While businesses in New Zealand know the term ‘cloud’, many still don’t fully understand how it can benefit their business and whether they can put their trust in it.
Cloud computing is not new, but the term has been embraced as a way to describe IT service offerings which are untethered from the need to own and maintain the infrastructure which supports them.
Cloud hosting is essentially the provision of outsourced IT infrastructure, security and services.
According to Frost & Sullivan's research, State of Cloud Computing New Zealand 2013, business adoption of cloud services in New Zealand is forecast to continue growing rapidly to $419M in 2014.
Fifty-nine percent of organisations currently outsource their data centre hosting, largely due to cost and security factors, and 78% expect their data centre requirements to increase over the next 12-18 months.
Frost & Sullivan country manager, Andre Clark says security is the most important criteria when selecting a cloud vendor.
Cloud computing is using the internet to access hardware and software services instead of keeping physical hardware and software at your office. It makes sense to have the same provider for both internet and cloud, meaning a savvy business can leverage the potential of mobility using the cloud.
However, this means ensuring reliability and security of an internet provider is as important as the security and reliability of a cloud service.
The potential for cost savings is a huge factor in the equation. By moving back-end servers to the cloud, business can reduce infrastructure costs and avoid unforecasted replacement costs.
Cloud services can also be used as a second site for availability or disaster recovery. There are some more tangible benefits business owners should consider. For example all types of data merger can happen much more quickly.
In addition, using a third party to manage IT systems with managed cloud services frees up technology executives to work on strategic direction for the company.
What is clear based on business size and requirements, is that the one size fits all approach is not feasible. Recently Vodafone Group conducted research that indicated most business customers still believe they will have a mix of in house IT infrastructure and private and public cloud services in five to ten years time.
Vodafone head of enterprise marketing, Julia Jack says with fully managed services, purpose-built data centres and global expertise, Vodafone feels it is well positioned to offer customers a complete solution, with a service provider level of security that is constantly evolving.
By Julia Jack, head of enterprise and product marketing, Vodafone
This article was originally published in the April issue of IT Brief magazine - click here to subscribe