Cloud Computing Businesses- Cloud computing has existed since the dawn of the internet, but only in recent years has it become a household term. Anyone who has touched a computer, tablet or smartphone over the last decade is regularly using cloud services.
Whenever we scroll through Facebook or Twitter, watch streaming videos, access an online email service like Gmail or Outlook, or use the apps on our phones, we are accessing data stored on the cloud. The general public has been quicker to adopt cloud services than the business world, mostly because the data that companies use to run and grow their businesses is highly sensitive.
It’s taken a while for companies to transition from in-house data and systems management to cloud computing, but that too is changing. In 2017, Forrester Research predicted that 50% of global enterprises will rely on at least one public cloud platform by the end of 2018. In addition, the global public cloud market will be valued at $178 billion and the market will only continue to grow. Cloud computing is the wave the of future, and it seems the future is already here.
Businesses are utilizing cloud services at an increasing rate for obvious reasons.
• Secure and affordable
• Improves efficiency
• Provides customization based on your business needs
Eliminates the risk of data loss
• Offers immediate upgrades and latest available technologies
• Globally accessible
While the benefits of cloud computing for business are becoming well known, many businesses are unfamiliar with the different types of cloud computing. As the founder of an IT services provider, it’s my job to recommend cloud solutions that best address company inefficiencies. Below, I outline the different types of cloud services and the specific benefits related to each. (Hint: You may want to use a mix of these.)
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
IaaS providers offer configured hardware and software through a virtual interface. Servers, storage, networking and security features are the basic services IaaS provides. Your email hosting company is an IaaS provider. Common business applications for IaaS include testing and development, website hosting, backup and recovery, high-performance computing (involving complex and variable calculations) and data analysis.
IaaS is an economical cloud solution for businesses because it eliminates capital expenditure related to on-site hardware or data centers.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
PaaS provides an environment that allows users to build internet applications and services, from simple apps to sophisticated enterprise applications. PaaS offers all the same services as IaaS, with an additional layer of middleware, development tools, business intelligence services and database management (among other services), so it’s frequently used by software and web developers.
Customers buy the PaaS resources they need from a cloud service provider on an as-needed basis and access them via a secure internet connection. PaaS reduces coding time, gives developers greater flexibility and adaptability, and creates a sense of community among the development team. Typically, developers working on an application work in different locations, and PaaS makes it easier for them to collaborate.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Email, calendars, web conferencing tools, project tracking and office tools such as Microsoft Office 365 are all examples of SaaS services. Basically, SaaS are office solutions that allow businesses to work more efficiently and in a more systematic, organized way.
SaaS applications are commonly used for accounting and invoicing, sales tracking, performance monitoring, interoffice communication and overall planning. Customers pay only for the software they use and have access to highly sophisticated applications without the burden or expense of buying and managing them independently.
Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)
DRaaS uses cloud resources to safeguard and protect applications from disruption and loss. Data loss and disruption is a major concern for businesses of all sizes because downtime can be costly to the point of ruin. If a system goes down, it’s essential that it gets back up and running again as quickly as possible and that the data within that system is retrievable again.
How can you choose the right cloud services for your business?
There are countless combinations of cloud services to implement into your business, so it’s important to go into the process with a solid game plan in mind. As more and more IT systems are externalized, choosing the right cloud providers for your business will be critical for seamless growth and long term success. Here are a few must-do steps:
1. Develop a cloud strategy. Your organization is unique, and therefore has unique needs on the cloud. To ensure a provider meets your requirements, conduct a review of their infrastructure, compliance policies, data protection policies, development practices and data classification procedures. Only then will you know that the provider is a fit.