Business Innovation in the Cloud

Cloud computing is widely recognized as a game changer in the technology world, and executives have changed how they approach technology because of it. The cloud delivers rapid ways to engage with customers and the pace of doing business becomes drastically faster.

Having access to vast amounts of storage and computing power on demand drives innovation for businesses of all sizes. According to a survey conducted by IBM Institute for Business Value, 16% percent of businesses are using the cloud as a tool to innovate.

A virtual platform enables businesses to rapidly develop and distribute, and ultimately experiment and innovate more. It creates a foundation of flexibility that taps into next-generation systems to operate email, social networking or collaboration with employees, partners, and customers. Innovation begins when production is a creative use of critical data that companies collect internally and externally.

The cloud enables business models to transform quickly by introducing opportunities like Bring Your Own Device to the playing field. There’s a vast opportunity to connect anywhere at any time with any device. BYOD allows businesses to save money by giving employees the opportunity to use their own device to complete work regardless of their location. Mobile is a major opportunity for innovation, and it influences the connection between both customers and employees.

Another way that clouds computing encourages business innovation is that it offers a platform of tech experimentation that releases corporate IT budgets from being tied up in maintenance. Instead, they can be turned to more of the production aspects of a business. Businesses can save money and time, all at once.

The cloud tends to be initially adopted for efficiency and cost-saving purposes, but it also lays a foundation for innovative serendipity. It enables connections in order for businesses to collaborate and share knowledge. The cloud has emerged as a powerful source of innovation and can be used for much more.

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Managed Cloud vs. Unmanaged Cloud

The beauty of the cloud is in the copious options it offers a business. One of the most important options to consider is whether or not you want to control your own cloud infrastructure or have a provider like RapidScale manage it for you. It ultimately depends on your business and the goals you have set.

Here are some benefits that both managed and unmanaged cloud computing offer and how they differ from one another:

Managed Cloud

It is estimated that the managed cloud market will grow from $17 billion in 2014 to $43 billion by 2018. (451 Research) It’s evolving at a quick rate, and the reason for its increased popularity is that providers, like RapidScale, take on a lot of the management and maintenance responsibilities and constantly ensure that everything is running smoothly. Having a managed cloud allows for redundancy and full support, as well as guidance. The operating system, control panel, server setup, added applications, ongoing maintenance and management, and more is all supported. RapidScale’s managed cloud offers the opportunity to work together to create a perfect, customized cloud solution. Businesses can reap the benefits of cloud computing while avoiding added responsibility and the added time it would take to manage a cloud solution alone.

If you don’t want to worry about the cost, stress or time it takes to manage your cloud environment, a managed cloud is for you. It’s perfect for organizations that don’t necessarily have the technical expertise in-house or those that simply want to focus on strategic business initiatives rather than maintaining infrastructure.

RapidSale’s managed solutions offer the following:

-End-use troubleshooting and device setup
-Operating system management
-100% uptime SLA
-Licensing management
-Application management
-Patches and upgrades to server
-Managed backups
-24x7x365 support
-And more…

Unmanaged Cloud

Unmanaged cloud still provides the core cloud computing services, but with a “do it yourself” method. It allows you to access the cloud solutions and their benefits, but with minimal support, unlike a managed cloud. The default solution configuration is supported, but beyond that, overall solution management becomes the organization’s responsibility. An unmanaged cloud is great for businesses that have a strong IT team in place already and need little to no assistance. It’s a great way to maintain granular control of your cloud environment, as you receive unrestricted access to your infrastructure.

However, the unmanaged cloud does not offer support for customizations or third-party software a business wants to install. If a business wants to make changes or encounters an issue, this would largely be solved by the business alone, with its own personnel, money, and time.

If having some freedom and control over your business’ cloud environment is important to your business, then the unmanaged cloud is for you:

HTG unmanaged cloud offers:

Support for operating system and default solution configuration
Free setup and provisioning
Organizational control over implementation and overall solution management

Making a decision between managed and unmanaged cloud is critical for any business transitioning into this new environment. A managed cloud results in far less work and requires little to no expertise, but if being in control of all aspects of your business is your preference then it’s important to consider unmanaged cloud. HTG offers both options, but its key differentiator has managed the cloud. Managed cloud computing allows HTG to do what it’s best at while freeing up your business to focus on what you’re best at!

Financial Benefits of Cloud Computing

Cloud solutions inherently provide countless benefits for businesses. They allow your company to focus on the most important objective: increasing profit.

Finding ways to cut down on costs is something all businesses look for. Well, look no further. Cloud computing offers numerous financial benefits to your business. It provides major savings, better IT services and higher levels of reliability and productivity. Cloud users are pointing to cost savings as a major cloud benefit, and most agree that cloud services have also helped them boost profits. Additionally, many organizations are reinvesting their savings back into the business to continue improving.

Here are some of the financial benefits of cloud computing:

Greater Cost Agility

Cloud computing scalability allows expenses to adjust as needed. If your demand for services goes up or down, so will your cloud costs. RapidScale’s cloud solutions allow you to pay as you go according to your business needs – that’s the cloud model. It offers you the opportunity to scale up or down in your time frame, based on your needs. Traditionally, organizations often overspend or underspend because they’re forced to predict their needs ahead of time. The cloud’s cost agility fixes this problem. Better yet, as you implement cloud, your employees are no longer chained to their desks. Their business information or applications can be accessed virtually on their own device! This can cut down the cost of businesses providing hardware for employees.

Amplified Productivity with Reduction of IT Management

Stop investing so much in IT management. When your IT team has to constantly maintain on-site servers, it wastes valuable time, focus, and yes, money! Productivity can be improved in the cloud environment, and this ultimately leads to profitability. The cloud frees up your IT team to focus on strategic business tasks and lowers maintenance costs for your business. Since the cloud resources are accessed virtually, a business receives management and maintenance benefits automatically because that’s all taken care of by RapidScale. More than half of businesses that have moved to the cloud said that it reduced the need of their IT team to maintain infrastructure, and this has given them more time to work on strategic tasks and innovation.

Decreased Hardware Costs

On-site hardware is in constant need of maintenance, replacement, and updates. With physical hardware also comes power, cooling and space costs. By moving to the cloud, you replace your on-site hardware with virtual cloud resources, which eliminates a lot of spending and time on your end and gives you access to the latest technology – not to mention that you also lower chances of being affected by disasters or failures that could affect your location. Infrastructure cost reduction is one of the top five benefits of cloud adoption for nearly 75% of IT professionals.

Operational Expenditure

Eliminating hardware and moving into the cloud lowers the need to administer, maintain and upgrade traditional technology, which moves you away from a capital expenditure model into an operational expenditure one. As we described above, the cloud uses a pay-as-you-go model, which is similar to how you’d pay for your water or electricity – your monthly costs are based on your needs. Moving to OpEx gives you the opportunity to free up cash that can be concentrated in other parts of your business.

Benefit from cloud computing by lowering costs, scaling as needed, and producing higher levels of productivity and profitability. Cloud computing is a proven innovative tool that saves businesses money today. 88% of cloud users point to cost savings as a cloud benefit, and with the right cloud solution, you can be among them too!