Due to the many commercial benefits and the world of possibilities, cloud computing is now a mainstream model being adopted for the IT savvy business that has growth on its agenda. In my time working at iland, a global cloud services provider, I’ve also witnessed first-hand how more and more industries are increasing their focus on the cloud as a way of protecting themselves against cyber threats, human error and natural disasters, all while maintaining industry compliance.
Unfortunately, it is often the case whereby industries that stand to gain most from cloud technologies are the very ones that suffer from slower adoption rates; perhaps due to sensitivities around data security. That being said, as cloud adoption continues apace across EMEA, companies in even traditionally conservative sectors, such as oil and gas, are realising the agility, cost savings and security benefits of cloud services.
In fact, a recent forecast from the UK-based Oil and Gas Council actually encourages the shift, stating that the industry stands to benefit from cloud computing, as it provides the powerful processing capabilities that they need, while facilitating the links between multiple offices across the world.
Companies in the oil and gas industry often have additional requirements for powerful processing of large data files and high utilisation rates of expensive human resources. Therefore, for these organisations, the logical solution is to continue to maintain high power workstations under the operational control of the specialists that need them, whilst seamlessly integrating the workstations’ software with a cloud system for all other functions. This results in a true hybrid solution, with not two systems running independently of each other with a convoluted link, but two systems that appear to operate as one.
Furthermore, the cost-of-entry to the cloud is very low and typically based on pay-as-you-go, with charges directly relating to specific compute and storage requirements. Oil and Gas companies, especially smaller independents and service companies, can benefit from access to sophisticated, scalable and secure IT infrastructure for very little outlay, as well as transparent operational monthly costs and less overall impact on the balance sheet.
Here at iland, we have seen a notable take up in this sector and more enquiries. One recent example is Navigator Gas, a leader in the gas transportation sector. Realising the importance of IT resiliency, Navigator Gas embraced our hybrid cloud services in the UK as a competitive differentiator. As owner of the world’s largest fleet of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) vessels – having experienced significant growth over recent years – the company got to the point where compute and storage requirements exceeded available on-premises capacity.
With a set of key requirements in mind, Navigator Gas turned to iland to implement a secure and reliable cloud-based solution in order to leverage the on-demand scalability of the cloud and achieve IT resiliency. The company has now positioned itself at the forefront of cloud innovation, leveraging iland secure cloud hosting (IaaS) with cloud-to-cloud DR and DRaaS for on-premises servers.
One of the undoubted benefits of migrating services to the cloud for any organisation in this industry is that professional cloud systems are not only hosted, but also benefit from dedicated and centralised support. Hardware upgrades, software upgrades, increased compute and capacity requirements and technical support can all be provided at the drop of a hat, enabling companies to respond quickly to operational developments and third-party requests which means that the organisation is no longer at the mercy of on-the-ground IT consultants and their busy schedules.
Below I have summarised just four tangible business benefits experienced by Navigator Gas as a result of its move to cloud services:
- The avoidance of additional CAPEX investment while retaining use of existing on-premises servers.
- A highly flexible, scalable and secure cloud environment that is no longer dependent on a fixed server environment.
- All workloads – cloud and on premises – are now protected by a hybrid cloud DRaaS solution (previously it had no DR strategy in place).
- Vulnerability scanning that meets application security requirements.
The benefits of cloud services for this particular customer speak for themselves.