A number of CIOs around the globe have expressed a clear intention to move legacy IT infrastructure to private clouds or shared services centres within their companies. According to a recent survey by Deutsche Bank, the main reasons they want to move to the private cloud are stability, security and service level agreements. But is the private cloud really the best option? A big drawback is that all the management, maintenance and updates are the responsibility of the company.

Outsourcing IT to cloud vendors, on the other hand, removes this burden and ensures key targets, such as security and usability, are always met. Take cloud telephony services, for example, which shrinks and expands depending on business needs. By managing these changes, as well as system upgrades and helpdesk access, vendors enable businesses to spend more time on value-adding work.

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Private cloud is not always the answer

While the private cloud may be gaining traction as a way to safeguard the role of traditional IT, even with large IT budgets it’s unlikely that a company not in the business of providing cloud services would match the investment and innovation of dedicated cloud vendors. One of the benefits of outsourcing to cloud vendors is the ability to try out the latest technology without having to find additional resources that could be spent on other business-growing activities. Indeed, there are countless cloud innovations and most companies simply don’t have the time or skills required to investigate, develop and test these new technologies.

security concerns shouldn’t blind you to the benefits of the cloud

One of the biggest concerns for businesses using cloud providers is security. Many IT managers worry about potential leaks, however these concerns shouldn’t blind them to the benefits of the cloud. Today’s cloud computing practices can actually improve security. Providers have stringent regulations they must comply with, such as the PCI Data Security Standard (PCI DSS), and their success depends on their ability to keep customers’ data safe. Outsourced cloud computing compensates for many business’ lack of understanding and knowledge of what these regulations involve, which translates to enhanced security. Furthermore, one of the key benefits of the cloud is that even if a company loses physical machines, the data itself will be securely backed up and instantly retrievable from separate data centres.

Improving collaboration and communication

In addition to enhanced security features, cloud computing can greatly improve collaboration and communication within an organisation. The cloud gives businesses the freedom to access data from multiple locations, as well the ability for a business platform to develop organically at the same pace as the business environment. It can facilitate multiple users so that they can share the application without compromising speed or capacity. All of these benefits help facilitate collaboration and communication, enabling users to easily share information and data across various locations. With a cloud service provider, businesses can have all of this managed for them.

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Cost is another benefit of using cloud providers. While on-premise support requires regular maintenance, fixes and upgrades, the only ongoing costs required with cloud vendors are subscription fees, and training and configuration, which significantly reduces the company’s capital expenditure (capex). Cloud providers also deal with any redundancy requirements. In a lot of cases, these costs are overlooked, but, added together, can make a very real difference.

Ultimately, organisations need to look beyond the private cloud

Ultimately, organisations need to look beyond the private cloud. The cloud undoubtedly offers very real business benefits, however it can often be overwhelming when faced with the management of cloud technology – particularly for companies with little understanding of how it works. For businesses wanting to take maximum value from their cloud investment, the advantages of outsourcing to dedicated cloud vendors far outweigh the disadvantages. By reducing initial expenditure and guaranteeing compliance and security, cloud vendors take the weight of businesses’ shoulders and enable them to enjoy the benefits of the cloud without spending valuable time and resources on maintaining it. It’s a win-win situation.

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