According to Robert Half Technology’s Benchmarking the Accounting and Finance Education report, 63% of US companies depend on Microsoft Excel and around 69% of companies whether big or small find accounting with Excel highly valuable. Excel is the go-to tool for millions of users when it comes to accounting, data analysis, and insights.
While the internet maintains prominence when it comes to information access, other options for accessing information across devices have also become more popular in recent years.
The Nutanix Enterprise Cloud Index shows how businesses have been utilizing the cloud in their work. While Google Drive is a popular cloud, there are many other options for enterprises. You can customize your cloud to fit your needs, ultimately helping run your business more efficiently.
This article highlights the Enterprise Cloud Index and what its findings may mean for your business.
Cloud Computing Terminology
When exploring the state of the cloud, it's important to understand the terminology of cloud computing, including:
- Private cloud: An internal or corporate cloud for a single enterprise
- Public cloud: A cloud that uses a third party to host and provide IT resources
- Hybrid cloud: A mix of private, public and on-premise cloud computing
- Interoperability: The ability for two or more systems to exchange and use information
- XaaS: “Everything-as-a-service,” such as sales, platforms, etc.
Whether you're new to cloud computing or want to improve how your company uses it, you can use these terms to choose the right system.
Important Factors to Enterprises
The Enterprise Cloud Index outlines a few factors that make businesses choose cloud computing. For starters, the technology keeps getting better. Enterprises should consider the type of cloud computing they need and what to prioritize. The hybrid cloud is an excellent option for some companies — many rank it as the “ideal” IT operating model — but it may not be right for everyone. Some businesses may prefer to have more of their infrastructure on premises.
Key findings from the Enterprise Cloud Index indicate that for more than half of respondents, “the state of intercloud security would have the biggest influence on their cloud deployment plans.” Cost, data security and compliance were also important factors.
Growth of the Hybrid Cloud
A major focus of the Enterprise Cloud Index is on the way cloud computing is growing, as more companies are investing in the technology. In the next few years, the various types of clouds will continue to grow, according to Gartner. Specifically, the hybrid cloud will likely see the most growth in a five-year timeframe, as it combines the benefits of a private server with the accessibility of a public cloud.
Flexibility and security are key in the growth of and preference for hybrid cloud.
While you can select the right type of cloud within the system for your various files and programs, a hybrid cloud is more flexible than other types of cloud computing.
You can store confidential company documents in the private cloud and keep some smaller files in the public cloud. And you have the ability to change where you store a folder or document, too. While a private network is important for many companies, being able to spread your documents over a few servers gives you more options.
The hybrid cloud's flexibility is one of its biggest strengths. It has helped the cloud system gain popularity in recent years, and will continue to fuel that growth.
One of the biggest reasons to switch to a private cloud is its security. When you use a private network or an on-premise cloud, you have control over who can access everything. But you may not need that high level of control over your company files or software.
Fortunately, a hybrid cloud can provide just as much security as a private cloud. You can determine what files to keep within the private part of your network and only allow certain users access to them.
Additionally, using a hybrid cloud rather than a fully private network is typically associated with cost savings, so more companies will likely look into switching to this model in the future.
The Enterprise Cloud Index shows that many companies will adopt a hybrid cloud within the next five years, with some of those businesses saying the system is their ideal IT model. Almost half of the companies surveyed believe the system will fit all of their needs. And since many companies offer cloud services, businesses can compare multiple options to determine which one is right for their company.
Benefits of the Hybrid Cloud
If you've never used the cloud or if you're looking to switch from a public or private cloud, you should consider the hybrid cloud's benefits. Some of the following benefits may apply to your enterprise more than others, but they may all apply at different times, so you should think about how each one might fit into your infrastructure.
One of the biggest reasons to use a hybrid cloud is to save money. A hybrid option is typically less expensive than an entirely private cloud. You can still get the same network and benefits as a private option, but the small public portion will keep costs low. However, the cloud is only cost-effective if you utilize it efficiently. If you set up a hybrid cloud but never maintain it, then you could end up spending unnecessary funds on the system.
As long as you know where to store different types of documents, you can make the most of your hybrid cloud. You can keep a few files in the more secure private network, and you can keep the rest in the public part.
Interoperability is an essential part of cloud computing execution. If you can't easily move items within your cloud, your work may slow down.
A hybrid cloud is interoperable, which means the various systems have access to each other. Your public and private networks within the cloud can exchange information as needed, so you can easily move files and software from public to private or vice versa. You can integrate the various parts of your hybrid cloud to increase productivity and efficiency.
Another important benefit of a hybrid cloud is that you can consolidate your cloud management. For example, if your team of cloud professionals is small, you can combine multiple systems into one, so your team spends less time on management. This makes it easier to make changes and updates to the system, and your employees won't have to navigate from one cloud to another, so they can ensure your hybrid cloud works properly.
Access to Multiple Apps
When you use a public or private cloud, you only have access to that one system. You have to decide which app to use, and it can be difficult to move to a different app later. But when you use a hybrid cloud, you can have access to both apps at once and can easily switch between the public and private parts of your enterprise cloud.
The Enterprise Cloud Index notes that you can choose the right cloud for every application or use case. You can choose the option with the most flexibility or the best security, depending on an app or file.
Challenges With Cloud Computing
In addition to the numerous benefits of cloud computing, the Enterprise Cloud Index also outlines a few reasons that cloud adoption has halted for some companies.
Shortage of Talent
The biggest barrier to cloud adoption is a shortage of talent. More than half of respondents said that “skills availability will have the biggest impact on the future of cloud computing in their organizations.” Some systems require IT specialists to implement and maintain them, and not all companies have those resources.
If your IT team is small, you may need to hire more resources to fully adopt cloud computing. Additionally (or alternatively), you can train your current IT employees on the cloud so that they can help implement it and introduce it to the rest of your company.
Even if you have a team of talented IT professionals, the learning curve may be steep, as some cloud technologies can be complicated. And as cloud computing grows, the technology may only get more complex. To work with these systems, enterprises need to train their IT department effectively on these technologies.
You may not be able to fully adopt a hybrid cloud over night or even over one week, but starting with one department or project at a time is a step in the right direction toward cloud adoption.
Understanding the Enterprise Cloud Index
The recent Enterprise Cloud Index showed that the cloud is going to become more popular. Specifically, a hybrid cloud will offer the security and flexibility companies need without breaking the bank. As your company moves to cloud technology, you can improve your productivity without making compromises by training your team to be successful with these growing technologies.
Do you or your employees need cloud computing training? Check out cloud training courses from ExitCertified.