Is this not a weird question at the beginning of the twenty-first century? It’s like asking the question: Do I need to eat and drink to live! I’m exaggerating a little, but not that much. It is very likely that you are not using any cloud services, sometimes without even knowing it. Facebook? Cloud! Twitter? Cloud! Gmail? Cloud! And I could multiply the examples. You will tell me that these services are public services, not professional ones with which I exchange confidential information. We’ll get back to it. If you want all the reasons why you need the cloud, I invite you to read my book, Private, Hybrid, and Public Clouds. To open your appetite, here’s four that seem essential to me.
You only pay for what you use
If you ever needed to install a new server, you probably asked about its capacity, regarding memory, processor, hard disk, and so on. You also had to acquire software licenses and install hardware and software before you could test and then produce the necessary service (or services). I do not even mention backups, maintenance, patches, and performance degradation as time goes on.
All this is expensive, in time, money and resources. Imagine now just having to do a few clicks to get the same service: a few clicks and you have your server all installed, functional, redundant and fault-tolerant. All for a fraction of the price you had paid for your infrastructure. It is one of the promises of the cloud providers, and it is a revolution. Of course, you will need an Internet or private connection that is up to the consumption of the services you are going to make. We will have to think differently.
That was for production. Now imagine that you need to test a load increase of internet services. Not easy to know how an application will behave when it has one hundred, a thousand or one million simultaneous connections. With the cloud, it’s a children’s game. You can test this load, automatically provision the machines as the application needs them, and then decommission them when the load decreases.
I could multiply examples, but they would all go in the same direction: simplicity and power at the best cost.
You have access to your services and data wherever you are
If you’ve ever had to open your services to nomad users, you’ve probably had a few cold sweats. From demilitarized zone to proxy servers, VPN connection to intrusion detection systems, opening systems is not a part of the fun. A cloud system is by default designed to operate in remote mode. All these questions are therefore resolved de facto.
Need remote access? It’s planned. Need authentication mechanisms for your users? They are included. You need to operate in hybrid mode, with some local services and others in the cloud? It is usually by default. The ability to access cloud services from any hardware and any location is inherent to the architecture. So yes, we’re going to have to think about security differently. But it is not because of the cloud; it is because of the radical changes that have arisen over the last twenty years.
You have at your fingertips a heightened security
We all have in mind the hacking of Yahoo Systems, the Iranian centrifuges by Stuxnet, or the WannaCry virus. However, did you hear about of hacking of servers from Amazon, Microsoft or OVH? Probably not. Not because they wouldn’t say it if it happened there would be so many impacted companies, that these providers would lose a large part of their credibility and thus turnover. Cloud security, or at last of professional cloud services, is taken very seriously: physical, logical, multifactorial and in-depth security.
Need to set up a two-factor security system? It’s available! You want a single set of tools to protect your data and your local and cloud applications? No worries! You need to encrypt data, access, and communications? Ask for the menu! Need to establish a virtual private network that allows transparent and secure access to your applications? That is part of the essential security services.
Just as you only pay for what you use, you deploy the access security you need. The safety of cloud services is not an after-thought. It is an inherent function, such as elasticity or on-demand services.
You have access to services impossible to develop by yourself
Speaking of on-demand services: What if you wanted to do some data analysis using machine learning functions? Or set up systems for integrity analysis in real time? There are dozens of services that are costly to create yourself. Costly in money, but also in time and resources. Using data analysis, image, or multifactor authentication system is infinitely simpler, faster, and economical when it’s in the cloud.
Here are the four reasons that come most naturally in mind when asked why the cloud. As I have already written, in 2018, soon 2019, the question of why should no longer arise. The right questions are:
- What is your plan to get rid of your last server?
- What is the cloud service you are not yet using that you need to learn how to operate?
- Is your security up to date at all levels of access?
- What innovative services are you planning to launch to transform your business model?
The cloud is not a fatality; it is a tremendous opportunity. What do you do with it? Feel free to share your experience in the comment section below.