For several years now, cloud technology has been at the very heart of business growth. It’s driven expansion, made workforces more agile, facilitated worldwide collaboration, and, crucially, helped organizations dramatically reduce their operating costs.It’s because of these advantages that every single business, regardless of industry, will have had digital transformation on their agenda for a decade or more.
The events of 2020 have brought the importance of digital transformation into stark relief for many businesses. Some organizations may have already reached a high level of digital maturity, allowing them to weather these turbulent times better than most. For others, the unfolding crisis has kickstarted their digital strategies, compelling them to press forward with transformation faster than they had perhaps anticipated. Either way, the one common thread underpinning everything is the dramatic uptake of networking and cloud hosting solutions.
According to a Markets and Markets report, the COVID-19 pandemic is set to push the cloud market size from USD $233 billion to USD $295 billion in the space of a single year.That’s a CAGR of 12.5%, and it’s largely driven by the need to support remote working initiatives. As organizations move forward, through 2020 and beyond, business leaders will need to re-evaluate and speed up their digital transformation strategies. Specifically, they will need to figure out the best ways of leveraging IT to guarantee profitability in a rapidly shifting landscape.
When organizations think about cloud hosting, they think of convenience. For smaller businesses, cloud hosting can be an excellent way to access applications and resources that they otherwise may not be able to afford. A more established organization might see cloud hosting as a way of connecting multinational teams, storing universally accessible data, and providing a consistent suite of applications and tools for its workforce. It’s scalable, flexible, and affordable.
However, there are nuances to cloud hosting that are easy to overlook. When it comes to the core running of their business, organizations should be considering three fundamental questions.
- First, is the application you’ve chosen or designed still the right tool for the job?
- Second, is the app performing universally well across the board, without noticeable latency or heavy loading times?
- Third, what is the underlying technology you’ve chosen to support your teams, and can it scale with your business?
There aren’t many organizations out there that could honestly answer these three questions and not find room for improvement. A cloud hosting provider should offer a flexible, scalable solution for your business without even needing to consider the risk of downtime or disruption.
As well as focusing outward on cloud hosting solutions, businesses will also need to turn their attention inward and consider their interconnectivity. Far from the days of clunky local area networks, that interconnectivity now tends to be worldwide and leans heavily on the internet. A couple of decades ago, just getting a stable connection would have been seen as a win in the eyes of many business owners. Now, however, connectivity is ubiquitous, and it’s the bare minimum that businesses should expect.
Businesses should always be looking for ways to make their connectivity more efficient. Nobody wants to log-on to a SaaS application to get some important work done only to battle with slow loading times and lagging performance. It’s the kind of thing that can frustrate workers and kill productivity. Sometimes it’s down to legacy applications not integrating well in a contemporary infrastructure, but it’s frequently down to the quality of the connection itself and how a business utilizes global networks to its advantage.
Accelerating cloud performance
The internet itself is a giant network made up of more than 760,000 smaller networks. Some of those smaller networks are busier than others, leaving many “pathways” vulnerable to congestion and, therefore, performance degradation. Many businesses are grappling with these issues without even realizing it. By tapping into solutions such as Cloud Acceleration, organizations can optimize their global traffic by selecting optimal routes through these networks, almost completely negating any risk of service degradation.
SD-WAN architecture is also likely to grow in popularity as organizations seek to connect workers from around the world to centralized, secure systems. Unlike traditional router-centric WAN architecture, SD-WAN is specifically designed to support cloud-hosted applications and services without compromising on performance.
It’s down C-suite decision-makers to determine the level of investment needed to get the most out of their technology, and the above considerations are going to become increasingly crucial as the cloud becomes an intrinsic part of the “new normal.”
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