✓ Cloud gives you instant access to the latest features, security upgrades, and bug fixes
✓ Cloud helps you prioritize creativity and strategic work
The cloud is no longer a differentiator – it is a strategic prerequisite for long-term success. That’s what Forrester’s Benchmark Your Enterprise Cloud Adoption report says and that’s what Atlassian customers are saying.
Ten years ago, moving to the cloud was a matter of priority – not anymore. Today it’s about keeping pace and providing customers and employees with the services they expect.
So how can your teams work securely in the cloud in the future? Let us count the ways:
1. Cloud gives you instant access to the latest features, security upgrades, and bug fixes
If you leave your software and computer turned on locally, a manual upgrade is appropriate each time new features appear (usually two to four times a year). The obvious cost here is on the IT team, who need both time and budget to make the changes. And they often have to plan for downtime that can affect the entire organization.
The lower cost to the business, if you only upgrade a few times a year, is that each upgrade brings a lot of new functionality. This means that each upgrade confronts teams with a learning curve of features they’ve never seen before. Because you’re introducing so many new things at once, there’s also a greater chance that some new bugs will be introduced. The fixes for these bugs could take three to six months at the next upgrade.
With the cloud, on the other hand, releases can be as small as a single bugfix or product enhancement, so only a handful of customers at a time have the opportunity to reduce the risk of introducing a new bug. In other words, if something goes wrong, the change can be easily reversed and its impact is limited. Instead of waiting three months for the next release to fix a system bug, teams have the fix as soon as it is ready.
And because new features are also introduced regularly and in small batches, it’s easier for your teams to keep up with changes rather than having to retrain several times a year. This not only keeps teams competitive by giving them instant access to the latest features, but also keeps them agile and connected to the systems they use every day.
2. Cloud helps you prioritize creativity and strategic work
Hosting your software and products on-site requires more and more time from your technical teams. Scaling to provide more storage, inventory or processing power to your users can take days, if not weeks or even months. Upgrades and security patches require regular time commitment. All major incidents, and the scramble sometimes lasting late into the night to respond to a problem or security breach, rests entirely on the shoulders of your IT team.
With Cloud, all that extra work is outsourced. This means that bug fixes, problem management and major incidents are the responsibility of your provider. This means that the IT team can give up tedious, unprofitable tasks like installing new servers or troubleshooting in favor of focusing on the strategic and creative work that is essential and unique to your business.
Not to mention the fact that most IT teams are already overloaded. Internal support teams process an average of nearly 500 support tickets per month, and according to a Zendesk study, it takes more than 24 hours to respond to each one. Overload is the number one reason employees quit, according to Forbes Magazine.
By shifting support for servers, uptime, upgrades and security patches from the IT team to your cloud provider, they can respond more quickly to other requests-and it will probably help you retain your top talent.
In on-site operations, every change – whether it’s a security upgrade, a new feature or more processing power – must be handled by the IT department. This not only places a burden on the technical team, but also slows down the work of your non-technical teams and deprives them of the ability to quickly improve their workflows, systems and team dynamics.
With the cloud, teams can be fast and agile with features like automatic scaling and instant security and feature upgrades. They can make process changes and take advantage of new features and benefits that improve their workflows without the need for lengthy approvals, delays or IT overload.
For companies that are still completely local, remote working is complicated. On-site installations can be accessed remotely, but maintaining security while granting access is a complex dance of passwords, firewalls, VPN barriers and architectural constraints.
In contrast, cloud solutions are already accessible from any location with an Internet connection. And security in the cloud is already being built with a view to working at remote locations (which is probably why 94% of companies surveyed say security has improved for them after moving to the cloud).
Even better, the same benefits that allow employees to work remotely – either full-time or at the touch of a button in an emergency – make it easy to support geographically dispersed teams.
The great advantage of such distributed teams and working from a distance (apart from crisis management) is that they provide access to a larger talent pool, both geographically and by opening up positions to those who need to work from home for reasons such as disability or as a first responder for an elderly parent or sick child.