Cloud computing has changed every business and industry. Find out what cloud computing is and the benefits it can bring to your company.
Cloud Computing is a term that has gained widespread use over the last few years, and more and more businesses around the world have started to adopt it after seeing its benefits. Due to the exponential increase in production and use of data the 21st century has brought, and despite the Covid-19 pandemic that has forced businesses to transform digitally, this one hasn’t stopped growing.
According to a survey by Statista, in 2021, spending on IT services (which encompasses Cloud Computing) is expected to amount to over 1 trillion U.S. dollars worldwide, an increase of 4.1% from the previous year due to the economic impact of the Coronavirus. For its part, Gartner predicts that the worldwide public Cloud services market is forecast to grow to a total of $306.9 billion in 2021, up from $257.9 billion in 2020.
So if there is one clear thing, it is that the Cloud has exponentially grown and is expected to continue like this in the years to come. But before diving into the benefits of Cloud Computing, let’s take a look at what exactly this means, its features, and classifications.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud Computing is the delivery of different computing services and resources — servers, data storage, databases, networking, and software — usually accessed over the internet. It offers access to numerous technologies and services for minimal costs without having to invest in infrastructure or technical expertise. Thanks to that, it provides an infrastructure that enhances business scalability and flexibility, no matter the size of the organization.
Among the main features of Cloud Computing technologies, we can find the following.
- Self-service on-demand: Clients can automatically access computing resources without interacting with the service provider.
- Network access: Resources are distributed across the network and can be accessed using devices such as laptops, tablets, phones, mobiles, and so on.
- Pooling services: The resources offered by providers are assigned and reassigned based on the client’s demands. Users do not manage or control the location of resources such as memory, storage, processing, and bandwidth.
- Elasticity: The resources can be supplied elastically, giving the client the perception that the supply capacity is unlimited.
- Monitoring: Use of resources can be measured, monitored, controlled, and reported, allowing transparency for the client.
- Ease of use: Users don’t have to worry about software or hardware licenses to implement the service, since everything is in the provider.
- Quality of Service (QoS): The contract specifies what service will be provided (SLA) and what its measurable characteristics (SLO) will be, so quality commitments and the level the service that must be achieved is guaranteed.
- Reliability: The ability to provide a balance of loading and switching after possible errors makes the system very reliable.
Types of Cloud deployment models: public, private, or hybrid
Not all Cloud infrastructures are the same. Depending on the business needs, it is important to determine the type of Cloud deployment or architecture on which the Cloud service will be deployed. There are three data storage models.
In a public Cloud, the resources are provided and operated by third-party Cloud service providers who care for the client’s needs. It is intended for widespread usage and delivers its computing resources over the internet.
In a private Cloud, managed resources belong to a single organization and can be physically inside the company’s data center or the third-party Cloud services provider. It offers many of the public Cloud benefits, adding control and customization for dedicated resources over a private network.
A hybrid Cloud combines the two previous approaches. It means that the data and apps can be moved between private and public Clouds, which provides greater flexibility for business.
Read more: Cloud platform, a way to scale and storage
Cloud models services: IaaS, PaaS, Serverless, and SaaS
There is also another classification of Cloud Computing that allows users to choose the level of control over the information and services they can access.
This category of Cloud Computing services lets users rent an IT infrastructure from a Cloud provider, which requires them to pay only for what they use (servers and virtual machines, networks, operating systems, and data storage space). This model provides a high level of flexibility since it is a copy of the physical environment. Popular IaaS examples are Digital Ocean, Microsoft Azure, and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
It offers tools to developers to build and host web or mobile applications over the internet. Users have access to operating systems, development tools, and database managers, among other components. The big benefit of this Cloud Computing type is that developers don’t have to care about hardware performance or the system’s updates. All of this is done by the service provider. A good example is the Google Cloud Platform.
Take a look at this: PaaS and IaaS… Where is Cloud Computing leading us?
This is a Cloud model that allows users to create and run applications and processes without having contact with the underlying server. Here, the provider is responsible for supplying, managing, and scaling the server. The Serverless approach goes a step further than the PaaS model, where developers or clients have to go to the server(s) through an API and add or release resources on their own.
It is the most popular Cloud Computing model, used for delivering software applications over the internet. Here, Cloud providers host and manage the software applications, and customers have access through a pay-as-you-go or an on-demand model. It means that you rent the use of an application, and you can connect to it over the internet, usually with a web browser. It is the most used because, in addition to providing software services, it offers the storage of information generated from the software.
Google’s apps like Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Play are some good examples of SaaS.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
Now that we have clarified what Cloud Computing is, along with its features and main models, let’s dive into the great benefits the Cloud offers and how it can enhance your business.
1. Cost savings
When using your servers, it is necessary to buy more hardware when the system fails or crashes. However, moving to Cloud Computing means that purchasing costly systems and equipment isn’t mandatory. Also, it is not necessary to worry about managing and maintaining IT systems.
These cost savings can only be achieved by implementing an architecture that allows pooling resources on a large scale to serve multiple consumers of Cloud services. It means that the Cloud provider can use the minimum number of physical resources to meet the maximum level of demand for resources.
In addition, companies do not need large IT teams to handle Cloud data center operations, since they can take advantage of the Cloud provider’s staff.
2. Faster time to market and efficiency
The fact that the Cloud enables organizations to reduce the time required to provide IT infrastructure allows for speedy delivery of IT projects, which increases efficiency and productivity. Companies can deliver products to market quickly as they can be provided with computing resources in a matter of minutes without being concerned about the capacity.
3. Data security
The Cloud offers many security features to ensure the data is protected and securely stored. Many Cloud providers have a wide set of policies, controls, and technologies that helps to strengthen security and prevent infrastructure and data from being threatened. For sure, you also need the application to be stable and durable. The Cloud platform provides all of this to your business applications.
4. Data recovery and loss prevention
Besides the security, Cloud-based services provide fast data recovery for all kinds of emergencies that may occur. Once the information is uploaded to the Cloud, it remains safe and easily accessible. Not having this sort of “security plan” based on Cloud Computing services can make it so that all the data will depend completely on the company’s local hardware. If any problem emerges, the data will be permanently lost.
Cloud Computing facilitates access to a catalog of services and resources that can respond to business needs in a flexible way, offering innovative solutions to the current market needs. Cloud-based strategies give the companies the opportunity to bring their own intelligence and insights to each sales situation.
One of the major benefits of Cloud computing is that it enables organizations to easily scale their IT departments up or down, according to their needs. Thanks to its flexibility, Cloud services deliver the right amount of IT resources, wherever the geographic location is. If the business grows and the demands increase, the client can increase their Cloud capacity quickly without investing in new infrastructure. At the end, this means your company saves time and money.
7. Worldwide access
Since resources are online, you can access them from anywhere at any time. This is a big advantage for companies managing remote teams or with different subsidiaries that need to access a central database. The only requirement is to have an internet connection.
The Cloud also allows a lot of mobility: access from a computer, mobiles, tablets, and other devices.
8. Agility and work collaboration
Last but not least, one of the greatest benefits of Cloud computing is that it encourages collaboration, since team members are able to view, communicate, and share information easily. This is great for virtual teams and remote working, because even if members of a project are working across widespread locations, they will all have access to the same documents.
There are even some Cloud-based services that provide social networks to connect customers, partners, and employees with information and experts, encouraging continuous collaboration.
To Sum Up
Cloud Computing adoption is on the rise every year, and it does not seem that it will stop growing. And the more it grows, the more benefits companies can take advantage of.
Many businesses are switching to Cloud Computing services thanks to the multiple benefits they offer: driving innovation, increasing agility and collaboration, lowering costs of technical expertise and IT infrastructure, increasing security, offering storage and processing of information solutions, and the list keeps rising. Business leaders and CIOs need to understand that Cloud solutions are one of the best alternatives to their business models since they offer the scalability, agility, and security they require.
No matter the size or type of business, the Cloud is a good option every company should take into account nowadays if they want to go digital at the fastest speed.
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