In an increasingly competitive and evolutionary business climate, enterprise level IT infrastructures are often stretched to capacity. The introduction of the cloud had a hugely positive impact on this pressure, allowing businesses to move forward in ways they never could before. Now, without the addition of cloud hosting, large companies with a multi-national presence and workflow silos that demand IT across the entire workplace would be under siege.
Business Life Pre-cloud
Multi-national businesses in an era of IT before the cloud required significant internal IT resource, in every country where they had a presence. In most cases each business unit would be free to choose their own method of infrastructure, be it the companies own, external Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) or Software as a Service (SaaS). While this was commonplace in many businesses and made sense in the context of local technical knowledge, advancement and availability, it posed many issues that today cannot be tolerated.
Lack of standardisation across a business causes a wide range of problems, from productivity and communication to security and data storage. With such variations in infrastructure, programmes and software, simple tasks such as document management and file sharing become complicated at a multi-region level.
With locations all over the world, development of new processes and applications are hindered too. Each separate server requires maintenance, adding up to a significant amount of man-hours per month, and new programmes developed or purchased need to support a wide variety of platforms, making testing and deployment inefficient.
The Private Cloud
There are three types of cloud technology, each with specific merit for business. They are public, private and hybrid cloud, and whilst each of them has their own benefits the private cloud is undoubtedly the most beneficial to multi-nationals.
Rather than using a server which is shared by others, private clouds are built exclusively for an individual business. They allow the company to host applications in the cloud, while addressing concerns regarding data security and control, which is often lacking in a public cloud environment.
Private clouds can be hosted on the businesses premises or externally hosted by a provider, creating a tailor made solution and dedicated IT infrastructure.
Business Life Post-cloud
By utilising the private cloud, multi-nationals are able to streamline their global business, giving them the ability to meet complicated resource requests competitively.
A standardised IT infrastructure across the whole of the business eliminates many of the problems encountered pre-cloud. Businesses have a central server that can feed the whole of their business, regardless of location, meaning all units can run the same version of programmes and software, making communication, file sharing and data management easier, quicker and more secure.
The strain on IT resource is also removed through the use of a private cloud as updates and maintenance tasks only require a single action, rather than individually per environment, per server, per machine. This allows IT resources to be spent more efficiently, in future-proofing and developing the organisations infrastructure rather than fighting fires caused simply by a lack of standardisation.
One of the biggest benefits of adopting the private cloud is the ability to scale the service to suit current business needs. All businesses experience peaks and troughs in demand, which means additional ‘just-in-case’ server space is required in order to ensure peaks in volume can be dealt with efficiently, yet during periods of low activity server space isn’t sat idle. Private cloud hosting allows for quick scaling of a server, when necessary, providing a cost-effective, fluid option whatever the volume of traffic on your server.
The private cloud is already impacting and transforming the way multi-nationals do business. According to a report by Computer Weekly around 75% believe the ability to scale capacity and match it to fluctuating demand is the main benefit of the cloud and over 70% also cite faster provisioning for employees. At a time when an IT environment dictates much of what a large enterprise can do, having a dedicated private cloud infrastructure helps create and maintain a dynamic business, fit for purpose and fluid in delivery to the bespoke needs of every stakeholder.