Technology has proven to be a saving grace for many businesses over the last 18 months. There’s never been as much innovation and change across such a wide cross-section of industries as we’ve seen since the beginning of the pandemic. It’s caused businesses to relook at everything, especially their technology. Businesses are seeking agility and the ability to innovate at a faster pace than ever. It’s little wonder that Gartner has forecast that worldwide end-user spending on public cloud services will grow 18.4% in 2021.
You might wonder why so many companies are investing in the public cloud? Here are ten reasons why:
1. Effortlessly respond to changing business needs
A public cloud service is agile in many ways. Businesses change all the time, and that change can be sudden – as we’ve seen in the past year – or slowly. Proprietary systems can at best compromise a company’s ability to react to change. At worst, it can be a major reason why a business isn’t the one leading the change within their particular market.
Furthermore, if a business subscribes to a public open-source service, they can adjust the type and scope of the service to match new business needs.
2. The best-guaranteed uptime available
For many businesses, downtime of their data center can be catastrophic. A public cloud service offers better uptime than a proprietary system as it’s the responsibility of the cloud company – that has highly skilled engineers that tackle any issue without delay – to keep their services running.
As a customer to an expert company, the risk of issues lies with them. So even if a business’ public cloud service does experience downtime, the cloud provider will have an SLA, providing a guarantee of a certain amount of uptime. This means the cloud company must compensate a customer for any downtime that exceeds it.
3. Efficiency – start saving from the get-go
With public cloud, the savings start from day one of implementation with the setup process requiring merely several clicks, rather than an army of admins and developers to set up the system.
The efficiency and lack of maintenance of the public cloud go far beyond the setup phase. Far fewer human resources are required to maintain a public cloud system, meaning businesses that opt for this form of cloud over that of a private cloud or in-house solution will have to spend far less money on salaries and training.
4. No maintenance, yet enhanced security
A large part of maintaining in-house cloud systems lies within data security, with organizations faced with the challenge of keeping security patches up to date and ensuring data is encrypted in traffic and during storage.
On the contrary, as a public cloud service is maintenance-free for an organization, its management of data security falls to external staff who have training and experience in maintaining that particular system. Furthermore, a public cloud provider is also better placed to apply for compliance certifications, providing the organization with peace of mind that their data is in safe hands.
5. Only pay for what you use
Datacenter equipment often lies under-used, and companies often need to over-spec their equipment in case of higher demand. With public cloud, you only need to pay for what you use, and you can elastically change this.
The ability to only pay for what you use means you can get the flexible infrastructure for a lower total cost of ownership over the lifetime of a service.
6. Flexibility to scale up or down
Having too much or too little capacity with a cloud service can be a significant problem for businesses but scaling proprietary systems can be incredibly difficult. It’s hard to know how much capacity a business will require of its cloud service, and brief usage peaks can make it even more difficult to judge.
However, the beauty of a public cloud service is it provides businesses with the ability to adjust their service plan according to usage, even at short notice, making it incredibly simple to add or drop capacity, and immediately reap the benefits.
A public cloud service lets you adjust your plan according to usage at short notice. You can easily add or drop capacity, and immediately reap the benefits.
7. No risk of vendor lock-in
A public cloud service will not lock you into one solution unlike other cloud services, providing businesses with the opportunity to change their solutions if needed.
For example, a software product may be updated in a way that no longer fits an organization’s business model, or the business landscape resulting in a need to change the service a business utilizes. It may even be that a new product or service is released that a business prefers, but they don’t want to pay for two solutions at once.
Whatever the need for a change, the public cloud is the route to go down for businesses that desire flexibility. And if a business has stayed on the open-source side of the business, your data will remain easy to migrate to a new system if the need arises.
8. Instant access to new features
Another characteristic of a public cloud service is its ability to rapidly adopt the latest features and technologies, especially when using open source. DIY solutions are much slower to adopt new capabilities because their ecosystem is closed in nature.
In a public cloud, businesses have a wider variety of the best innovations at their disposal that can not only support the business but also help to create their own business innovations as well.
9. Out of the box global access
On-premises setups and proprietary cloud solutions do not provide a simple access route for a global user base. Security concerns must be addressed, including firewalls and access control, which may result in a chaotic system of user groups and inter-site access points.
At their core, public clouds are designed for global access and easy management, with networks of servers to accommodate for users all over the world right from the get-go. With an ever-increasing dispersed workforce that has been driven by the pandemic, it is important businesses can provide global access to their cloud if needed.
10. It’s better for the environment
Research by 451 found that AWS’ hyperscale infrastructure is over three times more energy-efficient than US enterprise data centers. The public cloud is more efficient and often powered by renewable electricity. Many public clouds are committing to becoming carbon neutral in the coming years.
The data is in – using the public cloud can reduce your carbon footprint and ultimately be better for the environment.
So, it is abundantly clear that the public cloud offers vast amounts of business benefits and while it is not for every organization – particularly defense organizations for example – those looking for agility, flexibility and minimized risk, should start considering migrating their cloud systems to the public cloud over the coming months.
Heikki Nousiainen, CTO and co-founder, Aiven