Feb 12 2020 / i-Tech
Your business is likely already using cloud computing solutions. You probably use cloud-based apps on your smartphone or computer and are already familiar with the concept of cloud storage services such as Google Drive, Apple iCloud, and the like. But, those are just examples of a tiny part of cloud computing. Cloud technology is a vast industry worth more than $200 billion in the U.S. market alone.
So, what is cloud computing, how does the technology work, and what do businesses stand to gain from implementing cloud computing solutions in their enterprise? These are the critical questions we’ll be answering in this article, hopefully delivering you a solid understanding and appreciation of the value of this revolutionary innovation.
What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing refers to the technology used in delivering raw computing resources and tools such as software, storage, network infrastructure, and processing power over the internet. It’s a simplified and convenient way for businesses to access and utilize powerful IT infrastructure to meet their digital demands. Think of cloud computing systems as a virtualized pool of computing resources accessible remotely via an end-user device.
How does cloud computing work?
The word “cloud” basically means “the internet” – so the term loosely translates to “internet computing,” or the deployment of computing resources and capabilities in an online space, rather than in physical infrastructure. Cloud computing solutions are an alternative to on-prem IT infrastructures. The cloud service provider hosts various IT resources such as data centers, servers, and work stations on an online platform.
The service provider then packages the services into various tiers and charges a subscription fee (usually monthly or annually) for access and use of the service packages.
The computing hardware itself does not necessarily reside in one location. The servers and storage units may be placed in separate locations and linked via robust network systems. The provider virtualizes the resources and shares them among the subscribers using sophisticated VM algorithms and protocols.
Cloud technology is a vast industry worth more than $200 billion in the U.S. market alone.
The different types of cloud computing services
There is a wide variety of different cloud computing services designed to meet various enterprise and computing needs. The type of service depends on the resources involved in enabling the service and the features available.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS is probably the most popular type of cloud services among businesses. According to a recent report by Markets and Markets, North America and the Asia Pacific regions have the highest rate of SaaS adoptions, and the two are regarded as mature markets when it comes to SaaS implementation.
SaaS describes a cloud-based software product distribution model in which vendors sell subscriptions to businesses to access and use software applications instead of licensing. So, rather than sell the software product, they turn it into services. The users pay an annual or monthly subscription fee for continued use, which is much cheaper than buying a software license or custom building one from scratch.
Platform as A Service (PaaS)
PaaS delivers third-party software and hardware tools, usually designed to create a development environment for application design, testing, and deployment. PaaS offers essential development tools and facilities such as processing platforms, operating systems, middleware, system software, database systems, and programming libraries. Platform as a Services can be packaged as a generic model or a highly specific service for particular development environments.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
IaaS is a type of cloud computing service that provides a wide variety of computing resources and infrastructure to support and enable enterprise operations. These resources typically include computing hardware, storage facilities, database systems, system software, and networking infrastructure. The variety of features and the scope of the service largely depends on the cloud service provider. However, IaaS is dynamically scalable, and you only pay for the services and resources you need.
Functions as a Service (FaaS)
FaaS is also referred to as serverless cloud computing, although that term often creates confusion. It’s an abstracted version of PaaS where the end-users are not exposed to the intricate technical details enabling the various services. The programs and routines run on FaaS platforms invoke the various resources and tools needed to complete their processes. FaaS is an efficient way of using cloud resources without the complexities of the underlying code and hardware architecture.
Public vs. private cloud service
In a public cloud, the hardware and software resources are owned and hosted by a third party, which then shares them amongst several users. You don’t get a dedicated server or facility, but the cost is low and flexible. A private cloud is a virtualized or hosted IT infrastructure exclusively used and/or owned by a single business or organization.
A combination of the two, known as a hybrid cloud system, allows for the convenience and efficiency of the public cloud and the flexibility of the private cloud. Resources such as apps and functions can be moved between a private and a public system within a hybrid system.
hybrid cloud system, allows for the convenience and efficiency of the public cloud and the flexibility of the private cloud.
The benefits of using cloud services
Cloud computing presents several benefits from a business perspective. Here’s a look at some of the most attractive of these benefits.
IT efficiency and cost reduction
With cloud-based IT solutions, you don’t have to purchase and set up expensive hardware and software to build an on-prem IT infrastructure. You don’t even need to hire an in-house IT support team to take care of the system; the cloud provider is responsible for maintaining and servicing the various resources and ensuring their uninterrupted availability.
As your business grows, IT demands also increase. The cloud allows you to scale your digital performance and capability as needed. What’s more, you have access to the latest cutting-edge software applications and hardware. The good thing is that you pay-as-you-go, so there is no problem with scaling up or down.
IT security and disaster recovery
Cybercrime is on an alarming upward trend, and the cost of data breaches just keeps going up, as is evident in the Ninth Annual Cost Of Cybercrime Study by Ponemon Institute. Cloud computing is a preferred and highly recommended method of combating cyber threats, especially for small and medium-sized businesses. The service provider can add as many layers of security protocols as needed on just about any service. And since the data is not stored in the typical style on a physical machine, you can have unlimited backups and disaster recovery measures.
Workplace flexibility and mobility
Cloud services are accessible via the web, which means they can be used from anywhere as long as there is a stable internet connection. So, your work doesn’t have to stop once you leave the office, and you can easily collaborate with remote workers, freelancers, and contractors on a common platform. This gives way to the possibility of a highly flexible work environment that ultimately boosts productivity.
Cloud adoption is growing incrementally every year; don’t get left behind in taking advantage of cloud computing to streamline your business operations, improve enterprise efficiency, save operational cost, and gain a competitive edge over your business rivals. Get in touch with us today and learn more about digital business solutions.
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i-Tech Support named 2022 Fast 50 Company, “Ultimate Newcomer” to the Golden 100 by Orlando Business JournalWhy this is a milestone for i-Tech.Read More »
Microsoft is Disabling Basic Authentication and Requiring Use of Modern Authentication under OAuth 2.0 starting October 1, 2022*This may impact apps.Read More »