One of the most compelling arguments for cloud computing is scalability. When the computing power of physical servers doesn’t restrict you, many of the limits of a traditional IT infrastructure no longer exist. As a result, everything from growth to remote employee collaboration can happen with less friction. Let’s look at how you can scale your business with cloud technology to decide how to best leverage the cloud for your business.
Why the cloud enables businesses to scale
Before businesses relied on cloud servers, common IT challenges such as a large influx of traffic or increasing data usage could cause your server to slow down or fail. Adopting on-premise business software such as a new ERP (enterprise resource planning) or CRM (customer relationship management) system would be a lengthy and expensive process. Adding new users was cumbersome.
Also, initiatives designed to drive growth, such as app development, were inaccessible for businesses that couldn’t afford the necessary in-house computing power.
The cloud has changed all that. Businesses can use a variety of cloud services to meet their current and projected future technology needs. Essentially, with the cloud, your business can build a custom strategy that enables growth, resilience, and flexibility. But here’s the critical point: you don’t need to invest in, manage, and maintain a physical data center to do any of this. When your business needs more resources to scale, it can draw upon the right type of cloud services and move forward.
Types of scaling with the cloud
There are different ways your business can scale with the cloud. Here are the three main types of scaling:
- Horizontal – This is when your business scales out by adding machines to your infrastructure. For example, you may add more servers or connect existing servers so they’ll work together.
- Vertical – With vertical scaling, you scale up. You might add more cloud-based services or resources to accommodate new users or more application services.
- Diagonal – Diagonal scaling uses both vertical and horizontal scaling. Your business would use vertical scaling until your servers are at maximum capacity. Then, you’d scale outward to gain the memory, computing resources, or other needs required for continued growth.
Easier scaling has never been more vital
After the disruption the pandemic caused, businesses learned how critical having a flexible infrastructure is. When you can scale with ease — up or down, out or in — your enterprise can quickly respond to the external environment. Whether this means seizing an opportunity or mitigating risk, your business is always ready with the cloud.
To get an idea of how prominent the cloud is today, look at these statistics:
- 89 percent of businesses are using SaaS for some type of business application.
- Nearly two-thirds are using platform as a service (PaaS) — this type of cloud service allows developers to develop and test apps in a virtual environment.
- 80 percent are using infrastructure as a service (IaaS), which enables businesses to host computing resources in a virtual environment. This includes cloud storage, networking, and servers.
Gartner predicts that worldwide cloud adoption will continue to accelerate in 2021. A big reason for this is scalability. Sid Nag, research vice president of Gartner, explains, “The ability to use on-demand scalable cloud models to achieve cost efficiency and business continuity is providing the impetus for organizations to rapidly accelerate their digital business transformation plans. The increased use of public cloud services has reinforced cloud adoption to be the ‘new normal’ now more than ever.”