1 - Choose the Right Cloud Migration Services Provider
Cloud migration is the process of moving applications and data from one location—often a company's private on-premises servers—to a public cloud provider’s servers. It might also involve switching between different clouds.
While transitioning to the cloud, it's crucial to make a sound start in a planned manner for a successful migration. Identifying which applications and services need to be shifted on priority with minimal disruption time and scaling up cloud deployment as necessary. Defining the business goals and clarifying the minimum expectations will help the cloud partner, understand the business requirements better and deliver migration services efficiently.
Selecting the right cloud migration partner is as daunting a task as picking the right cloud provider can be. It's important to have a trustworthy partner who displays solid technical expertise and deep experience in effective data management, industry best practices, and compliance management.
Tip #2 - Establish a Secure and Reliable Infrastructure for a Digitally Interlinked Future
With the rapid digital transformation of businesses and the increasing number of cloud migrations, there is greater concern regarding cloud security. For safeguarding data, applications, and cloud infrastructure from cyber threats and attacks, robust cyber security is crucial.
In an evolving threat landscape, where data is money, industry insights say that the global average total cost of a data breach is $4.35M, 45% of breaches occurred in the cloud, and in 2022 it took an average of 277 days—about 9 months—to identify and contain a breach.
A cloud services provider with significant cyber security experience will provide resources and a cloud stack that ensures a secure environment several magnitudes higher than the average small to medium enterprise can setup on premise. Cloud service providers have, security integrated into every layer, built-in mechanisms to protect against distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attacks, and features that allow for data encryption when at rest, as well as in transit.
Responsible cloud partners, take proactive steps for infrastructure management and data asset security by integrating appropriate controls, procedures, and best practices; also ensuring businesses remain compliant with data privacy laws.
Tip #3 - Utilize Modernization Strategies for Increasing Scalability and Decreasing Cloud Spend
Modernization with cloud computing typically means the migration of legacy or traditional applications to cloud environments such as public cloud platforms, private clouds, etc.
Outdated tech stacks will eventually cause a degradation in customer engagement and user experience. However, retiring or replacing legacy software systems often translates into heavy financial and productivity losses, aside from other issues. Therefore, upgrading or rearchitecting the existing software on on-premises solutions and moving to the cloud have proven more feasible and beneficial for most SMEs.
Every modernization project must have a well-articulated strategy to minimize risks and disruption in overall business performance. The right cloud partner will get a thorough understanding of business objectives and advocate appropriate tools and technologies for re-architecting legacy applications.
Effective cloud engineering for application modernization can reduce infrastructure costs as businesses no longer need to spend on manual adjustments and maintenance. It provides access to unlimited data storage space in the cloud, allowing need-based space usage for business expansion. Thus, businesses with cloud infrastructure become more scalable and time & cost-efficient.
Tip #4- Focus on Quality Assurance & Testing
Cloud-based quality assurance (QA) and software testing are rapidly replacing on-premise QA because of the process agility, cost efficiency, and easy access to a wide pool of resources.
Cloud computing enables continuous monitoring of applications and data-based problem detection. Cloud quality assurance systems help businesses troubleshoot performance bottlenecks and prevent defects while delivering products or services. Quality testing and scaling up applications in the cloud support performance optimization in terms of both functionality and stability.
Tip #5- Ensure Business Continuity with Disaster Recovery Plan
All small and medium-sized enterprises need to enable business continuity management and ensure thorough disaster recovery plans are in place.
Cloud computing Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) allows businesses to regain access to the IT infrastructure and back up data in a cloud environment safely from anywhere in the world and at any time in the event of man-made or natural disasters.
Disaster Recovery orchestration provides standby computing capacity on demand to run applications with minimal operational downtime. Effective rapid recovery planning will prevent inefficiencies in system functioning, ensuring the business keeps running without abnormalities despite disastrous events.
Having a skilled technical team to analyze and seamlessly resolve problems during incidents, implement fixes, and design long-term solutions systematically is crucial.
Programmability & Customization – Creating Unique Solutions with Maximum Efficiency
The rise of cloud computing has widened the horizons for SMEs. Businesses can now get custom-designed software solutions specific to their needs and goals with—cost, time, and resource— efficiency for optimal productivity.
With cloud leverage for programmability and customization, businesses can create unique products or services that will surely lead them toward achieving customer success.
MetaSys, a leading custom software outsourcing firm in India, has Microsoft-certified Azure solutions architects who can help businesses construct a cloud infrastructure, integrate the cloud with their current infrastructure, and manage the whole migration to Azure.
Some key advantages of cloud computing with Microsoft Azure are reliability, rapid disaster recovery, reduced capital expenditures (CapEx), and impressive scalability and elasticity.
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