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Cloud offerings give companies multiple routes to realize savings

10.11.2013
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The growing availability of cloud hosting services provides ample opportunities for companies to take advantage of the many benefits of cloud computing technology. Enterprise adoption of the cloud comes at a time when conditions are excellent for small and midsize companies to utilize cloud storage and other offerings.

The growing availability of cloud hosting services provides ample opportunities for companies to take advantage of the many benefits of cloud computing technology. Enterprise adoption of the cloud comes at a time when conditions are excellent for small and midsize companies to utilize cloud storage and other offerings.

The benefits of cloud hosting are helping businesses transition from maintaining their records and software through in-office software to using a system that requires far less maintenance and offers easily expandable storage, according to The Guardian. Going to the cloud lets firms use software maintained by third parties that can be run through Web browsers. Cloud providers retain ownership of the programs offered to businesses, and thus, they handle all maintenance and updating.

"As a newcomer to technology, or someone who has better things to do than get your hands dirty with it, cloud computing might just be the best thing since sliced bread for your business," The Guardian stated.

Benefiting from cloud software
Moving to the cloud also makes good financial sense. Without the need to purchase hardware such as servers or software, companies save on upfront expenditures and instead pay a regular fee to use resources as needed. The scalable options offered by cloud hosting services give companies the flexibility to quickly change the software used and update licenses immediately. This way, spending on software can be become an operational expense instead of a major capital drag on finances.

Software accessed through the cloud is continually updated by the provider. Additionally, programs that aren't tied to a terrestrial network give employees the flexibility to work from anywhere and can enhance collaboration efforts between different departments. Making documents available in cloud storage can give access to anyone within the company.

"I don't have to continuously purchase hardware and software to keep up with capacity requirements," David Linthicum, senior vice president of Cloud Technology Partners, told The Guardian. "Cloud computing provides you with the ability to expand or contract the number of resources you're leveraging. Thus, the spend on technology - which used to be a major capital expense for even small businesses - now becomes an operational expense. The biggest benefit of cloud computing is agility, the ability to change, to adapt to the emerging needs of the business."

Cloud usage ticks upward
Cloud usage continues to grow among businesses. A recent International Data Group study found that more than half of IT spending will be dedicated to cloud computing, according to ITWeb. On a global scale, spending on cloud storage, colocation hosting and other cloud services is expected to reach about $100 billion by 2016.

A growing number of firms are adopting hybrid cloud models that combine aspects of public and private clouds. Once seen as a bridge between private and public cloud servers, hybrid clouds now combine attributes of both. They can be managed both internally by the business and externally by the cloud hosting service. Hybrid cloud management tools are expected to become a $3.6 billion global business by 2016.

Hybrid cloud systems can offer seamless operations between multiple platforms such as cloud programming interfaces and virtual machine managers, Martin May, regional director at Enterasys Networks, wrote in ITWeb. Hybrid clouds also give companies the flexibility to store data in private clouds while taking advantage of public cloud hosting resources for other purposes.

"The development of these systems is a clear indication of the growing maturity of cloud technology," May wrote. " Against this backdrop, the viability of hybrid cloud technology is sure to drive massive interest from public and private companies, as well as service providers and software vendors. Some industry watchers expect hybrid cloud technology to increase in uptake by around 30% per annum until 2017."

Brain Brafton loves and lives technology. A big data geek and an information retrieval junkie he consumes, analyses, interprets and process data like he was a machine. On a continual learning iteration his believe life is a journey not a destination. To keep in contact with Brain find him on Google+ or on Twitter

Published at DZone with permission of Paul Andrews, author and DZone MVB.

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