If you feel like you’ve got your head in the clouds these days, you’re not alone. In the last few years, 60 percent of businesses say they’ve set aside funds for additional storage space to help manage the immense amount of data being created every day within their markets. That includes public and private clouds, which generally offer agility and cost savings over onsite data centers.
What many have found, however, is that the cloud’s value extends far beyond just storage. Some 90 percent of the world’s data has been created in the past two years alone. The cloud offers the perfect place to process that information with automation, real-time synchs, and other back-up solutions that keep businesses running 24/7—a necessity in the digital age. The following are a few reasons cloud storage—including hybrid cloud and multi-cloud—are transforming the storage game for the better.
Every minute, humans create 200 million emails—not to mention countless videos, photos, files, and apps. With the rise of mobility, wearables, the Internet of Things (IoT), the amount of data we’re creating is rising exponentially. All that information needs to be sent, stored, or processed somewhere, even if just to determine its overall value. Clouds are the perfect solution because they allow businesses to scale their storage space up—or down—quickly, based on current demand. What’s more, open source infrastructure allows companies to use more complex solutions such as multi-cloud (multiple cloud providers) and hybrid cloud (a mix of public and private cloud solutions), which ideally work seamlessly together so companies can invest only in the levels of space, security, and protection needed for each individual data segment.
They’re as Fast as Your Company
A new on-site data center can take a year to build. In today’s digital marketplace, that means by the time it is built, it could already be outdated. Imagine if your company’s IoT-connected devices were churning out data right now, but you had nowhere to store it for an entire year. Millions of customer insights and preferences would be lost—not to mention actual customers. With cloud, you can deploy new space at a moment’s notice by using someone else’s infrastructure and hitting “go.” In an age when data is being created at record speeds and amounts, that is an immense competitive advantage.
Just as the digital world is evolving, so is the cloud world. Providers are beginning to differentiate themselves by offering a range of services related to security, compliance, privacy, migration, and other customized offerings. As they continue to grow, the concept of “different clouds for different crowds” will become even more popular. This allows companies to send even more of their data to the cloud, rather than their pricey in-house data centers. It also prevents employees from using “shadow IT” solutions, such as less secure file storage and transfer systems, because the enterprise cloud solution actually suits their needs.
They’re Helping Companies Work Smarter
Companies generally spend 70-80 percent of their IT budget on keeping their systems running. But the growth of the cloud has forced many companies to take a closer look at how much they’re spending on their data centers, and how to use their storage more efficiently. That includes not just space, but which data they are securing, and why. Those insights are helping companies run more efficiently, spending budget and space only on the data that warrants it.
They are Less Expensive (Generally)
Relocating data to the cloud can be expensive. But, reducing reliance on expensive and slow-to-build on-site data centers is a major cost cutter in the long term. Indeed, one study showed a retail/ecommerce company could save 37% over a three-year period compared to a self-managed, on-site data center. That’s because total cost of ownership (TCO) includes more than acquisition or relocation cost; it includes operational and indirect cost savings, such as maintenance costs—and the salary and benefits that go along with it.
It’s been said that in today’s market, your use of IT will either hold you back, or help you compete. It is no longer a question: Tech must be seen as a strategic part of a company’s overall growth strategy, and cloud storage solutions must be included in the discussion. I only hope moving forward, we’ll see companies thinking of storage—be it multi-cloud, hybrid cloud, or hybrid IT—as a holistic storage unit, rather than competing parts of the same tech puzzle.
This article was first published on Forbes.
Daniel Newman is the Principal Analyst of Futurum Research and the CEO of Broadsuite Media Group. Living his life at the intersection of people and technology, Daniel works with the world’s largest technology brands exploring Digital Transformation and how it is influencing the enterprise. From Big Data to IoT to Cloud Computing, Newman makes the connections between business, people and tech that are required for companies to benefit most from their technology projects, which leads to his ideas regularly being cited in CIO.Com, CIO Review and hundreds of other sites across the world. A 5x Best Selling Author including his most recent “Building Dragons: Digital Transformation in the Experience Economy,” Daniel is also a Forbes, Entrepreneur and Huffington Post Contributor. MBA and Graduate Adjunct Professor, Daniel Newman is a Chicago Native and his speaking takes him around the world each year as he shares his vision of the role technology will play in our future.