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Sun Rays Reflecting through Cloud The growth of the cloud market is showing no signs of slowing down. Technology research and advisory firm, Gartner, predicts that the worldwide public cloud services market will increase 18% in 2017 to reach $246.8 billion.

There is a good reason why businesses are continuing to adopt cloud technologies. According to Gartner, companies are developing cloud-first strategies in which they look to the cloud when making crucial decisions. Cloud-first strategies make sense because the cloud provides solutions to many business problems. The rapid rise in the cloud market is driven by the variety of business advantages offered by cloud solutions.

Here is a closer look at 5 key business benefits of the cloud:

1) The Ability to Scale

Workloads can be unpredictable. If traffic suddenly increases, companies don’t have time to provision and implement new infrastructure. When IT leaders try to predict capacity, they often overcompensate, wasting time and money. The cloud enables companies to scale quickly and efficiently. You can provision more infrastructure when needed, pay for what you need, and scale back down when your workload slows.

 2) Business Flexibility 

The cloud offers a range of models and services that can meet your company’s needs and goals while expanding possibilities for innovation. For example, the hybrid cloud model enables companies to take advantage of both private and public cloud. Production environments can be run in the private cloud, and sensitive data can also be stored there. The public cloud environment is ideal for storing publicly accessible information, running customer-facing applications, and creating application development and testing environments.

Organizations can choose from an expanding portfolio of cloud service options. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is a popular option as an alternative to an on-site data center. Many mission-critical applications are available through software as a service (SaaS). Platform as a service (PaaS) streamlines the process of developing, running, and managing applications. More specialized services, such as disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS), have also emerged.

3) Security

In the past, companies were concerned about cloud security. They worried that multi-tenant public cloud environments would leave them vulnerable to data breaches. Surrendering control of vital data seemed like too much of a risk.

Today, most companies have overcome these concerns. In fact, many organizations are relying on the cloud for security. Working with a cloud provider gives your company access to 24/7 monitoring. Working with a wide range of clients gives a cloud provider the depth and breadth of experience needed to handle any security incident.

4) Business Continuity

Downtime costs your company money from lost production and injures your reputation when clients and customers can’t reach you. The cloud offers superior business continuity by providing geographical redundancy. When an incident affects your on-site data center, cloud resources stay up-and-running for seamless performance.

With cloud backup and recovery, your business can achieve rapid recovery time objectives (RTOs) and recovery point objectives (RPOs). DRaaS ensures your company can recover quickly in the event of a natural disaster or cyberattack by allowing you to failover to a hosted infrastructure.

5) Reduced Infrastructure Costs

Using IaaS shifts your capital expenses to operating costs. Instead of provisioning and upgrading your hardware, you can move it to the cloud where all updates are made by the provider. Moving your infrastructure to the cloud eliminates real estate and energy costs needed to maintain an on-site data center. With IaaS, you pay for only what you need through a predictable, monthly subscription.

Taking Advantage of the Cloud: More Than a Trend

The sustained momentum of the market shows that the cloud has true staying power. Organizations that move to the cloud or adopt additional services are doing more than just jumping on the bandwagon. These companies recognize that the cloud enables them to revolutionize the way they do business while saving time and money.

Your business doesn’t need to miss out. The right cloud provider will help your business choose the ideal cloud models and services to meet your unique needs. FirstLight provides a comprehensive portfolio of cloud offerings that are enhanced by our vast fiber optics network. This network creates a reliable connection to the cloud that reaches speeds of up to 100 gigabytes per second.

FirstLight’s cloud solutions are geared towards security and business continuity with 24/7 video monitoring and multiple layers of security. Our cloud backup and recovery delivers RPOs of seconds and RTOs of just minutes.

Learn more about what cloud can do for your business. Reach out to FirstLight today.