What Are the Elements of a Great Cloud Infrastructure?
One of the lessons that the pandemic has taught us is that cloud services are no longer an option. They’re vital if a business wants to stay resilient in the face of potential disruptions to normal day-to-day operations.
The setup of only being able to access data and business software from a single computer in a single location is now completely outdated. Working with cloud applications and processes allows teams to access work from anywhere.
Approximately 92% of U.S. small businesses have switched to using cloud services.
Some of the key benefits of moving business processes to a cloud-based infrastructure include:
- Cost savings from a pay-as-you-go SaaS model
- Simple to use
- Easy to scale up or down
- Ability to access data and business applications from anywhere
- Access work on any device
- Collaborate with others in real time
- Enables timesaving automations
- Gives managers better visibility into operations
But just using some cloud tools doesn’t make for an optimized use of cloud services. Many businesses in Columbus and elsewhere end up with problems because they don’t have help putting a strategic cloud infrastructure in place.
They can end up with application redundancies, work processes that don’t integrate well, and paying more than they need to in cloud subscription costs.
According the to the 2020 Annual SaaS Trends Report by Blissfully, companies are experiencing some cloud “growing pains.” The report found that:
- Companies have an average of 3.6 duplicate apps
- Cloud waste nearly doubled between 2018 and 2019
- The number of unique apps companies are using is up 30%
- Companies churn through about 30% of their apps per year
This equates to businesses of all sizes not having a handle on how to put together the foundations of a good cloud infrastructure that’s going to be streamlined, cost efficient, and scalable.
Here are several elements of a great cloud infrastructure to consider when optimizing your own company’s use of cloud services.
Cloud Foundation (Public, Private, or Hybrid)
One crucial step that many SMBs skip when adopting cloud solutions is deciding on their cloud infrastructure. They’ll just start signing up for public cloud apps, without considering the type of cloud foundation they want to build.
Companies have the option of using the public cloud, the private cloud, or a hybrid of the two. There are big differences in the foundation they choose, including security implications and the types of apps they can use.
This is one of the first decisions to make when creating or optimizing a cloud environment, and it’s one that an IT provider, like AhelioTech can help with.
Business Productivity Platform
The more apps employees must earn and switch between, the lower productivity goes. On average, employees switch between 10 different apps per hour, which adds up to 32 days of lost productivity per person each year.
When choosing your main cloud tools for business, you want to look for all-in-one platforms, like Microsoft 365 and Google Workspace. These platforms offer several integrated applications in one place that all have a similar look, feel, and user interface.
Using as few apps as possible by using an all-in-one cloud solution, streamlines workflows and helps reduce cloud waste and duplicate apps.
Cloud Storage Application
One of the very first adoptions of the cloud when it was new was for file storage. Having files stored in the cloud allows them to be easily accessed from anywhere and makes them simple to share with others through a link, no matter the size.
Centralized cloud storage also eliminates having several different copies of a document on several different computers. Employees can all access the same, most updated version of a file no matter where they are.
Many of the all-in-one business productivity tools will include a cloud file storage app.
Backup and disaster recovery is vital to business continuity and ensuring that all your business data is protected in case of a ransomware attack, hard drive crash, or some other critical event.
The benefits of cloud backup over a local file backup are:
- Can easily back up any device, even those of remote-working staff
- Files are protected should something happen to your premises (natural disaster, etc.)
- Files can easily be restored to any computer in any location as needed
- Cloud backups are easily scalable when you are running out of space
Cloud Security & Access Monitoring
It’s vital to ensure you have solid cloud security, including access monitoring systems. 68% of business leaders say their cybersecurity risk is increasing, and the pandemic brought on a volume of cyberattacks that exceeded expectations.
It’s important that you keep your cloud accounts secure so that only authorized users are allowed access and that malware is caught and blocked before infecting cloud storage.
Some of the elements you’ll want in place are:
- Multi-factor authentication for all accounts
- Well-configured cloud app security settings
- Endpoint device monitoring and management
- A policy on cloud app use to discourage the use of shadow IT
- Cloud management through an IT provider (we will ensure security is set up right, put access management in place, do regular app updates, and more)
Get Expert Help With All Your Cloud Optimization Needs
AhelioTech can help your Columbus area business put together a smart, productive, and cost-efficient cloud infrastructure to power your business.
Contact us today for a free quote. Call 614-333-0000 or reach out online.