‘Future-proofing’ has long been a low priority on the scale of mission critical objectives for an IT infrastructure. This has not changed in recent years as financial constraints have meant many organisations have had to significantly reduce IT budgets. However, with an increasing reliance on technology, fast-moving advancements and obsolescence of outdated services make future-proofing a very real issue for business scalability.
Ensuring your businesses infrastructure is future-proof should be a key consideration in your IT strategy. Loss of vital data, business-critical software or website downtime could be damaging and costly, so ensuring your cloud practices remain relevant or even ahead of the curve is essential.
Cloud computing is becoming the set-up of choice for companies worldwide. It’s a convenient, reliable and flexible option with a plethora of benefits. Not only is it appealing to multi-nationals with locations around the world, but at the other end of the scale it reduces some of the initial IT costs for start-ups. Of course, the sheer volume of businesses using the cloud means it’s already a big money industry, which ensures there will be constant advancement in order to capitalise on popularity. Keeping abreast of these advancements will be vital to business success.
What Does the Future Hold?
One of the major hurdles the cloud hosting industry has had to navigate is security. Deploying all data and applications to a third party is a scary notion. Cyber-criminality is constantly evolving with new ways to hack systems becoming prevalent, so security is the key area where quick advancements will be made to enforce resilient system design/architecture/management. While data encryption will remain a focus, the physical security of data centres is becoming most critical. Physical access to facilities may require biometric scans in addition to electronic passes in the near future.
Hybrid cloud computing is something many businesses are already excited about. By enhancing internal infrastructure and applications, it’s expected to help businesses become more efficient by optimising business process performance. Cloud hosts are also offering mobile access for better engagement and real-time insights. As trust in mobile devices and their security increases, more and more functionality will become available in this area.
This ‘real-time’ aspect of data analysis is also a key benefit of cloud computing, allowing companies to store more than ever before whilst rapidly gaining the access and answers they need across multiple silos of workflow. The evolution of business applications will change this even further, enabling companies to capture and run predictive analytics on huge quantities of data in real-time, cost-effectively and without fear of such processes affecting the rest of the business.
Low-power processors will make data centres much more affordable in future, allowing cloud service providers to acquire a number of them around the world in different time zones. This will have a significant impact on uptime, with some estimating they will be able to offer a 99.9% uptime guarantee – practically making worries of downtime a thing of the past.
Predictive technology and software will soon replace proactive monitoring. This will allow companies to foresee disaster and avert it, mitigating any damage to systems or the business overall. This is another feature that will significantly reduce the likelihood of downtime.
How to Ensure you are Up-to-date
All of these advancements will have a positive impact on business, provided we establish the right IT infrastructure. With third party hosting it is easy to get complacent and assume they are doing it all for you. However, if they are not and your competitors host is, it may just give them the edge.
Be sure to keep abreast of the latest advancements. There are hundreds of blogs and magazines online talking daily about the next best developments in cloud computing, set up Google Alerts or an RSS feed and put some time aside each week to make sure you’re up to speed.
It’s important to keep in regular contact with your cloud host too. They should do this as part of their customer care package, but if you feel you want to talk to them about something don’t be afraid to pick up the phone. Ask them what they’re doing to ensure their services are future-proof and if there are any services they offer that you’re not currently taking advantage of.
This article was written by Lyza Latham, a Product Marketing Executive for Peer 1 Hosting.