It doesn’t take much to convince business owners to move operations from on-premises to the public cloud. Ask any IT specialist about the public cloud and they’d be quick to rattle off a list of its benefits: agility, convenience, and pay-as-you-go budget flexibility, to name a few.
It’s the most popular cloud computing model and there’s a good reason for this.
Why is the Public Cloud so Popular?
The public cloud is a cloud computing model in which IT services, including email, storage, or infrastructure, are provided over the internet. These services are offered by cloud service providers such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, IBM Cloud, and Google Cloud Platform.
Industries such as professional services, manufacturing, telecommunications, and retail are known to be among the top users of the public cloud. But over the years, it has become popular among many types of industries as well. The International Data Corporation reported that public cloud spending between 2019 and 2023 will increase from $229 billion to nearly $500 billion.
For many small businesses, the public cloud has many benefits that make it their top choice.
How a Public Cloud Helps Businesses
The public cloud infrastructure is fully managed by cloud service providers; they handle the maintenance of the hardware, software, and networks. It requires minimal expertise from businesses’ IT staff, saving you and your IT team time.
Public cloud services are also known to give businesses huge cost savings. That’s mainly because you only pay for the cloud infrastructure that you actually use, and increase and decrease computing capacity according to demand. Furthermore, a public cloud environment turns your infrastructure spend from a capital expense (CapEx) to an operating expense (OpEx). That’s a major advantage for growing businesses looking to save on capital investments, which is especially crucial during a tight economy.
Cloud services companies also have technical engineers who’ll protect the cloud infrastructures that host your and other businesses’ data. This reduces the chances of breaches caused by staff error.
These advantages are great for businesses with limited cash and manpower resources. However, there are certain caveats that business owners should be aware of.
Public Cloud Computing Caveats
The public cloud may be suitable for companies with predictable computing needs, but those that use resource-intensive applications are better off running them on on-premises servers to avoid issues. So decide if the benefits of not having to maintain your own cloud infrastructure outweigh performance stability that comes with having dedicated servers.
Note that even a big, reputable public cloud provider like AWS can suffer from an outage that results in major service disruptions among businesses that use their services.
And while the pay-as-you-go payment scheme seems convenient, it could be difficult for your accounting department to determine costs month by month. This is especially true if your usage fluctuates between billing periods. The costs of your public cloud usage could also balloon if your business’s changing needs are left unmonitored.
There are also security concerns regarding public clouds. Think of public cloud infrastructure as a gated community where your neighbors (i.e., other businesses whose data are in the same public cloud infrastructure as yours) can possibly put your home at risk. The likelihood of a successful attack on the community (i.e., the main servers) is slim, but it can still happen.
How to Determine the Most Ideal Cloud Solution for Your Business
Given what you know about the public cloud, it’s worth considering other cloud computing models that may better align with your processes and needs.
A private cloud offers a highly secure, dedicated environment that is customizable based on your special workload, security, and compliance requirements. As for costs, a private cloud requires fewer infrastructure on-premises and also does not require your staff to handle upgrades and other issues.
You can also consider a hybrid cloud model, which combines the capabilities of public and private clouds.
Ultimately, the public cloud can certainly benefit your business, but you must consider key factors before implementing it for your business. You need experts like Charles IT to determine the ideal cloud solution for you based on your computing workloads, the quality of your internet connection, your budget, and many other factors.
Your small- or medium-sized business has plenty to gain from outsourcing cloud IT support. Download our free eBook, Managed Cloud Savings: Cost Savings That Business Owner Often Overlook to learn what those benefits are.
Reach out to Charles IT’s cloud experts about the hybrid cloud and other cloud computing options that will best suit your organization. Drop us a line at 860-344-9628.