Cloud computing is the the use of various services, such as software development platforms, servers, storage and software, over the internet, often referred to as the “cloud.”
In general, there are three cloud computing characteristics that are common among all cloud-computing vendors:
- The back-end of the application (especially hardware) is completely managed by a cloud vendor.
- A user only pays for services used (memory, processing time and bandwidth, etc.).
- Services are scalable
Many cloud computing advancements are closely related to virtualization. The ability to pay on demand and scale quickly is largely a result of cloud computing vendors being able to pool resources that may be divided among multiple clients.
It is common to categorize cloud computing services as infrastructure as a service (IaaS), platform as a service (PaaS) or software as a service (SaaS).
Cloud computing benefits
Here’s a list of key benefits an enterprise can expect to achieve when adopting cloud infrastructure.
1. Efficiency / cost reduction
By using cloud infrastructure, you don’t have to spend huge amounts of money on purchasing and maintaing equipment. This drastically reduces capex costs. You don’t have to invest in hardware, facilities, utilities, or building out a large data center to grow your business. You do not even need large IT teams to handle your cloud data center operations, as you can enjoy the expertise of your cloud provider’s staff.
Cloud also reduces costs related to downtime. Since downtime is rare in cloud systems, this means you don’t have to spend time and money on fixing potential issues related to downtime.
2. Data security
One of the major concerns of every business, regardless of size and industry, is the security of its data. Data breaches and other cybercrimes can devastate a company’s revenue, customer loyalty and brand positioning.
Cloud offers many advanced security features that guarantee that data is securely stored and handled.
Cloud storage providers implement baseline protections for their platforms and the data they process, such authentication, access control, and encryption. From there, most enterprises supplement these protections with added security measures of their own to bolster cloud data protection and tighten access to sensitive information in the cloud.
Different companies have different IT needs — a large enterprise of 1000+ employees won’t have the same IT requirements as a start-up.Using cloud is a great solution because it enables enterprise to efficiently — and quickly — scale up/down their IT departments, according to business demands.
Cloud based solutions are ideal for businesses with growing or fluctuating bandwidth demands. If your business demands increase, you can easily increase your cloud capacity without having to invest in physical infrastructure. This level of agility can give businesses using cloud computing a real advantage over competitors.
This scalability minimizes the risks associated with in-house operational issues and maintenance. You have high-performance resources at your disposal with professional solutions and zero up-front investment. Scalability is probably the greatest advantage of the cloud.
Cloud computing allows mobile access to corporate data via smartphones and devices, which is a great way to ensure that no one is ever left out of the loop. Staff with busy schedules, or who live a long way away from the corporate office, can use this feature to keep instantly up-to-date with clients and coworkers.
Resources in the cloud can be easily stored, retrieved, recovered, or processed with just a couple of clicks. Users can get access to their works on-the-go, 24/7, via any devices of their choice, in any corner of the world as long as you stay connected to the internet. On top of that, all the upgrades and updates are done automatically, off-sight by the service providers. This saves time and team effort in maintaining the systems, tremendously reducing the IT team workloads.
5. Disaster recovery
Data loss is a major concern for all organizations, along with data security. Storing your data in the cloud guarantees that data is always available, even if your equipment like laptops or PCs, is damaged. Cloud-based services provide quick data recovery for all kinds of emergency scenarios — from natural disasters to power outages.
Cloud infrastructure can also help you with loss prevention. If you rely on traditional on-premises approach, all your data will be stored locally, on office computers. Despite your best efforts, computers can malfunction from various reasons — from malware and viruses, to age-related hardware deterioration, to simple user error.
But, if you upload your data to the cloud, it remains accesible for any computer with an internet connection, even if something happens to your work computer.
Having control over sensitive data is vital to any company. You never know what can happen if a document gets into the wrong hands, even if it’s just the hands of an untrained employee.
Cloud enables you complete visibility and control over your data. You can easily decide which users have what level of access to what data. This gives you control, but it also streamlines work since staff will easily know what documents are assigned to them. It will also increase and ease collaboration. Since one version of the document can be worked on by different people, and there’s no need to have copies of the same document in circulation.
7. Competitive edge
Not every company will migrate to the cloud, at least not yet. However, organizations which adopt cloud find that many benefits that cloud offers positively impacts their business .
Cloud adoption increases every year, since companies realize that it offers them access to world-class enterprise technology. And, if you implement a cloud solution now, you’ll be ahead of your competitors.