More companies are migrating their computing operations to the cloud. At least 70% of U.S. companies use the cloud in some variation of public, private and hybrid services. Global spending for public cloud services is forecast to reach $236 billion by 2020. Leading providers of public cloud services include Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform and IBM.
Forrester Research reported 38% of enterprises were building private clouds, 32% were accessing public cloud services, and the remaining 30% planned to implement some form of cloud technology in 2017. Of its survey respondents, 59% were adopting a hybrid cloud model, combining on-site, private cloud with third-party, public cloud services.
Proponents cite several advantages that explain why companies are accelerating their transition to cloud services:
- Increased data storage and analytic capacity for machine learning and artificial intelligence applications
- Scalability and flexibility for faster decision making
- Redundant storage and resources for critical operations
- Easy access to new technology tools built in cloud environments
- Pay-per-use pricing tailored to meet business demands
Companies should allow adequate time and resources for transition to the cloud. A recent study found cloud migration can take six months or longer to achieve, depending upon the volume of data. Costs can run in excess of $50,000. The movement of data is a slow process and requires numerous hours and sizable internet bandwidth.
Many companies have concerns about security, performance and technical support, and a smooth transition can overcome these barriers. Businesses also need to pay attention to helping employees adapt to changes in processes. And although cloud migration may seem complex and overwhelming, no decision is irreversible — the cloud offers the flexibility to scale up or down as needed.
 “13 Biggest Challenges When Moving Your Business To The Cloud,” Forbes Technology Council, Forbes, June 5, 2017. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbestechcouncil/2017/06/05/13-biggest-challenges-when-moving-your-business-to-the-cloud/#195db3b9b0ec
 “The Public Cloud Services Market Will Grow Rapidly to $236 Billion in 2020,” report notice issued by Forrester Research, Sept. 1, 2016. Available at: https://www.forrester.com/report/The+Public+Cloud+Services+Market+Will+Grow+Rapidly+To+236+Billion+In+2020/-/E-RES132004
 Cloud computing definition and description of services, TechTarget.com, undated. Available at: http://searchcloudcomputing.techtarget.com/definition/cloud-computing
 “Forrester See Trends That Will Shape Cloud Computing in 2017,” a review of Forrester Research report published by ARMA.org, Dec. 27, 2016. Available at: http://www.arma.org/r1/news/newswire/2016/12/27/forrester-sees-trends-that-will-shape-cloud-computing-in-2017
 “The Morning Download: Transition Planning Crucial as Automation Puts 375 Million Global Jobs at Risk,” see article, “Extra: S7P’s Global CIO talks cloud shift,” by Steve Rosenbush, The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 29, 2017. Available at: https://blogs.wsj.com/cio/2017/11/29/the-morning-download-transition-planning-crucial-as-automation-puts-375-million-global-jobs-at-risk/; and Cloud computing definition and description of services, TechTarget.com, undated. Available at: http://searchcloudcomputing.techtarget.com/definition/cloud-computing
 “4 Challenges to Cloud Migration and Management,” by Shyam Oza, Cloud Strategy blog, May 4, 2017. Available at: https://www.cloudstrategymag.com/blogs/14-the-cloud-strategy-blog/post/86642-challenges-to-cloud-migration-and-management
This news is provided as a service to you by Marlin Business Services Corp., a nationwide leader in commercial lending solutions for the U.S. small business sector. Marlin’s equipment financing and loan programs are available directly and through third-party vendor programs, including manufacturers, distributors, independent dealers and brokers, to deliver financing and working capital that help build your success.