Business today is moving faster and heading in more directions than ever in human history. We’ve never been more connected, more empowered, more informed, or more challenged to take risks. Fueling much of this march forward is our reliance on stored information and statistics — the stuff we call data. The Information Age has rapidly yielded ground to the Technology Age, which, at its core, merely allows us to share, store and manipulate everything we learned throughout the Information Age. Yet data reigns supreme: We amass it, ponder it, dissect it, analyze it, and employ it with great fervor in an effort to make tomorrow more prosperous than yesterday. That’s just human nature.
It’s also human nature to relish the information we gather. Why? It’s important to the bottom line; few decisions can be made without consulting the data we gather by the nanosecond. Data is both a benchmark and a signpost. It tells us where we are, and where we’re going. Business today can’t function without it.
As fast as the business climate changes, however, data is a constant; it isn’t going anywhere. It’s here to stay, and that’s by design. Yet what is changing is the way we handle data. The most valuable information in the world is worthless unless we know how to store it access it, share it and protect it. Up until recently, on-site servers have done a pretty decent job; they’re mostly reliable, fairly responsive, basically easy to operate, and not terribly expensive. We sat back and felt relatively secure knowing that customers’ data was available and pretty well protected.
What a difference a few years make! Sure, on-site servers were the workhorse of data management for decades, and customers and partners alike grew accustom to their advantages, and their shortcomings. But just when we thought IT management had reached a crescendo… Eureka! The cloud was born!! What’s so unique about the cloud? Why is it the future of IT management? Why are customers clamoring for the cloud and bidding farewell to their own servers?
We’re glad you asked! As a partner eager to satisfy your customers’ data requirements, here’s something to think about: Remember video stores — those behemoth box stores with thousands of VCR tapes lining the walls, everything from Westerns and documentaries to foreign films and Hollywood blockbusters? Been to one lately? Of course not. Why? They’re gone. Today you can have your favorite film streamed into your home thanks to Amazon, Netflix and a host of other providers. (This helps on snowy nights and rainy days, and just about every other time of year.)
Here’s the point: A smarter technology has taken the place of video stores to make receiving entertainment easier, cheaper, more efficient, and more enjoyable. Not only that, but the sharp minds who are virtually storing and delivering entertainment are also creating their own brand of entertainment. Moving and managing IT to the cloud is a perfect parallel; now data is housed offsite where it is accessible, secure, stored with applications and software, and ready to access when and where you need it. Feel like seeing an old Bogart film? Log on and watch. Need last year’s sales data from the Midwest marketing team? Log on and review it. Voilà.
The cloud has numerous attributes and plusses over old-school on-site servers. Among them are:
We’ll address each of these in an upcoming blog. Watch for them!
Your customers know the cloud is the future of data, but what’s in it for you? Do a $110 billion market, 85 percent growth in 2016 (for IaaS and PaaS), and recurring revenue pique your interest? Stressing the importance and advantages of cloud computing also make you the hero: Customers will thank you for unleashing the power of the cloud for them while unlocking the door to forward-thinking technology that increases efficiencies and lowers their cost of doing business. Once again, the cloud is a win-win.