Companies use a variety of criteria when choosing office locations. Some are common, such as centralized location, convenient highway or public transit access, adequate office space, ample parking, and amenities like in-building or nearby food vendors.
Increasingly, though, facility managers and the executive teams they work with are assessing a more technical criterion that is becoming as important as any: Is the building “cloud-ready”?
Companies are now reliant on high-speed network connectivity to the Internet and other essential services, including access to public or private clouds—which are a popular alternative to on-site servers by providing secure storage of, and access to, data and software programs.
Buildings that are not “cloud-ready” are (in the minds of many decision makers) about as useful as offices without electricity or bathrooms. Consider these statistics: As of January 2019, there are almost 4.4 billion active internet users, equivalent to 57% of the global population. 8 billion devices will be connected to the internet by 2020. 293 billion emails are sent daily in 2019, and this is expected to grow by 4.2% yearly to 347 billion in 2023. So, yes, the ability to connect seamlessly to the cloud, via the Internet, is a 21st century essential.
What exactly is a cloud-ready building? It has one or more providers who have installed high-speed connectivity to the building (on-net). As network connectivity to the building has already been established, it is a relatively simple process of running the chosen network cables into the particular floor or suite requesting it. Then, the right technology services provider (such as I-Evolve Technology Services) can optimize use of the network to take advantage of one or more cloud services—such as communications, data storage, security and redundancy—that not only protect a company’s vital data, but enable fast and flexible access to it.
The reasons why so many companies are choosing cloud services are numerous. But most are directly or indirectly tied to the one factor that impacts most business decisions: money.
Cloud-readiness is a growth enabler for organizations—both from an IT perspective because critical IT staff can shift from reactive break/fix systems management functions to more proactive business projects which foster growth; and from an operations standpoint as business functions and workforce can grow quickly and efficiently.
Cloud computing reduces costs in a number of ways:
- Lower capital costs. Companies that build and manage their own data rooms incur sizable upfront costs in purchasing the requisite equipment, along with the expense of ongoing maintenance fees. Those costs are almost eliminated by using the cloud.
- Lower utility costs. Plenty of electricity and air conditioning is required to power and cool server rooms, and those fees can be reduced drastically if all or most IT assets are shifted to the cloud.
- Real estate savings. Businesses can free up office space by moving the location of servers and other equipment typically needed when most IT management occurs on-site to an off-site location instead.
- Personnel savings. Whether using public cloud services, private cloud services, or a hybrid cloud solution, businesses require less headcount to monitor and manage the network.
- Agility. Companies who contract for cloud services only pay for what they need on demand, and can usually, depending on the provider, quickly scale their IT infrastructure needs up or down based on seasonal growth patterns or other marketplace factors.
Business managers who embrace the importance of cloud availability will reap the benefits. They will have more available time, greater flexibility as they manage their businesses, and cost savings both now and going forward. Establishing themselves in Cloud-Ready office space is not just important, but essential to enabling future success.