It is becoming increasingly clear that the majority of SMB IT decision-makers see the benefits of migrating to the cloud, with many also planning to expand IT services used and supported by the cloud in the coming years. Gartner predicts that in 2017 public cloud services spending will reach AUD$6.5 billion. In the delivery of IT services, there is no question that the uptake of cloud by SMBs has played a major role in transforming the IT department.
More and more organisations are adopting cloud services for its flexible pricing structure and scalability. Cloud can support a wide variety of fundamental applications and business systems, making it all the more accessible and usable for SMBs. The number of SMBs using cloud is expected to rise even more, as increasing numbers of companies uncover the benefits of supporting their network monitoring tools in the cloud, such as flexibility and scalability of the software, as well as their ability to take more strategic risks.
If a small business is planning to grow, it’s logical to expect that at some point they will need to take risks, and leap from their small pond to open waters. Employing cloud monitoring can effectively enable companies to take this crucial first step towards full visibility over their network. This allows a company to make strategic contributions towards securing its future by ensuring access to necessary information from the IT infrastructure on which it is stored, all while minimising downtime and other IT risks.
Through the cloud, SMBs can also address IT needs remotely, without being dependent on existing and potentially limiting applications or IT infrastructure. The ability to work from anywhere at any time can cut costs and even lead to a more diversified workforce. Reductions in cost opens up money to be spent elsewhere, potentially even investing in additional software and IT services that can enhance business opportunities and creativity.
Moving to the cloud can also allow businesses to upscale and diversify, by forcing SMBs to reassess existing IT strategies and determine what information needs to be kept and/or stored. When combined with BYOD (Bring Your Own Device), this can also lead to a shift towards more global and flexible working environments. For example, if the demand for computing services and resources increases, or even temporarily spikes, a company can scale and outsource processing to the public cloud. This is particularly true of hybrid cloud models, which allows data centres to manage and maintain normal traffic loads instead of investing more resources during peak times.
Cloud also offers SMBs a level of flexibility that they may not be able to reach by using on-premise software services. IT administrators require various options for their monitoring solutions, meaning if there are no common platforms available in the network, multiple methods are necessary for robust and effective monitoring. Hybrid cloud systems offer a unified monitoring platform, making it easier for administrators to monitor both their private and public cloud, in addition to traditional IT infrastructure.
Cloud is already beginning to take over most of what we see and experience as “networks” and “Internet”, and we can anticipate that the sustained adoption of the cloud trend will, in the coming years, dramatically change the work and environment for system administrators around Australia and across most, if not all sectors. Already, cloud has revolutionised the way business is conducted and how technology is developed and employed. While cloud adoption will vary in speed across organisations and industries, depending on types of applications and usage rates, it is clear that being at the forefront of this transformation is key to securing business longevity, and ensuring greater business productivity.
Though not all applications will be able to migrate onto the cloud, it’s evident that cloud adoption is already taking place, and in the future will likely touch all organisations if it hasn’t already. The way forward for IT administrators is clear: they must endeavour to build up their cloud knowledge if they are to truly understand the implications for security and reliability in moving to the cloud. As we continue to see a growing number of SMBs embrace cloud technology and leverage hybrid operations with existing on-premise operations, it is clear that a deep understanding of the growing adoption of cloud is of the utmost importance for administrators if they are to effectively manage data rooms, local area networks and switches.
About the author
George Wilson is Director of Sales Operations, APAC at Paessler. Based in Sydney, George is focused on expanding Paessler’s regional footprint and commercial offering, as well as managing the growth of revenue and services across Asia Pacific. His role consists of market penetration strategies, distribution and channel growth and enablement, as well as day to day management of the regional operations. George has more than 10 years of distribution networks and partner channel sales, management and enablement experience in the IT sector. He joined Paessler in 2016 when he was appointed Sales Manager for Australia and New Zealand. Prior to this he spent time at Arrow ECS and Anixter.