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How I learned to stop wondering and love the cloud

November 18th, 2020

7 min read

Sun rays streaming through from behind clouds.

Written by

Mike Chau


Product-Led Growth

Interested in making the switch from in-house infrastructure to cloud components for your products?

Over the last few years, there’s been a massive shift towards cloud computing, with businesses of all sizes integrating cloud-based services into their model. We’ve seen this firsthand at Tiny. Many of our customers have switched from using our TinyMCE components in a hosted or on-premises location to our cloud plans.

So, what’s behind this trend? Let’s unpack some of the key benefits of using cloud components in your applications. 

7 benefits of cloud

1. Go to market faster

Because it’s much easier to set up and integrate cloud components, you can significantly reduce your time to market when you switch to cloud. Instead of messing around with complex builds and configurations, you simply hook into a standardized interface. It’s plug and play, making cloud about 90% faster to configure than external components that require a lot of assembly.

TinyMCE started out as an on-premises product - something you’d download as source code, compile, and then build up the parts you needed. Now, you can get started with TinyMCE’s cloud deployment in minutes.

2. Easier, more frequent upgrades and fixes

Traditionally, large companies would run updates on their on-premises hardware once a year. That once-a-year update might take 3 months to do, so there’s a good chance they’d defer it for longer. But when you don’t upgrade for a whole year, your technology gets left behind, big problems are likely to pop up, and you need a big team to deal with it. Worst of all, customers might be waiting a whole year for updates and bug fixes.

But with cloud, your infrastructure is constantly updated, often on a daily basis. This comes with a number of advantages:

  • You tackle problems as you go along
  • Any issues are generally small and quickly fixed
  • You’re not left with a big, overwhelming mess once a year
  • You get new features out to customers sooner
  • Customers who report bugs might even see them fixed overnight

With many cloud components, updating is as simple as pressing a button, checking to make sure nothing’s broken, and fixing anything that returns a compatibility issue. Many software providers like Tiny also release source code ahead of time so that developers can run testing and decide whether to do the upgrade.

3. Minimal maintenance

Owning your own infrastructure is a bit like owning a dog. Sure, it’s exciting in the beginning, but then you have to pick up after it and pay for its expensive vet bills. Maintaining your own infrastructure is a lot more expensive and time-consuming than a pet dog - and it’s not even excited to see you when you come into work 😢

For most companies, there’s no economy of scale, so maintaining on-premises infrastructure is time-consuming and inefficient. But with cloud, your infrastructure is hosted somewhere else by a business that has perfected the process. Setting up and maintaining the infrastructure at scale is all they do, which is why they can do it securely, efficiently, and cheaply. Plus, when you don’t have to spend your time maintaining your infrastructure, it frees you up to create more improvements, innovate, and pioneer in your space.

4. Scale

With on-premises hardware components, there’s a big initial investment to get started - and you may not use your infrastructure to its full capacity for years (or ever). And if you need to upgrade so you have more space or functionality, the process is complex and expensive.

One of the biggest benefits of cloud components is that they scale with you. You can start small and pay very little to get up and running. Some components may even offer a freemium option for startups. Then if you need more space, users, or features, you can pay a small increase in your subscription fee to scale it up. Here at Tiny, our cloud infrastructure is set up to cater to companies of all sizes, with flexibility to allow for a range of configurations, and we have a really simple tiered pricing structure. Scaling up resources as our customers need them is as simple as turning a dial. 

5. Better support

When you use cloud products, it can help ensure you get the best support.

Support teams have visibility into all the interacting components and (usually) detailed logs, and it’s much easier for you to grant support teams temporary access to your system.

Your setup is going to be fairly standard, rather than custom setups or configurations, which means you’ll be up and running in a short amount of time. And you’ll get a streamlined support service, since your support team will likely be familiar with any issues you experience because they’ve seen it before with other customers.

6. Remote access

One huge benefit of cloud (especially in 2020) is that it’s ideal for remote or distributed teams. You can access cloud components from anywhere in the world because you’re not physically attached to your office infrastructure. For many teams, this has made transitioning to the new work-from-home economy much easier.

Tiny has been cloudifying our own internal services for a number of years now, and when COVID-19 happened, we were very quick to embrace that. We’ve ditched the traditional infrastructure and our teams adapted to working from home very quickly, with minimal disruption.

For the majority of our teams around the world, it was as easy as picking up the laptop and taking it home.

7. Reduce costs

Nearly all of the above benefits lead to cost savings.

Traditionally, companies would need to invest anywhere from $10,000 to $10 million to get started with on-premises infrastructure. And that’s just the hardware costs - there are other costs associated with getting set up and ongoing maintenance.

But when you switch to cloud, most of these costs shrink dramatically or disappear, with no big upfront investment and a scalable fee that includes everything you need to support and maintain your components. That’s why moving to cloud makes good business sense for nearly any organization - big or small.

Are there any downsides to using cloud components?

Cloud has a lot of benefits, but it won’t be right for every organization or software developer.

For example, some of our larger customers deal with very strict privacy laws about data ownership and where data is stored, which makes cloud usage difficult. In many cases, it is possible to work around these limitations (depending on the country) and use a cloud solution. The main issue is ensuring the data is stored somewhere that’s deemed safe and that you still own the data.

In some cases, though, on-premises solutions still make sense, even though they’re costly and harder to maintain than cloud.

The future of cloud

So, what’s next for cloud components like TinyMCE? What can developers expect to see in the next few years?

The biggest change is that the future of cloud will get faster and easier. No more waiting weeks (or even months) for infrastructure. You’ll be able to say “This is what I want and I want it now”, and you’ll have your cloud components available and set up, on-demand. Moving forward, the companies that succeed will adopt cloud, embrace it, automate it, and simplify it - all while providing top-notch support from real people.

As for TinyMCE, the future is definitely in the cloud! We plan to continue investing big on our cloud support so that we’re equipped with the right tools and strategies to work with any stack (even custom setups). And we’re always fine-tuning our systems to minimize bugs and get on top of reported issues faster. That way, our customers get a more streamlined experience, faster integration, and a fully-featured WYSIWYG text editor they can rely on.

By the way, if you’d like to be part of our journey, you can register your ideas for TinyMCE, and contribute to the rich text editor development, by checking on the TinyMCE Roadmap!  It’s the best way to get involved behind-the-scenes.

Get started with cloud components

Cloud isn’t just a buzzword. It has real benefits that add up to better products and big cost savings for nearly all organizations. So, embrace the change!

If you’re looking to move across to cloud, jump on our docs or try one of our demos - they’re all running off cloud infrastructure. 

Start your free 14-day trial of one of our cloud plans. And if you’ve got any questions about getting TinyMCE set up or the different options, please reach out to our team - we’re here to help!

Tiny CloudProduct DevelopmentRoadmap
byMike Chau

Principal Product Manager at Tiny. Empowering a team of highly skilled engineers to create the best rich text editor on the market. Also loves the camping, four-wheel driving, and photography.

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