Cloud Computing: The Change, The Impact

Cloud computing is changing the way we live and do business. It is quickly being seen as a key to business success. It has impacted the way businesses are run and supplied. Benefits from cost efficiency to security are prevalent with cloud computing, but what about the impact and change it has on day-to-day life?

Social

Social media has impacted how people interact in today’s world. Without knowing it, people use cloud-based communication methods on a day-by-day, hour-by-hour base. Via the Internet, people can easily communicate, check their emails, tell the world about their day, stream videos/movies, and more. The social impact of cloud computing opens up long-distance relationships by enabling simple communication between friends, family, coworkers, partners and others who may live on the opposite side of the world. Reaching people is just easier and faster. Global platforms like YouTube, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and more have helped news travel faster, and businesses can take advantage of these by acting in real time with their audience.

Online Storage

Cloud computing has influenced the way people store their valuable data, photos, music, and much more. Common online software resources like ShareFile, Flickr, and many more make that possible. Instead of relying on a personal flash drive that can go missing at any moment, cloud storage is accessible at any time as long as you have the Internet.

Education

Registering for classes online? Emailing a professor? Taking digital notes? Accessing homework or a syllabus through a Web portal? Anyone doing these activities is an active cloud user. Cloud computing has enabled educational institutions to prosper through the adoption of trends like BYOD. It has impacted the way students take their notes, enroll in classes, and participate in group activities by accessing data anywhere, anytime. Teachers use cloud computing in their role as well, with the ability to upload resources to be accessible to students, track grades and activities online, and access email and data from anywhere.

Health

Healthcare organizations use cloud-based methods as well. Cloud offers the ability to keep patients’ documents in a secure, organized, virtual space, rather than in piles of paperwork that get cluttered and easily lost. Cloud computing has impacted the way patients create appointments by eliminating excessive time and paperwork. Scheduling appointments, making referrals, or completing patient history are all made easier through the cloud. Doctors use cloud computing solutions to manage their patients’ data and securely share it with patients or other medical professionals to check status and follow-ups.

The cloud is extremely prevalent, even for those that haven’t realized it. Cloud computing is part of how we live our daily lives and is key to our daily routines. If it’s that ingrained already, imagine the impact it can have if strategically implemented in your organization. Learn more about our Cloud Services page!

 

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A Sustainable World With Cloud Computing

Sustainability and cloud computing are coherently trending together!

Cloud computing is advancing our economy forward in many ways, including its inherent sustainability. The cloud’s “green” quality comes from moving hardware and software into a virtual environment. So instead of relying on local servers, the work is transferred through the Internet to store, manage, and process the data. Research conducted by Google shared that businesses can save more than 65% on energy costs by moving to the cloud!

Sustainability continues to be an added benefit of cloud computing for companies and their IT departments. Businesses of all sizes are becoming more aware of their carbon footprint and are putting in place long-term strategies to reduce it. With more sustainable services, like cloud-based solutions, they can. Research conducted by Global E-sustainability Initiative states that if 80% of world enterprise adopted cloud computing and powered down local servers, we would see around a 4.5 megaton reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.

Energy and resource efficiencies come more naturally from cloud infrastructures. With the cloud, businesses can save energy by reducing the number of physical resources they rely on, which can ultimately save energy, money, time, and waste.

Having the ability to reduce hardware helps companies also reduce costs and remove any sort of maintenance and management they were previously dealing with. Carbon Disclosure Project found that cloud computing can help companies realize $12.3 billion in energy savings. Placing critical data in a secure, remote location rather than in-house offers the ability to reduce computing management time and expenses with greater flexibility and effective energy savings. According to Pike Research, due to the continued adoption of cloud computing, data center energy consumption will decrease by 31% from 2010 to 2020.

Another benefit that comes from adopting this sustainable solution is the additional benefits that cloud can offer, like the ability to interact and collaborate easily through mobile devices, allowing a tremendous increase in productivity. Studies by Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and Northwestern University have found that if 86 million U.S. workers were moved to the cloud, they could save enough electricity annually to power a great city like Los Angles for a year! Allowing employees to work productively in the cloud, with tools like file sharing, word processing, and CRM software, can cut down IT energy consumption significantly.

Although sustainability might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think of cloud computing, it’s a valuable side effect. Taking a closer look at the technology will expose many of its eco-friendly benefits, like reducing your carbon footprint, energy usage, spending, time, and waste. This is all a result of moving to a virtual platform, shared resources, efficient equipment, digital operations and a pay-as-you-go model. If you want to boost your sustainability initiative, cloud computing is the perfect step.

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The Role of IT in the Cloud

Cloud computing continues to grow. The power it holds is creating new opportunities for businesses of all sizes to innovate and transform. Cloud computing not only redefines a company, but it is also redefining what IT can bring to the table. In this day and age companies are seeking out a more strategic and influential IT professional who operates with speed and efficiency in a proactive matter. According to Cisco, the cloud will represent nearly 30% of all IT spending by 2020.

IT leaders are looking to cloud computing in order to pivot the way business processes and outcomes are delivered. It’s no longer in your best interests to simply look to IT to manage and troubleshoot technology. Instead, increase productivity by shifting IT’s focus to advancing revenue and innovation through technology like the cloud. Transforming IT from reactive to proactive has greater value not only for the IT department but for a business overall.

The cost efficiency that comes with cloud computing is changing the IT department into a profit center, rather than a cost center. The need to purchase new hardware and software, and deal with installation and maintenance is no longer a requirement, nor is waiting around for trouble tickets to be resolved. IT personnel can grow into leaders and strategists instead of repairmen. They have the opportunity to achieve this by strategically analyzing business requirements, recommending new services and investments, managing overall policies, and more.

IT departments can focus on establishing flexible infrastructures as well as endorsing the partners and services, that are needed to guide a business to success. IT professionals become the leading advisers on how to effectively integrate new technology that leads to innovative and positive change.

Cloud computing is changing the IT role, but it’s not threatening it. Cloud computing demonstrates the value and demand for IT to be shifted to a more strategic role. It helps redefine the effectiveness of IT and better connect the department with its business counterparts. Through cloud computing, IT can achieve:

  • Cost efficiency
  • Increased revenue
  • The transition from reactive to proactive
  • Productivity
  • A strategic role
  • Improved customer experience

Modern IT professionals are guiding business transformation that is now a requirement for an organization to remain competitive. The role isn’t phasing out. Rather, it’s gaining great importance.

Would you like to learn more about HTG Cloud and IT Services? Click Here…

Enterprise For The Cloud

The power of the cloud is undeniable for business and technology leaders in the enterprise world. According to Forbes, 69% of enterprises are relying on cloud computing to launch business models. Enterprises can utilize the cloud for a competitive advantage with the opportunity to save money, innovate, experience speed and agility, and boost collaboration with business partners.

The cloud helps modernize and provides platforms that allow enterprises to better manage their critical data. The cloud continues to change the face of IT and a copious amount of enterprises are predicted to make a heavy cloud investment in coming years, as they are already taking the first steps.

The days of IT being so expensive are quickly fading out with the emergence of cloud computing. As the cloud matures, enterprises continue to see the opportunities to achieve cost savings. The traditional approach to infrastructure and software can get extremely expensive with all the updates, maintenance, hardware and more. Constantly having to toss out or repair hardware and software can be problematic and creates a setting of overly-complex enterprise-level infrastructures. This can be costly and difficult to manage from an engineering and financial standpoint.

Cloud computing can solve these complex problems in many ways – it leverages the “as a service” model for things like infrastructure and software, and has the ability to scale to the capacity that is needed at any given time.

Cloud computing’s costs are stable and predictable, giving great value to enterprise-level businesses. Rethinking the value to the end users of your business is also a great benefit achieved with cloud computing solutions. These solutions give enterprises the ability to be on their toes and view every angle of the business.

Enterprises are demanded to innovate as the market grows, but failure to move at the same pace as the cloud market can be catastrophic – will your enterprise stay in the past or will it innovate?

Would you like to have a cloud review for your enterprise?  If so, CLICK HERE!

Chris Ichelson

Certified Engineer

HTG 360

866-278-5578

 

Top 4 Myths of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing can be prone to some misconstrued perceptions due to confusion and hype that often comes with it. Although cloud computing is growing rapidly, with IDC predicting cloud IT infrastructure spending will reach $53.1 billion by 2019, these cloud myths can dangerously hinder a business from real innovation and outcomes.

Let’s review the top four myths that revolve around the cloud and see if you’re dangerously living under those misconstrued perceptions!

Myth 1: Cloud is Less Secure Than In-House Infrastructures

The biggest apprehension when it comes to the cloud is security. Its ability to store important and sensitive information in a safe and secure environment is the main concern for business leaders, and rightfully so. This misconception about a lack of security comes from the misconception that the cloud is a place that everyone has access to, leading to stolen or changed data. This is inaccurate. Traditional infrastructures hold data in a vulnerable location that can be physically breached, or harmed by natural disasters. Cloud environments, on the other hand, hold data in a virtual space where it cannot be harmed, with multiple safeguards in place to prevent any outside access.

It’s all about security management. That is where an excellent cloud provider comes in. HTG offers the highest quality protection when it comes to client data and information. A customer’s information is secured to multiple layers of both physical and network security. Our cloud solutions are powered out of fully redundant Tier 3 Class 1 data centers that have multiple physical security measures in place. Only authorized data center personnel are granted access to the data center facilities, who must have prior clearance and an escort.

This quote explains it perfectly: “Cloud providers are often more secure because they dedicate themselves to security in ways many firms don’t, since a loss of security credibility would be death for a cloud provider.”

Myth 2: The Cloud Is Costly

When considering any kind of technology installment or environment change, money is a huge component that a business considers. Many think that moving to a virtual environment will mean massive costs. While costs will depend largely on the exact solution a business chooses, cloud, in general, shifts a lot of capital expenditure to operational expenditure, which often reduces costs and makes them more predictable.

On-site, physical infrastructure is actually the culprit that’s eating away at your budget. Not only is it a massive upfront investment, but it needs to be regularly upgraded, refreshed, maintained and fixed. This means spending on hardware, upgrades, replacements, space, energy, and more. It’s a waste of both money and valuable time.

In contrast, cloud computing is scalable, allowing expenses to adjust with resource needs. A business has the ability to consume and pay as their demand for services goes up or down. Our cloud solutions offer a pay-as-you-go plan, leading to a create deal of cost agility. Additionally, you’re no longer the one making the huge technological investments. The provider takes care of that, both paying for and managing the infrastructure and all that comes with it.

If that doesn’t have you convinced, then perhaps this stat will: 88% of cloud users point to cost savings as a cloud benefit.

Myth 3: The Cloud Is Too Confusing

According to a recent survey conducted by Wakefield Research, 1 in 5 Americans confessed that they’ve pretended to know what the cloud is and how it works. Most people, not knowing to relate the cloud to IT and business, related it to the weather. Confusion can impede a business from moving forward, so let’s clear this up:

Cloud computing is a technology that uses a network of remote servers to store, manage, and process data, rather than the traditional local servers you might have on-site today. It functions through the Internet. All of the data that businesses store in their own in-house servers transfers instead to a cloud provider’s infrastructure, which is secure and constantly taken care of by that cloud provider’s team – therefore releasing a business from wasting energy, resources, time, money, and personnel on tasks that are unnecessary for it to do itself.

If we do relate this back to the weather to better understand it, than think of the “cloud” as a metaphor for “Internet” – that’s how businesses and users access these resources.

Cloud computing provides businesses with growth opportunities, high performance, quality, affordable prices, easy collaboration, and simple data access.

Myth 4: My IT Team Disappears

Another very false but important myth to underline is the fear that IT is removed. While businesses could use the cloud as an opportunity to shrink staff, that’s not actually necessary with the cloud move. Instead, the cloud takes care of the basic IT tasks that tie up your employees’ time. It frees up their time, so IT personnel can instead innovate and focus on things that are more prudent and strategic for the business.

The cloud allows businesses to eliminate the need to continually update its own technology infrastructures and software. This relates back to cutting down cost. Cloud minimizes IT costs. It doesn’t have to eliminate your IT team but instead allows IT to focus on their more business-enhancing tasks instead of worrying about traditional, old ways of updating, managing and fixing your infrastructure.

The benefits of cloud computing are undeniable, and we hope we busted a few common cloud myths for you. Cloud is common in the business world today. It’s no longer brand new, and it’s certainly not a fad. Don’t let the myths get in the way of finding a suitable cloud solution for your organization. Chances are it can address the majority of your business problems. Want to learn more about the benefits of cloud services? Visit our Managed Cloud Services page!

Virtual vs. In-House Servers

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a cloud computing solution that provides virtualized computing resources, such as servers, storage, power and more, via the Internet. Server virtualization has been a popular solution for IT. It provides efficiencies and capabilities that aren’t possible with a physical server setup. Scalability, the elimination of major hardware investments, location independence, and physical security are all benefits of IaaS.

If you’re eager to get into the virtualization game, here are some benefits of virtual vs. in-house servers, as well as an overview of our IaaS solution:

In-House vs. Virtual Servers

With in-house servers, infrastructure is located within a company, and that company is responsible for the management, maintenance, upgrades, refreshes, applications, and more. In-house servers give an organization physical control over their environment, but they add a lot more responsibility, costs, and vulnerabilities.

In-house servers require a sizable capital investment on all equipment and software, as well as the upgrades and refreshes. And after reaching server capacity, you have to purchase more hardware, which makes growth tough. Having in-house servers is also more vulnerable, leading to security breaches or irreversible harm from natural disasters. It would be essential to have an IT professional to continuously watch over in-house servers that are carrying sensitive company data. This takes away valuable time, not allowing IT to focus more of their talents on strategic business projects. Instead, they end up spending their time fixing bugs and updating resources.

When you move to a virtual server environment, your in-house responsibilities are shifted over to the cloud computing provider, like HTG. You’re relieved of the stress of managing the infrastructure. Virtual servers offer a scalable solution that can be modified according to your demands. Your in-house investment becomes negligible, and you’ll find you’re enjoying flexibility and agility due to on-demand capacity. Hardware, human resources, and energy savings are a few of the things to look forward to in the virtual world. With a virtual server solution offered by a reliable provider like HTG, you’ll also experience enterprise-grade security. With 24x7x365 reliable support, your IT team can focus on value-added tasks instead of fixing equipment.
Rather than purchasing servers, software, data center space and network equipment yourself, you have the ability to purchase those resources as a fully outsourced service – for example, with our IaaS solution.

Infrastructure as a Service

With HTG’s IaaS, the benefits are huge. IaaS eliminates capital expenses that are typically dedicated to equipment and maintenance by moving you to an Operating Expense (OpEx) model with virtual, enterprise-level servers. This saves a business a significant amount of money. There’s also no need to worry about managing your own servers, as HTG’s team takes care of that for you by installing, maintaining and ultimately managing all your infrastructure, including your applications and security. HTG has implemented leading firewalls to protect your critical files. With a full-scale, 24x7x365 monitoring team as an option, HTG’s IaaS solution offers a worry-free guarantee, a team that has your back, and market-leading technology to power your business.

Want to learn more about our Infrastructure as a Service offering? Visit our IaaS page, and reach out to us with questions or to get started today!