We now talk about cloud and cloud computing on a daily basis, terms that have become part of the common vocabulary. Most people, when they think of the cloud, think of something intangible and immaterial. But it is not quite like that: the core of this incorporeal cloud is in fact a data center, a physical infrastructure in which a company can securely access its virtual resources.
Being able to rely on a data center is of primary importance in many ways. Think, for example, of the needs of remote working, which presupposes the existence of an effective IT infrastructure, which therefore ensures the presence of vital resources in a data center capable of providing all the necessary data to a large number of users, unlike what a simple local server could do. The advantages compared to traditional solutions, however, do not end here: relying on a data center allows the company to be unconstrained by the hardware, and to have a solution perfectly scalable and therefore valuable at the time of greatest demand. Moreover, keeping the company’s document assets in a data center means being able to count on the highest levels of security, being able to rely on services with specific ISO certifications.
Demonstrating the benefits of relying on remote data centers is, for example, the massive migration of ERPs and CRMs to the cloud, which is in many ways unexpected.
Data center: ERP and CRM migration
All structured companies are very familiar with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools. These are strategic accounting software solutions, which for years have been installed and jealously guarded on company intranets. In the past, for many reasons, it was simply inconceivable to do otherwise, due to the technologies present and to the strictly private nature of CRMs and ERPs, veritable accounting and information goldmines for companies.
Precisely for this reason, the massive migration of accounting solutions to large remote data centers has, from a certain point of view, even amazed the experts, also and above all in terms of the speed with which it is taking place. The advantages of moving CRMs and ERPs to the cloud are also explicit and well known: among the guarantees there is a higher level of efficiency, lower costs for companies and, above all, accessibility to information also remotely and the concrete possibility to extract maximum value from their data. Being able to count on data centers means being able to rely on modern computing centers, able to better support data mining, business intelligence and even machine learning operations.
And many companies have already decided to exploit these advantages. According to a study by Panorama Consulting, in just 12 months (between 2017 and 2018), the situation turned around: while 67% of companies previously stated that they jealously guarded their ERP accounting systems on their intranet, a year later the same percentage said they had migrated to the cloud. The same approach seems to dominate also in the CRM field, with Gartner pointing out that in 2019, 42 billion dollars were invested worldwide in cloud solutions, thus acquiring 72% of the market.
Moving to the cloud can be done at various levels, with data centers that can of course also take care of the storage of corporate backups, as well as, if necessary, the restoration of functionalities, so as to secure the company and its productivity. The contribution of the IT department is therefore essential, called upon to determine, in practice, what the data center infrastructure should be to ensure the best solutions for the company.