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Cloud Computing for CEOs and Executives

Every day, CEOs and other top executives are targeted with articles spewing the latest technology buzzwords. Lately, no word is buzzed more than “Cloud” - and with good reason. Cloud environments have changed the way many companies do business. Startups can get to market faster with a lower barrier to entry than traditional environments have generally allowed.
Existing companies can execute faster and with more financial resources once they make the transition. Let's take a look at how the Cloud can benefit CEOs and other executives.

Lower Cost

One of the major benefits of moving to the Cloud is the cost. There is no need for upfront technology investment in hardware that may or may not be fully utilized during its lifetime. A company that receives outside investment can redirect the money to other parts of the business.
Additionally, any money allocated for upgrades and replacing hardware is freed up for other purposes too. This move from CAPEX to OPEX has its obvious benefits such as how the technology is accounted for financially.

Cloud-based systems and services are elastic in nature meaning companies pay only for what they use. Systems that are not fully utilized can be spun down to avoid paying for those resources.
When an increase is needed, scaling up and/or scaling out is possible with very minimal steps. In traditional environments, a company would have to estimate the highest end of utilization and acquire the hardware to handle it despite not needing it most of the time. It is a waste of financial resources that has often given technology departments a bad name internally.


Modern businesses operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. One of the most important benefits of moving to the Cloud is that systems are available from anywhere, at any time, on nearly an device.
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) offerings such as Outlook 365 and SalesForce have teams dedicated to ensuring operations are never interrupted.
Businesses that use SaaS applications can take advantage of instant access and increased productivity to give their employees the best chance to succeed. A company's infrastructure, implemented in the Cloud via Infrastructure - (IaaS) or Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) offering, can be designed and built for high availability much easier and for a lower cost than traditional environments. This ensures companies can operate with maximum uptime.

Since applications can be accessible from anywhere in the world, companies can utilize a global workforce to meet their mission with a fairly small footprint. Workers can accomplish tasks from anywhere.
All they need is an internet connection and a device. This can translate to an employee benefit as well. For example, working from home can be used to attract talent that might otherwise not consider employment due to long commutes. Attracting the best talent is essential to all companies.

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A Boost to Productivity

Cloud environments offer a significant productivity boost for all employees. IaaS and PaaS environments can get up and running faster instead of having to wait through the procurement process.
Environments such as these can be automated which results in a repeatable process. SaaS applications allow employees to focus immediately on the tasks that provide value by reducing the steps required to on-board the business.
These applications often allow for custom integrations with other systems which can eliminate unnecessary manual tasks.

With environments and applications in the Cloud, duplicate environments for development and testing can exist without additional investment in hardware. An issue that occurs in a production setting can most likely be duplicated in an identical setting without affecting production users.
There is no need to wait for after hours or scheduling downtime that would affect other users. Speeding up resolution of issues can save the company financially while improving the perceived reliability and performance.

Better Analytics

With the Cloud, collecting and analyzing massive amounts of varying data has become a reality. Managed services exist that streamline the setup of collecting large datasets and resources to data mine those datasets.
When compared to a similar setup in a traditional environment, the Cloud approach costs significantly less. A company will only pay for as long as it wants to perform the analysis.
For jobs that run a few times a year, moving to the Cloud is a no-brainer. Even more frequent mining operations can be less expensive since resources to build the company analytics can scale up and down as needed. With traditional environments, the company is limited to the hardware it has purchased for the task regardless of how much of it is utilized at any given time.

The insight that can be gained from analyzing these large datasets can be extremely powerful. Best of all, the company can customize the data it collects and the processes to crunch that data into digestible nuggets.
If data is missing or the output is incomplete, it is easy to tear it all down and try again without incurring heavy costs. Companies are capable of running many what-if scenarios that will ultimately lead to better business decisions. Since data can be analyzed in real-time, it is possible to make those decisions based on the current conditions facing the company.

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Security and Data Protection

Protecting company secrets is essential to the operation of any business. Cloud vendors understand this and have built their offerings to support data isolation, encryption, and tight security standards.
With data isolation, customers cannot access another company's data. No additional work is necessary to make isolation happen as it is applied by default and cannot be overridden.
Encryption, whether controlled by the vendor, the customer, or both, can protect data in various states such as at rest or in transit. Lastly, vendors have a plethora of security standards that they can apply to their services. Many vendors have validated their services with well known compliance programs such as PCI, SSAE 16, and SAS 70.

Data is also protected against physical system failure and human error. The chance of files or a database being corrupted is slim due to the behind-the-scenes design of storage.
For IaaS and PaaS environments, backup options exist that can be easily configured based on corporate requirements. Most environments can be designed to backup using the vendor's offering and/or to a third party vendor. Recovering data from a backup can be executed very quickly limiting any possible downtime and impact to the business.

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