Why Smart Businesses Are Turning to the Private Cloud
Most of us are most familiar with the public cloud, and that’s because we all use it on a daily basis, both professionally and at home. Gmail is a public cloud service, for example. Dropbox is another popular example. Netflix is an entertainment public cloud service, and YouTube is a video sharing public cloud service that we like to go to for everything from cat videos to serious documentaries that would never be aired on television.
The list goes on and on. In addition to the personal benefits of cloud services, the benefits that this technology can have for businesses are many and compelling. For example, the cloud’s ability to have staff work remotely from anywhere in the world means that with just a laptop, a staff member can do everything they need to while on the road, unburdening them of their desk in the office to be out meeting clients or at home, maximising their productivity. Cloud services also reduce the massive upfront cost of rolling out and maintaining servers and storage; for just a couple of dollars per user per month, a business of any size can access technology innovation that would have previously cost tens of thousands of dollars upfront to achieve.
For all these benefits, there are businesses for which a public cloud cannot work. The public cloud has a perception of being insecure, and whether that is true or not, the perception is enough that regulation prevents organisations that have to maintain sensitive data from using the public cloud for a host of purposes.
In other instances the problem is with uptime. Businesses running critical applications on the public cloud (such as their ERP ordering system, or their CRM systems) run a risk of downtime which can quickly cost thousands of dollars an hour. No cloud provider can guarantee 100 per cent availability, and this inhibits many organisations from being able to adopt the public cloud for applications that may well be the ones that would benefit from being placed into the cloud the most.
For this reason, many organisations turn to the private cloud.
What is a private cloud?
A private cloud enables resource sharing amongst a large number of users, but it is not available to the general public. It is a carefully walled off service from a provider that one customer is given exclusive access to, which makes it that much more difficult for hackers to get access to. This resolves the primary concern that many have with public cloud services. At the same time, it provides all the benefits of a public cloud, with an additional benefit that it is often far more customisable. It’s almost impossible to have Google provide unique services or features on Gmail for yourself or your business, for example, your private cloud partner or provider will typically be willing and able to customise your service to suit your organisation’s needs.
What are the benefits of a private cloud?
In addition to the security benefits mentioned above, the benefits of private clouds are similar to the benefits of the public cloud. With a private cloud, you will still be freeing up your businesses IT teams so that they no longer need to work on menial tasks such as allocating disk space or configuring software, as you would with conventional technology infrastructure. Instead, the IT team can focus its energies on innovation and creative thinking, to find new competitive advantages for the business.
This standardisation and automation of menial tasks also creates significant cost savings for the business. In addition to freeing up the IT teams for more value-adding tasks to the business, private cloud infrastructure delivers services to end-users more quickly and efficiently, meaning that their own productivity is also enhanced.
Equally important is the reliability that can be built into private cloud services. Private cloud operators have a more consultative approach to doing business when compared to the kind of mass-market customer base that public clouds aim for. Therefore it’s possible to write into the service level agreement (or SLA) contract with a private cloud provider that there will be a certain uptime maintained. In understanding how important uptime is to their clients, good private cloud operators will always invest in redundancy for both power and Internet connectivity, to ensure that if either should fail, a backup will instantly kick in, so there’s no downtime at the customer’s end.
Finally, private clouds tend to be faster, as the connection between the provider’s datacentre and your own business is maintained by low latency and high speed Internet links that public cloud providers typically don’t bother with.
Want to discuss moving your business over to the cloud? Find out how we can assist your business, contact Connected Intelligence.