In the last few years, businesses have been placing more and more value on the agility of their organization – there are many benefits to this, namely that it makes a company able to adapt to incoming pressures and challenges. 18 months ago, the whole world received an unfortunate example of the dangers of not having an agile business model.
Since the onset of Covid-19, many businesses have been forced to act very quickly in order to adapt to the pressures of a pandemic. Remote working became a massive trend, and we saw widespread adoption of a range of technologies intended to help business continue operating as normal during the restrictions that many governments placed in order to stem the spread of Covid. TechQuarters, a London IT support company, decided early on that the easiest solution for them was to go completely remote, have all of their employees work from home, and get rid of their offices entirely. They were able to do this because of their Cloud infrastructure providing the agility for them to adapt quickly to the new circumstances.
What is the Cloud?
The Cloud is a blanket term for any network of servers or datacenters that work together to form logical pools over a network – these logical pools are what we call Clouds, and they are capable of storing, and even processing data through the use of virtualized resources provided by its servers.
A business can build their own Cloud by assembling their own server infrastructure, installing the appropriate software to virtualize the server resources, and create their own Private Cloud. On the other hand, there are plenty of Cloud service providers, such as Microsoft, Google, Citrix, and more, that offer what is known as a Public Cloud. This model involves businesses paying the provider to have access to their Cloud, and the customer builds their own Cloud environment for whatever purpose they need. The Cloud is excellent at fostering business agility in a company.
What is Business Agility?
Business agility is the ability for a business to quickly adapt to sudden changes, or pressures from the market. For example, if there is a significant or disruptive change in the market, an agile business will be able come up with solutions that allow them to use the change to their advantage. Alternatively, if there are significant pressures being placed on businesses for some reason – for example, like with the onset of Covid-19 – an agile business will be able to adapt so that they can maintain business continuity in spite of the pressures that might otherwise cripple them. Business agility can be encouraged through technology; for instance, TechQuarters’ managed IT support London services are aimed at ensuring customer’s IT is modernized, and their IT budget remains fixed and predictable – both of these factors help streamline a business’ operations.
Below are some of the different ways in which the Cloud can facilitate business agility:
Reduced Hardware Costs
Cloud does a number of things to your IT infrastructure. To begin with, it eliminates a business’ reliance on physical hardware – all servers, storage arrays, and anything else that makes up the physical hardware infrastructure. This then means that businesses no longer need to spend money on upgrading their IT infrastructure, as that is the responsibility of the Cloud service provider. What is more, the ongoing costs of Cloud environments are generally lower than physical hardware. By migrating your infrastructure to the Cloud, you are lowering the bottom line by minimizing hardware costs.
Resource & Data Mobility
The Cloud means you can access your data easily, at any time, and from any location. The same can be said about resources such as archives and other storage, servers, virtual machines, and anything else that you have virtualized and hosted in the Cloud. Mobility in a business refers to the ability to access something in a number of different ways, and have the experience be identical. So, in the context of data mobility, it means that whether a user is accessing data from their home, or at the office, or while travelling, it will always be the same – this is the benefit of Cloud hosting; it means that you have a consistent experience across all endpoints, meaning users are empowered to work however they want or need.
A powerful solution that is enabled by cloud computing is business automation. This is the process of streamlining business processes by having them be performed by a software or machine, rather than by humans – this tends to make the execution of tasks and processes much quicker and more efficient. Automation can be applied to many areas of a business, such as marketing, sales, internal operations, and also IT support. Using automation can free up time that staff can dedicate to higher value work, thus making the business more efficient and productive – which is essential for maximizing business agility.
Security encompasses a constant effort to assess and reassess a business’ cybersecurity strategy, and ensure that it is enough to protect the organization from the latest cyberattacks – because, unfortunately, those attacks are getting better and more frequent all the time. Cloud security has a significant benefit over traditional network, app, and hardware security, in that it is all unified into a single platform. For instance, some Cloud security platforms include Firewalls, Mobile Device Management, Security Event and Incident Management (SEIM), and much more – and it also includes a centralized console that allows the user to see a bird’s eye view of the organization’s security.