Cloud computing can offer a number of advantages, but in order to truly appreciate them, a company will often need to make several changes to its infrastructure and workflow. According to Midsize Insider, a recent study found that 58 percent of IT decision-makers have had to expand their network infrastructure in order to properly implement cloud solutions, and 35 percent said this proved to be difficult due to their networks being "too rigid."
Hindrance or part of the process?
One might assume that updating networks and IT infrastructure would hinder cloud adoption, but it doesn't seem to be slowing businesses down. According to a study by Gartner, the global cloud services market is expected to exceed $109 billion in 2012, growing 19.6 percent compared to 2011. This anticipated growth belays the idea that adoption might slow down due to these necessary infrastructure changes.
Another report from IDC emphasized cloud IT growth, predicting an annual growth rate of 26.4 percent from 2012 to 2016 in the public IT cloud sector.
Regardless of the changes made, businesses will need the right tools to integrate cloud services with their IT infrastructure in order to achieve their adoption goals. With data storage and computing as primary uses for the cloud, this may mean implementing strong desktop virtualization solutions. With virtual desktop strategies, many businesses will be able to utilize the consolidating computing power that these solutions provide and reduce hardware and software costs across the company. These strategies further operational benefits of the cloud and supplant certain computing needs, allowing a business to migrate from costly hardware-based computing to virtual systems and remote storage quickly and efficiently. Rather than slowly updating systems, this provides a company with the means to overhaul its IT infrastructure practically overnight.
Cloud computing is a means to an end, however, not a strategy in and of itself. Rather than looking to it for the answers to reduce costs and improve business efficiency, companies should use the cloud and its related tools to address concerns that a business might have about modernizing its technology. Not all systems can be replaced easily with a cloud-based solution, and not all should be. A business needs to address its infrastructure in parts, applying updates as necessary by evolving its systems naturally. This means moving to the cloud only where the benefits clearly outweigh the initial cost of migration.
For some businesses, this method of cloud adoption will be swift, and it may take time for others. This allows the company to evolve to higher-quality systems at a pace that promotes productivity and effective computing, rather than forcing new technology too quickly.
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