Cloud computing might sound like a simple term, but it’s clear that quite a few of us are scrambling the definition and not really grasping its full potential. It’s about time we lift the fog on cloud computing once and for all.
Cloud computing keeps programs and data over the internet instead of on your computer or hard drive. In other words, you must be connected to the internet in order to access the data you need. Essentially, whenever your log into your Google Drive or listen to some decent tunes on Spotify, you’re utilising cloud services.
What cloud computing brings to companies is flexibility and functionality. Since the cloud is a vast network – or space if you’d rather call it that – it’s easier to store as huge a volume of data as you want or need to. However, it’s important to note that cloud computing in the business industry is entirely different from using the cloud for home-based offices or personal needs. Businesses need to decide whether they should go with Platform-as-a-Service (or PaaS), Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), or with Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) for cloud implementation.
In a nutshell, we can say that PaaS allows companies to come up with customised applications suited to their needs, while SaaS requires them to choose an application to subscribe to. So for SaaS, the service is provided by a host that also manages the application itself.
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On the other hand, you have cloud services provided by Google or Amazon which falls under the IaaS category. This means that businesses will pay rent to Google or Amazon, so that they can avail of their cloud computing services.
What are the common characteristics of the Cloud?
To fully understand how cloud computing functions, and why businesses are using it to store data and programs, it’s essential to identify the most common characteristics of the cloud.
The most important feature of cloud computing services is their on-demand availability. These self-service characteristics means that you, the user, don’t have to ask for assistance from the IT department to complete the process. Simply reach out to your provider, and they will then process your request. It doesn’t require human hands—on the part of the provider —to complete the procedure.
Easily accessed through a broad network
Another essential cloud feature is access via a broad network. This means you can use multiple and varied types of devices such as your laptop, mobile phone, and tablets in getting the resources you need.
Multi-tenant resource pooling
A multi-tenant model, such as the one used in cloud computing, gives multiple users the capability to share resources but without exposing them to security risks. In other words, privacy is retained.
Let’s look at an example. Imagine that you have a building housing hundreds of individuals. Arguably they live in one infrastructure, but they’re still able to keep their privacy because they live in separate flats. The tenants of the building share the same amenities provided by the same infrastructure and this is essentially what resource pooling is all about.
In the cloud, the computing resources are the ones that are pooled so as to serve a multitude of users.
Ability to scale rapidly
Elasticity, or the ability to scale up or down quickly, is necessary in cloud computing in order to keep up with the demand. If an application exhibits large volumes of traffic, service will not be affected because additional servers will be automatically provided. This elasticity simply means that the cloud can immediately provision or release according to what’s needed.
Cloud computing services are measured
This means that users are only to pay on a per-use basis. As such, the cloud has a meter that measures – monitors, controls or manages, and reports – on resource usage. This encourages transparency and is a guarantee that users only pay for what they actually use.
In other words, the amount users pay varies according to how much they consume of the services being delivered.
12 Benefits of moving to the cloud in 2019
In essential, cloud computing is all about moving the essential systems and resources of your business to a remote server. Some might think this a risky move, bit for most IT leaders, a cloud-based backup and storage solution is essential if you want your business to improve in not only one but several aspects.
Although the previously discussed characteristics are enough reasons to move to the cloud, there are more specific benefits companies will enjoy when implementing cloud computing.
The cloud is flexible
As we’ve already touched upon briefly, the cloud is incredibly flexible. Aside from providing vast storage space, it also offers a multitude of solutions that businesses like yours need. This helps improve not only employee efficiency, but also customer satisfaction.
With a flexible storage space, your business won’t need any additional hardware or another program to accommodate large volumes of data. Aside from cutting costs, this also helps employees perform better as it will be easier for them to work together efficiently. All they need to do is access data or resources from the cloud and collaborate with each other to ensure the success of programs and projects.
In addition, using the cloud will also give employees more freedom to work according to their preferred time as the cloud can be accessed anytime and anywhere – as long as they can connect to the internet.
Since the cloud will allow users to adjust according to site traffic, dealing with your customers or clients’ needs will not be a problem anymore. You can connect with them any time you need or want to. As such, this will result in increased customer satisfaction.
The cloud is reliable
Another benefit of moving to the cloud is its level of reliability. If one server is down, you’ll still be able to access your data as another server will take its place. This means that all your resources will be kept safe at any time.
The cloud is a good investment
While it’s true that a lot of business leaders hesitate to move to the cloud because of cost issues, there are also those who are absolute confident in the fact that it’s a good investment.
Imagine having all the data you need in one secure place that nobody except you and your employees can access; think of what that can do to help you save time and money.
Likewise, since you won’t have to spend on physical equipment, utilities, maintenance, and other pertinent expenses, your operating costs will be significantly minimised. Keep in mind that when your business resources are on the cloud, there is no need for additional IT personnel and extra onsite servers and computers. So you’re guaranteed to get back your investment without having to worry about additional expenditures.
Also, as the cloud is a pay-according-to-use service, you won’t have to worry about wasting money on features your company cannot benefit from. You will only pay for those that the business used.
Easy mobile access
Another benefit of cloud migration is the easy mobile access. This is a rather significant takeaway – there are now over a billion smartphone users globally and the majority of the would naturally prefer the convenience provided by their portable devices when getting updates about work.
This allows you to provide access to employees who work remotely or those who constantly travel, as well those who work on a freelance basis. Aside from helping increase employee productivity, this also improves employee satisfaction.
Moving to the cloud means easy data backup and recovery. Since your business information and resources are kept in the cloud, you are guaranteed to get access to them even if your laptop, smartphone, or tablet malfunctions. Cloud computing has several solutions intended to protect and recover your data.
Additionally, the cloud also has disaster recovery solutions, and you won’t have to worry about additional expenses just to avail of them. What’s even better is that these solutions are designed for all types and sizes of businesses. With this special feature, there will be no reason to fear data loss—regardless of whether it was stolen, destroyed, misplaced, or because of equipment failure. Cloud computing ensures that your information can still be accessed; you simply have to find a functioning computer or laptop with internet access.
Since you won’t need a lot of hardware or physical products, your business will help reduce environmental waste. This will likewise help decrease the production of paper wastes. So you’re not only cutting company expenses and freeing up physical space, you’re also encouraging employees to adapt a proactive environmental approach in life.
Benefit number seven is security – the type of security that only the cloud can offer.
Safety of your data and information is one of the major focuses of cloud hosts. These hosts are efficient because they make sure every aspect of your data security is monitored and updated. The cloud actually uses data encryption to ensure anyone not authorised to access your data is not given the chance to. Also, there are a lot of cloud computing hosts that provide unique security settings for every user.
A strong indication that cloud computing security is more reliable than some perceive it to be is the report that over 93% of businesses that moved to the cloud now have better data security.
The cloud makes it easier for you to access and retrieve data – even in the middle of the night or when you’re traveling. This is because the cloud never switches off; it is always at work and all you have to do is find reliable internet connection.
Once you do, it will be easy for you to access the resources that you need.
There’s a misconception that cloud computing is complicated and is therefore prone to issues.
In fact, compared to physical server infrastructures, the cloud is actually easier to comprehend and manage. Cloud computing hosts make it a point to act on an issue the minute it is detected. For example, if there’s a small bug, chances are that the host is busy clearing the situation long before you’re even aware of its existence.
If something similar happened to your physical or onsite servers, the process would take hours as there are certain things—such as incident reports—that you first need to take care of before the IT support guy can look at the problem and fix it. As previously mentioned, the main task of these cloud computing hosts is to monitor and manage the cloud’s safety and security.
So you have the guarantee that the cloud is constantly kept bug-free and safe.
Data is vital to modern businesses. By migrating to the cloud, you’ll enjoy the freedom of being able to monitor your data whenever it suits you. Run a report, check your sales numbers – you can do it all instantly as long as you have an internet connection.
Simple implementation process
A lot of people seem to think that migrating to the cloud is a rather complicated process.
While there are certain steps that need to be followed, implementing it is not actually as complicated as when you need to install an onsite server. The process should indeed be planned, but it’s not really something you should worry about. In fact, cloud migration can be simple and easy as long as you use your teams or hosts to help you complete the task.
Be better than your competition
Lastly, cloud computing will give you the benefit of enjoying an edge over your competitors. As the cloud continues to increase in popularity, moving into it before your major competitors do will give you a big advantage, especially since there are still numerous companies that prefer to do things “the old way”. With this advantage and the great scaling opportunities, it won’t take long for your business to achieve its goals.
What should your business expect in cloud computing in 2019?
This year, we predict that cloud computing will continue to soar high and create significant changes in the technology and business scene.
Aside from businesses shifting to and making the cloud a priority, more and more of them will allot greater parts of their budget to cloud computing, as well as cloud-focused skills, training and development. Following this trend, more and more cloud services are expected to pop up and saturate the already crowded marketplace. In other words, you will need to pick your vendor very carefully to ensure that you get what you ask for.
In relation to this, quite a number of businesses are bound to choose hybrid cloud when they migrate as it will mean minimal expenses, more convenience (compared to transitioning fully), and lesser risks.
Discover the benefits of cloud technology today
Cloud technology has been around for years, but it’s only more recently that it has really taken off amongst UK businesses. More and more companies are expected to make the shift to benefit from increased, efficiency, productivity, improved customer satisfaction, less operating expenses, and increased data security.
Are you ready to see how cloud technology can accelerate your growth in 2019? Leave your details on our contact page, and one of our experts will soon be in touch with non-chargeable expert advice.