A growing buzz around cloud computing means almost everyone has heard about the topic. On top of that, the most famous digital companies use it in their operations. Instagram, for instance, used a public cloud to store users’ photos, until the app was bought by Facebook and storage shifted to the social media giant’s private cloud. Why did they make this decision, and how can you get an understanding of which cloud computing option is the best fit for a particular company? Let’s dive deeper into cloud computing and look at everything we know about the cloud.
What Is Cloud Computing?
Oxford Dictionary defines cloud computing as the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer.
Let’s look at Microsoft’s definition of cloud computing. Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services such as servers, storage, networking, software, databases, and analytics over the internet in order to provide flexible resources, rapid innovation, and economies at scale.
As such, cloud computing is simply the act of storing and processing your data somewhere “in the cloud” rather than on your local server. On the one hand, it offers huge advantages, because you don’t need to buy expensive hardware, hire more
team members to operate it, or worry about possible damages or problems like electrical outage. On the other hand, your data is stored somewhere else, and the value of the data is a key factor: Is it going to be secure?
Leading cloud services providers like Google, Microsoft and Amazon say yes. These tech giants assure clients that they provide a highly secure environment by offering a set of policies, technologies, and controls to strengthen their security.
The cloud service market offers various options and continual security improvements to meet the needs of a wide audience. To avoid any confusion about these services, we’re going to analyze
Benefits of Cloud Computing for Every Company
By gathering all our expertise in the field and years of successful experience, we’ve made a list of top-10 main advantages of cloud computing.
Business Benefits of Cloud Computing
I Simplified Service Maintenance
If you have a remote server, you have to look after it. Every time there is a small issue, you have to ask the tech department’s help. The tech department is usually extremely busy with other tasks, so you have two scenarios: they will fix the problem much later, or they will not bother to fix things until it is a bigger issue that affects everyone.
When you use a cloud platform, the company that runs your server has only one objective: to run and maintain the server. So, if any issue arises, they will start working on it immediately. Therefore, you will get your bugs fixed quickly, and you will not have to wait for a small bug to turn into a major one that will require more effort and money.
II Easy Application Integration
You do not need to manually integrate new software as it was necessary with on-premises software. With cloud computing, the integration is easy thanks to the extensive support from cloud vendors like Microsoft with Microsoft Azure and Amazon with AWS. However, keep in mind that you would need to retrain your tech team so they can effectively maintain the system.
On the one hand, it offers huge advantages because you don’t need to buy expensive hardware, hire more team members to operate it or worry about any possible physical damages or problems like an electrical outage. On the other hand, your data is stored somewhere else, and the value of the data is a key factor: Is it going to be secure?
Leading cloud services providers like Google, Microsoft, and Amazon say yes. These tech giants assure clients that they provide a highly secure environment by offering a set of policies, technologies, and controls to strengthen their security.
Financial Benefits of Cloud Computing
III Minimized Investments
The economic or cost benefits of cloud computing are the main reason why so many businesses choose this approach. We have already mentioned that you do not have to fix big issues that cost a lot of money and requires the tech department to step away from their more important tasks. However, there is more to that.
You can also have an easier start if you are new to the industry or the owner of a small business. You do not have to pay for the server start or the tech team who can run it.
IV Go Green
Cloud servers help decrease the carbon footprint since businesses do not need data centers, and increased collaborations online do not require printouts. This is not only good for the environment but also your wallet.
According to Microsoft, cloud storage is 79-93% more energy efficient compared to traditional storage. And having some underwater datacenters, Microsoft finds them reliable, practical, and energy-efficient.
Security Benefits of Cloud Computing
V Improved Safety
There are a lot of physical issues that can happen to your storage: there can be a natural disaster, power outage, or a fatal computer malfunction.
Cloud storage providers use back-ups on additional remote servers and perform a security check much more often. So, your files are safer than they could ever be on a local server, contrary to popular belief that cloud storage is riskier.
VI Critical Documents Under Control
With local servers, you can never know who has the document and what they will do with it. Cloud computing allows you to control access to documents with sensitive data and see how and when the document was changed and by whom. You will not have to forward countless versions of the same document: shared editing allows you to have just one.
Keeping the information in the cloud has various benefits for the healthcare industry. It allows for greater reach, especially during a disaster. Medical professionals can consult with each other, keep each other updated on the disaster victim’s condition, or send additional resources requests. Such quick access to data offered by cloud computing can impact the victim’s life.
VII Software Updates Are Automatic
Maintaining a local server requires regular checks and updates. Thus tech team needs to devote time and effort to perform these tasks manually. Cloud storage providers save your company’s time and money by updating the software and security measures themselves.
Benefits of Virtualization in Cloud Computing
VIII More Space for Collaborations
Cloud computing means stress-free file sharing and editing in real-time. There is no need to send numerous emails or set frequent meetings. One of the main cloud computing benefits that affect all the aspects of the business is that employees from all over the world can collaborate very easily and efficiently.
In times of COVID-19, most businesses have switched to a remote work model, and this tendency would only grow in the coming years because of cloud computing and the numerous benefits it brings.
IX No Need to Stress Over Forgetting Files
It happened to all of us: you come home and realize that you forgot a flash drive with an important file at the office. Cloud computing easily solves this problem: as soon as you have access to the Internet, you can go to your work documents from anywhere.
This is a great advantage for the retail industry, as retailers can have an enterprise-wide supply chain visibility with cloud computing. With the cloud, retailers can set a chain system to monitor and notify them about stock-outs, expedited deliveries, or high inventories. Cloud also helps capture the status of consignments in real-time that can help retailers make better business decisions.
X Better Work/Life Balance for Employees
While one can work from anywhere with cloud computing, employees will be able to work from home and spend time with family. Moreover, they will also spend less time on collaborations. It is one of the best advantages of cloud computing, according to employees. Providing new technology and services to alleviate the stress that employees may feel will result in happier employees, and according to a study conducted in 2019, happy employees are 13% more productive than unhappy ones.
The cloud service market offers numerous benefits (we have gone through only the key benefits of cloud computing) and continual security improvements to meet the needs of a wide audience. To avoid any confusion about these services, we are going to analyze and break them down below.
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How Can You Apply Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing incorporates three models: IaaS, PaaS and SaaS.
Infrastructure as a service, or IaaS, is the most basic category of cloud computing services. In IaaS you simply rent IT infrastructure including networks, data storage, servers and virtual machines, so that you gain access to a virtual environment where your team can develop solutions on a pay-as-you-go basis. This model is mostly used by companies striving to build software solutions from the ground up, and who want control over almost every infrastructure element.
At the same time, the higher control level requires higher responsibilities, like having enough skilled professionals to orchestrate services. Research results from Oracle show that two-thirds of IaaS users believe the model simplifies innovations, cuts new app deployment terms, and decreases ongoing maintenance costs. Even so, 50 percent of respondents said IaaS is not fully secure when it comes to critically valuable data.
Platform as a service, or PaaS, is used by software development engineers as a closed-environment laboratory for application development and testing. PaaS is the next stage up from the SaaS model; in addition to virtual servers, storage, and networking it includes middleware, operating systems, database management, and other tools needed for development.
The difference between IaaS and PaaS models is small, so in most cases companies use them in combination. “Demand for integrated IaaS and PaaS offerings is driving the next wave of cloud infrastructure adoption,” said Sid Nag, research director at Gartner, in a 2018 press release.
Software as a service, or SaaS, is an approach for delivering applications that are accessible through a web browser or are lightweight. Such apps are also referred to as “on demand” and are provided on a subscription basis. In SaaS, the cloud provider fully ensures the hosting and maintenance of the application and its underlying infrastructure, including software upgrades and security patching. Some common examples are Google’s suite of apps (Google Drive, Gmail) and Salesforce CRM.
According to International Data Group 89 percent of companies use SaaS, and its popularity is constantly rising. Many businesses develop software products to diversify potential risks and yield an additional revenue channel, offering them as SaaS products. It’s vital here to find a hidden pain point that can be addressed with your application — something that’s easier said than done.
Together, these three models can be visualized as a pyramid, with IaaS at the bottom level, PaaS as the next stage up, and SaaS as the most advanced level of cloud services.
Three Cloud Types You Should Be Aware Of
A Public Cloud
The first and most common type is a public cloud. Public clouds can be accessed from anywhere through the internet, there’s no need to maintain hardware, and they can be deployed fast. Users can choose from a vast number of public cloud providers who earn revenue for consumed bandwidth, storage volume, or CPU (central processing unit, where most system calculations take place) cycles.
A Private Cloud
A Hybrid Cloud
The third type of cloud is a hybrid cloud, which combines private and public cloud solutions. In hybrid clouds, some data is placed in the public cloud, while other projects or applications are kept in the private cloud. Research by TechRepublic shows the main reasons companies choose the hybrid cloud option are disaster recovery planning and to bypass hardware costs while expanding an existing data center. Apple, for example, uses private infrastructure for computing and energy, but also uses public cloud services provided by Microsoft, AWS, and Google.
What Is the Most Popular Type of Cloud Solution?
How popular is each type of cloud solution?
According to statistics provided by RightScale, on average companies run 38 percent of their workloads in public clouds and 41 percent in private clouds. Statistics differ by company size. For example, enterprises use private clouds rather than public (46 percent vs. 33 percent), while small and medium businesses mostly use the public cloud (43 percent) and rarely subscribe to expensive private solutions.
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However, public cloud spending is increasing for both enterprises and small to medium businesses, while public cloud spending is growing three times faster than private cloud usage.
Modern problems require modern solutions, and that is why the number of companies who decide to migrate to the cloud is growing exponentially. Hopefully, after reading the article, you can better understand the various benefits of cloud computing for business.
If you also consider moving to the cloud but not sure which option would be the best for you and the benefits for your project, the ModLogix team can help you with this exciting but complicated process. Book a call with one of ModLogix’s experts, so we would assess your case and guide you through the process.