Frequently asked questions

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Frequently asked questions about the cloud

When it comes to developing a cloud business case, be sure to include familiar categories of costs like infrastructure, licensing and real estate as well as categories you might not think about such as operating model optimisation, speed to market, innovation. For example, an insurance company is using cloud to leverage innovations such as sensors, drones and image analytics to quickly gather and process information relating to storm damage. As a result, the company is able to address claims faster than competitors, while achieving superior customer satisfaction and gaining new business.

Gartner defines cloud computing as “a style of computing in which massively scalable IT-related capabilities are provided ‘as a service’ using Internet technologies to multiple external customers.” Beyond the Gartner definition, clouds are marked by self-service interfaces that let customers acquire resources at any time and get rid of them the instant they are no longer needed

The cloud is not really a technology by itself. Rather, it is an approach to building IT services that harnesses the rapidly increasing horsepower of servers as well as virtualization technologies that combine many servers into large computing pools and divide single servers into multiple virtual machines that can be spun up and powered down at will.

Software-as-a-service is the most commonly used cloud service. With Saas, companies pay for finished applications on a subscription basis. Almost any software you can think of is available as a service or will likely be soon.

Infrastructure-as-a-service allows customers to obtain resources without actually purchasing hardware. This approach ahs the potential to eliminate capital expenses. The marketplace for the IaaS has matured rapidly, and savvy providers can handle almost any need a business has.

Platform-as-a-service can be used by organisations that want to develop new software applications without needing to acquire and install the hardware and operating system. It also provides access to different, new and innovative services such as facial recognition, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

We see few companies today that don’t have some kind of cloud initiative underway, so there’s a good chance your business has already begun moving. Cloud represents a fundamental shift in how technology solutions are developed and delivered. It’s increasingly becoming the new standard.

Many companies today are working on cloud pilots, some are pressing ahead with full migration, and countless others are somewhere in between.

Cloud benefits are real, but that doesn’t mean cloud is easy. Companies that make the move now can get a jump on competitors in terms of innovation, agility, and cost.

That really depends on where you are in your cloud journey – if you’re just getting started you might want to consider moving part of your operation to Office365 or Microsoft365 to get everyone connected with the same business applications. If your business is further down the journey towards cloud adoption you may be looking at deeper analytics, more automation, dashboard creation. Ask yourself:

What products and services much continuously change to meet customer demand?

What information is critical to decision-making but often isn’t available in a timely manner?

What products or parts of our portfolio have high operating costs, but also have usage patterns that vary by day, week or month?

These kind of questions can point you to business areas where performance may be suffering from outdated technology and processes. When you think about investing in a cloud pilot, choose an area where agility and efficiency really matter – it is often in Finance?

Microsoft Cloud Solution providers sell Microsoft Cloud Services along with their own offerings and services. Customers get all the IT services they need from one single cloud provider on a single monthly invoice. This allows customers and providers to build long term trusting relationships and deliver ongoing business enhancements and consulting which starts with enablement, improved productivity and modern working to uncovering insights through analytics and data warehousing solutions.

TiG is ranked within the top 20 CSPs in the UK

One benefit that cloud computing has over traditional IT is that it allows you to store all the important information on the cloud. This makes sure that unexpected disasters or system outages don’t interfere with your day to day business. With cloud computing, you can simply store and run all the necessary information on the cloud and move them back as soon as the problem is being resolved. With cloud computing, business continuity never ceases despite unexpected challenges and difficulties.

Practice is everything. In today’s world of cyber uncertainty 100% protection against a cyber-attack is not possible, even with the strongest of security measures in place. Therefore, creating an effective risk management and response plan is a key mitigation activity.

Companies and enterprises should prepare and practice table-top exercises with key executives and work with crisis communications professionals. Messaging the cyber-attack to customers and stakeholders must be included in an active response plan, both in protecting assets and restoring operational functionality. Understanding the key decisions and having pre-emptive conversations on how to disclose the attack and seek to regain trust from customers is a fundamental step in developing an effective response plan. Additionally, planning and preparation will be helpful in building the team regardless of whether it’s a cyber-event, a natural disaster or a product recall.

As the cloud becomes increasingly essential to operations, more businesses are adopting good cybersecurity practices as the norm.

In addition, the cloud is inherently more secure. There’s no reason to suggest that operating private infrastructure – where you are responsible for monitoring and patching – is any more secure than the public cloud and the resources at providers’ disposal. However, public cloud installations have the fewest cybersecurity incidents of any cloud type.

This is because public cloud vendors like Microsoft Azure invest hundreds of millions of pounds in securing their infrastructure, the benefits of which are passed onto customers. Data centres and network architectures are designed to meet the requirements of even the most security-sensitive organisations.

When a company moves to the cloud, hardware costs can become operating expenses instead of capital expenses. Cloud software is typically—but not always—bought and paid for on a monthly or annual basis.

Infrastructure services, on the other hand, can be billed in real time based on usage.

Look at the phase-out of on-premises technology depreciation and the phase-in of cloud services expenditures at the same time

Be aware, the regulatory landscape may continue to change with new accounting rules for cloud investments.

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