Taking your business to the cloud has many benefits. From a consumer perspective, the first and foremost is the cost of which information and data can be stored in a host server, thereby greatly reduces operating costs. And because the servers are off-premise, out of sight and out of your hair, service providers can take care of them for you so you don't have to worry about the hassles of maintaining the system yourself, thus leaving you ample time to focus on the things that matter, like growing your business.
The other benefit is that having a cloud helps cut the high cost of hardware. In a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) model, you simply pay and enjoy a subscription-based model that is easier on the cash flow. What's more, the ease of setup and management suddenly looks at lot friendlier, and more approachable to the average Joe, to say the least. Put simply, it's never been easier to take the first step to cloud adoption.
BUILDING YOUR BUSINESS
“By moving the intelligence from small hubs to the cloud you open up the possibility to share big amounts of services and routines. At the same time private owners will see their systems develop over time,” Henrik Hvid noted, general manager of A/S Cosesy Ltd., a company that has been specialized in IoT Cloud technology for home security systems since 2010, and have developed one of the world´s top security clouds.
“The longer a cloud based system runs the more income it creates. That's good for the business and good for the environment,” he explained.
Cloud-based services are ideal for businesses with growing or fluctuating bandwidth demands. If your needs increase it's easy to scale up your cloud capacity. Likewise, if you need to scale down again, the flexibility is baked into the service. This level of agility can give businesses using cloud a real advantage over competitors. According to Danny Castellano, VP of Consumer/Smart Home business unit at IntelliVision, high scalability does indeed support adopters to gain subscriber growth.
“But the key strategic benefit is being able to gather the DATA, analyze it, and use it to improve the end user experience,” he said, adding that the IoT value is being able to capture and understand the behavior of end users.
“It allows adopters to learn what they value, how devices and appliances are most used. They can then use this information to improve the efficiency of the home, lower cost, add benefit the end user,” Castellano added.
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NOT CREATED EQUAL
As complicated as the decision is for cloud providers, it can be even more challenging for adopters, including small business owners. With so many solutions on the market, it can be difficult to choose cloud providers that thoroughly meet all their needs.
In short, not all cloud platforms are created equal, and like a choice in business partnership, choosing a cloud platform is an important decision smart home adopters will have to mull over conscientiously, as the wrong decision can impact the ability to connect easily to other applications and innovate quickly in the future. And above all, the hidden costs to the business can also escalate.
“There are many platforms that offer cloud storage and file sharing services, but the primary features for smart home-related purposes should no doubt include device connection, scene control, data analysis, and so forth,” Robert C.Y. Chang noted, sales and channel director of Greater China at Alya Networks, a platform service provider.
IT'S ALL ABOUT SECURITY
Concerns around security and privacy issues related to access, storage, and retrieval of data are one of the major roadblocks in mass cloud adoption, hence besetting both software and platform providers constantly vying for supremacy and market dominance in terms of security solutions. Likewise, this major hindrance is also part of the primary proponent adopters would consider before making their decision.
Looking from the side of platform vendors, the ability to provide an end-to-end security solution is a catchphrase often used by companies to solicit sales. The same can be said with the employment of 128-bit banking-standard encryption, multi-factor authentication and authorization, and so forth.
Despite all these technical jargons, business adopters would need to weigh the benefits against the risks. And that will depend on things like the type of cloud service being considered, the type of data that's involved, how critical the service is, the size of company, and the regulatory environment, and so on.
MOVING DOWN THE ROAD
Like any business partnership, cloud services are based on trust. If anything, that is what you should take away from this exchange. Adopters should try to do business only with trustworthy providers, and put contracts in place to ensure their trustworthiness.
“The challenge for cloud service adopters is to choose the best platform that provides them a long-term solution since migrating from one platform is a major undertaking,” Castellano concluded.
And looking from Cosesy's point of view, platform companies would need the ability to adapt to new technologies or game changers for the cloud market to grow, Henrik reiterated.
In the future, although we will all be doing our computing in the cloud, this future can only be realized when we manage to create a secure and reliable cloud.