We’ve all heard the term “cloud” a million times by now. If not, you’re certainly not spending much time around computers or the business world.

But what is the cloud, really?

In simple terms, it’s just applications running over the internet as opposed to from your computer or local server. When dealing with enterprise cloud services, you’re talking about things like business intelligence software, Google Drive, Dropbox, and countless more.

These applications are absolutely everywhere in organizations today. You’d be hard-pressed to find any enterprises not using some form of cloud services. Since they’re becoming more and more prevalent—from 2018 to 2020, average cloud spending increased almost 60 percent at enterprises. While there’s still a long way left to go in terms of growing cloud spend, the train has clearly left the station.

When it comes to something where businesses are investing a good amount of resources, you want to not only understand it, but optimize your utilization. Let’s consider how enterprises should approach getting the most out of cloud services.

Why Use Cloud Applications and Services?

There’s a reason why so many enterprises are ramping up their cloud spending. The capabilities of cloud services are much greater than those of more traditional tools. Here are some of the top upgrades offered by cloud over on-premise:

  • Software as a service – You’ve likely heard the term software as a service (SaaS) used plenty of times. Though this is a familiar term, it’s not always understood, especially in terms of its benefits. Opting for software as a service means you’re paying more like a subscription than as an upfront cost. This can be great for organizations that want to dedicate more capital elsewhere in the near term. Furthermore, you only have to pay for features you’re actually using.
  • Cloud is everywhere – Another distinct advantage to cloud services is the fact they can be used anywhere there’s a connection to the internet. No matter if you’re analyzing data on a remote work site, preparing reports, or doing anything through a cloud application—all you need is a good connection.
  • Easier to Back Up – In the past, losing progress on a project could be as easy as an application crashing. Furthermore, enterprises needed to build out physical server networks to transmit and store data. This led to countless amounts of work being lost over the years due to faulty backups. With the cloud, things are typically automatically backed up. This makes it much easier to recover work, which saves enterprises valuable time and money.
  • Seamless connectivity – Everyone stays on the same page when using cloud services. This is because they automatically update for everyone as changes are made. With cloud services, it’s much more efficient to collaborate, even when in distant locations.

What Else Needs to Be Considered?

While there are obviously many compelling reasons to adopt new cloud services, there are some other things enterprises and stakeholders need to consider before changings things up. One of the most obvious concerns is security. When you move to cloud services, you’re inherently opening yourself to whole new attack vectors that didn’t exist in the on-premise world.

So, what’s to be done? You can keep doing things the old way to avoid online threats. But your operations will almost certainly suffer compared to competitors to who go ahead with adopting more advanced tools. The more reasonable approach is to gradually move to the cloud, but ensure it’s done with security at the forefront.

Working with a network security provider can help you stay ahead of threats and gain far greater visibility over how cloud applications are being used and by who. Once you find the right cloud security provider, you’ll be able to sleep better at night knowing their experts are watching over your networks.