As cloud strategies continue to provide cost-effective solutions for business infrastructure performance many organisations in the finance sector are turning to public and private/hybrid cloud-based deployment.
Establishing a solid infrastructure in the cloud enables financial firms and investment companies to raise more capital and economically scale the business as it grows.
The advantages of cloud computing are that they allow businesses in the financial sector to spend less and do more. Your business can gain three key advantages by migrating to the cloud, but to effectively leverage the benefits, you need to understand the difference between public and private cloud solutions.
Basically, public cloud solutions usually mean SaaS – “Software as a Service”, which tend to be priced on a per user per month basis for those using the software application. The software vendor maintains their cloud infrastructure and is responsible for ensuring that the application is available for use 24/7.
Private and hybrid cloud solutions can be IaaS – “Infrastructure as a Service”, where you rent datacentre resources from a vendor to host your own cloud servers. There are a wider range of options available, , and you are then dependant on the vendor providing those resources, and there is less room for both flexibility and growth..
“Hybrid cloud”usually is a combination of onsite servers and private cloud servers, however there is no reason why you can’t mix private cloud servers with public cloud services. In fact many companies already use public cloud services, email scanning and spam filtering. This drastically reduces any bandwidth usage and risks involved because emails are filtered outside the company network.
For businesses in the financial sector there are several key advantages of cloud computing, such as:
1. Greater Agility
Whether you create a complete private cloud infrastructure, or you develop hybrid cloud solutions designed for cost-efficiency, the ability to customise and regulate your infrastructure to your specific needs is a key advantage. The cost of expanding your cloud infrastructure is more predictable.
As your business grows and requires more capacity, rather than having to build new server rooms or endure the headaches and costs involved in moving your office (and your delicate servers), you simply scale your resources according to your need. This allows for greater utilisation of your hardware, whether you own it, or you consume it through a service provider.
Moreover, cloud services are often billed on a monthly basis—like mobile phone service—your agreement is based on your usage. This type of flexibility allows you to pay only for the users and resources you need. Businesses in the finance sector who deal with seasonal surges can increase or decrease services accordingly, saving money whilst improving performance.
2. Lower Operating Costs
A private cloud data centre provides your business with an “enterprise-level” server room with fully redundant power, climate control, and connectivity, at a fraction of the cost. Hybrid cloud solutions move pre-selected servers to the cloud, whilst others remain on-premises. This really offers the best of both worlds for SMBs, creating affordable, two site Disaster recovery solutions and allowing you to leverage some of your existing hardware.
In addition, a qualified cloud service provider can offer you a combination of public and private cloud solutions that will lower your costs. Look for a provider who offers strong, strategic vendor partnerships. This means that the provider has a high level of expertise and training with that particular product.
For example, if you choose to move services like email to a public cloud, such as with Microsoft Office’s 365, your business benefits from 99.99 percent uptime reliability without having to invest in the hardware infrastructure. And, natural disasters won’t interrupt your ability to gain remote access to those cloud services if you can’t get to your office.
3. Evolving Solutions
The never-ending cycle of upgrades and replacement required to maintain your IT systems places a huge strain on your business capital. About every three to four years, purchasing new hardware and software is not only time-consuming, it’s expensive.
With cloud solutions, your business can eliminate that necessity.
Migrating to public cloud services means never having to buy new hardware or software, and that your staff always has access to the latest, most cutting-edge version. Your service provider is responsible for the maintenance, so your staff can concentrate on doing their job, without IT distractions. You get reliable, fast access, and you don’t have to worry if your software needs upgraded or if it’s still supported by the manufacturer.
With private/hybrid cloud deployment, your business can rent virtual resources rather than endure the costs of maintaining a physical infrastructure. You can specify a pool of resources you need for your cloud servers. And of course, you can scale these specifics according to your monthly requirements.
Cloud computing offers superior solutions for SMBs in the finance sector. By migrating your servers to the cloud, you introduce cost-effective IT strategies that enable your company to do more, whilst spending less. Plus, you gain the advantage of superior IT support services, which makes the transition easy and eliminates downtime.