How Canadian Businesses Should Leverage Cloud Solutions to Accelerate Growth

Small Business Canada

With the everchanging digital landscape, SMBs will need to adapt and update their cloud usage

Canadian businesses have continued to embrace and expand on their digital transformation journeys in 2021, with IDC reporting that spending on cloud services grew 3 times faster than the country’s GDP.  To keep up with these changes, SMBs will need to embrace the benefits of a multi-cloud approach (using two or more different cloud providers). This measure ensures that they can increase their flexibility, security and sustainability standards. 

Here is an overview of 3 strategies that Canadian SMBs should consider on their path towards a responsible cloud strategy.

Diversify your cloud solutions

Building a transparent, interoperable cloud provides a level of flexibility that allows organizations to pick and choose the ideal cloud solution for each of their business areas. Not only does this foster innovation, but it greatly facilitates reversibility—the option to modify or roll back cloud projects, workload deployments, or entire cloud environments to an alternative state.

Operating on multiple clouds gives organizations the freedom to choose which technologies are suitable to be deployed, as opposed to relying on a vendor to provide the required services. From a security standpoint, multi-cloud environments can help to assist disaster recovery procedures and reduce the likelihood of a complete system shutdown in the event of a major incident.

It comes as no surprise that more than 90% of enterprises will pursue a multi-cloud strategy by 2025, according to Gartner. However, favouring providers relying on open standards to navigate technologies and platforms seamlessly will give you a competitive edge.


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Rethink data protection in the hybrid age

With new data protection regulations emerging and evolving, businesses are continuously assessing and ensuring regulatory compliance on a local and global scale, including the safety and security of data.

Many organizations are adopting a multi-local approach as an operating data center in multiple global locations becomes the norm, allowing for more local oversight and adherence to data protection and security protocols. With each new site comes the increased need for total end-to-end management and security protocols to match. From the location selection to the manufacturing of full range servers, businesses can ensure their data is as close to them and their end-users as possible, whilst ensuring full compliance with required data protection regulations.

Forward-looking organizations will continue to strengthen and solidify their data protection infrastructure to respond to expectations for airtight data security from Canadian businesses and consumers.

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Put sustainability first

Data centres consume one percent of the total electricity used in Canada every year, and this demand keeps growing. If innovation and scale effect make running digital services in the cloud more efficient than on-premise infrastructures, much remains to be done. To ensure a sustainable model, the cloud and data center industry not only has to target carbon and power efficiency, but also water unit efficiency for effective water cooling. Energy availability is key and local government support is needed to ensure the availability of regional energy grids to support the same cause, such as the hydro network that is by far the largest source (98%) of electricity of the province. The same goes for the consumers—we all need to play a part by being aware of the carbon footprint we create with every email, text and post on social media.

Sustainability efforts need to be at scale, not just at a Proof-of-Concept stage. By setting ambitious goals such as net zero emissions by 2030, the cloud industry must continue to manage environmental impact with full accountability to move towards a more sustainable future. Within the next few years, we should expect to see a significant shift in the uptake of green technologies to meet the goal of converting to 100% renewable energy in the industry.

With these tips in mind, Canadian businesses can be at the forefront of digital transformation and cloud migration. As industries continue to adapt to these changes, SMBs can lead the way by integrating these practices in 2022.

Estelle Azemard, VP Americas at OVHcloud. She joined the company in September 2020 with a mandate to plan and lead the group’s strategy in Canada and Latin America. After studying Law, Estelle left France for Quebec in 2005, building since 2010 a solid experience in management and marketing for companies specializing in IT infrastructure.

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