Cloud computing has fundamentally transformed the way organizations manage their IT infrastructure and deliver services to customers. Where companies and government agencies were once forced to painstakingly manage their own equipment and infrastructure, today they have a variety of cost-effective options, ranging from server colocation and hybrid public/private environments to purely virtualized hosting.
Cloud-based solutions have made disaster recovery planning and big data analytics more accessible to companies across a broad range of industries, sparking unprecedented innovation and growth. Here is a look at the way a few industries have taken to the clouds:
Cloud Adoption by Industry
Cloud adoption has moved at different paces throughout the federal, state, and local layers of government. Security, redundancy, and data storage remain key considerations when government agencies make the decision to transition from physical equipment to a cloud environment. At the federal level, agencies evaluated vendors according to their own methodology until the process was standardized by the Federal Risk and Authorization Program (FedRAMP) in 2012. State governments have pushed in a variety of directions based on their specific needs, but they often must comply with strict federal guidelines as well. A good example of this is compliance with the FBI’s Criminal Justice Information Services Division (CJIS) rules pertaining to data security. Any law enforcement agency, circuit court, or state attorney office looking to migrate its IT infrastructure to the cloud must ensure that their chosen vendor is CJIS compliant.
To make these transitions easier, agencies can find a cloud vendor (that has already been vetted) through their state’s designated CJIS Systems Agency (in Florida that’s FDLE), which handles most of the leg work. This provides agencies with a preferred cloud partner to help their office chart a safe journey to the cloud.
2. Financial Services
Banks and other financial services companies had little motivation to migrate to the cloud in the technology’s early days. Part of that was due to the substantial legacy infrastructure these organizations had in place, but the industry also faced significant regulatory requirements when it came to issues like IT security, data privacy, and system uptime. In recent years, however, cloud services have become much more robust, making them a more attractive and cost-effective solution for even well-established banks. As hybrid cloud deployments that combine the security and control of a private cloud with the scalable power of public cloud services become more common, many financial services companies will certainly choose to migrate to the cloud rather than maintain their expensive and inefficient on-premises data solutions. By deploying new cloud-based applications, the industry is making it easier than ever for customers to manage their finances.
Both traditional “brick & mortar” stores and online retail companies have increasingly transitioned to cloud-based networks and infrastructure. While the industry as a whole was relatively slow to make the move, the need to provide a superior customer experience and gather actionable data has made cloud-based systems a necessity. Cloud computing has enabled companies to develop and deploy customer-facing applications quickly, and continuously improve them to keep pace with user demands. More importantly, interconnected cloud point of sale (POS) systems have made it possible to centralize and control all aspects of retail strategy and operations. Information can flow easily across multiple channels, allowing companies to make better business decisions about how they market their products and services.
4. Software Development
It should come as little surprise that the industry most responsible for developing cloud-based technology in the first place has been one of its strongest advocates. As cloud computing made it possible to deliver software, development, and infrastructure tools to customers as a subscription service instead of a packaged product, a host of smaller and startup companies suddenly had access to resources once available to only the largest enterprises. After doing away with the need to host and manage their own software and development tools, many organizations took the next logical step of moving on from their physical servers as well. By shifting the capital expenditures (CapEx) once associated with purchasing and managing equipment into an operating expense (OpEx) through colocation or virtual private cloud hosting, software developers have greatly increased their flexibility and efficiency.
Cloud computing has greatly expanded the tools available to educational institutions, both in terms of how those institutions meet their technology needs and how they deliver services to students. Thanks to cloud-based streaming services, it’s easier than ever to reach students who have long had difficulty accessing education due to challenges imposed by distance, limited space, or disabilities. For educators, cloud tools offer a variety of teaching and classroom management aids, from interactive learning software to machine learning applications capable of grading assignments and delivering feedback. Considering the budgetary constraints facing many educational institutions, cloud computing’s ability to deliver substantial savings on IT infrastructure without compromising scalability has proven to be quite a boon.
When it comes to migrating data and applications to the cloud, DSM’s experience building hybrid public/private environments and managing CJIS-compliant cloud deployments makes it the ideal partner for organizations in the State of Florida. To learn more about how we can help your business or government office create a customized path to the cloud, contact one of our experts today.