Cloud computing is one of the technological blessings that can help you to get a competitive advantage and become more agile in the world of business.
What Is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is not a mere fad but is more becoming a necessity in the business world. It took many years to shift from the traditional software models to internet-based models and it is here to stay.
What exactly is cloud computing? Well, it is 'kind of' outsourcing your data and applications. Once the data or application is installed in data centres located all over the world, users can easily access applications and data whenever they want. All these computer applications and data are hosted by an external company providing cloud services. Therefore, users don't need to worry about power, computer hardware, storage, maintenance, etc.
Types of Cloud Computing
While talking about cloud computing, you should know about the types. There are three types of cloud computing-
- SaaS (Software as a Service)- It is the most popular in cloud market and growing faster. It is basically used to deliver applications which are managed by the third-party vendor.
- PaaS (Platform as a Service)- This is the base or the framework, on which software developers develop apps and customize them.
- IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)- This is the self-service model of cloud computing. It is beneficial for monitoring, accessing and managing the infrastructures of remote data centres. For computing, networking and storing data at remote servers are done by this.
How Was Life before Cloud Computing
Traditionally it was mere paperwork. Managing accounts, preparing invoices, keeping records of a database, all are done on papers and things were quite messed up. Also, those documents were not secured. If papers gets loosen, it creates a big fuss.
Later, the traditional business software took the place, making it more efficient and easier. Still, the entire method was quite critical, complicated and expensive. You would need certain software and applications to run them and it can be really intimidating. You need an expert team to install, configure the software, test them and then put it into live environment. Updating them was again time-consuming.
Today, there are apps which are making such things easier. Such apps are being developed as generic or industry-based. If your business belongs to an industry, you can use those while the generic apps are helpful for those who run a variety of businesses. Cloud computing covers this entire technological development and provides security to your applications and software.
Cloud computing has defined how you work, not where you work. Enables small businesses to have "enterprise class" services
Benefits of Cloud Computing
1. It Offers Security and Offsite Data Backup
This is one of the best advantages you could get from cloud computing. While the entire system is online, it often frightens companies about the security, safety of data/files, and its integrity. When you get it from a reputable cloud vendor, your data monitored and maintained by the cloud host.
Backup services may be part of the cloud plan but if it's not, make sure its a added service. Therefore, there is very minimal chance of missing data since your data is distributed and backed up in the cloud. Where as if your data is stored on-premises and something happens to the equipment or the building burns down, without a offsite backup, your data will be lost forever.
2. Cost Savings
Once you subscribe to cloud computing, initial start-up costs are minimal and your cash flow is more manageable. If you choose on-premises computing, you have to consider initial hardware costs and hire a team to setup and manage. There's ongoing maintenance costs whether you choose to hire internal IT staff or a Managed Service Provider.
3. It Is Quite Flexible
Businesses can adopt a 'hybrid' solution where they can utilise cloud and local resources.
Critical day to day database software can be moved to the cloud allowing access to anyone in the world with internet access. The infrastructure is maintained by the cloud vendor, so you don't have to spend resources on hardware or a specialist to maintain it.
Many specialised software still exists that isn't offered in the cloud. These specialised software will still run on the local server yet other server functions can be offloaded to the cloud.
Important files can be accessed on the local server giving them super-fast access to their files since it's stored locally. The cloud can be used to backup these files allowing the business to have an offsite and onsite backup on their mission critical data.
There are many more scenarios and applications for Cloud Computing. Contact a vendor offering IT Services in Perth to help analyse and understand your requirements to recommend the best solution for your business.
Disadvantages of Cloud Computing
Not even the best service provider can fix this issue as cloud computing depends on the internet. If the internet is down or its slow (Internet Service Provider related issues), not much can be done about it other than to wait until the slowness and outage is resolved.
2. Security, Privacy and Data Ownership
There are certain controversies over the security issues. As the entire process is internet based, there are always intelligent hackers looking to comprise security holes to access your data. Even the best cloud vendors are vulnerable to security breaches from time to time.
Businesses also want to control their data as its their lifeline. By storing it in the cloud, there is a feeling that they don't control this entirely as if the data were to be controlled on their local premises.
3. Limited Control and Vendor Lock In
Cloud vendors owns the infrastructure and limits in the guidelines on what you can do with the service. Therefore its important to properly understand the cloud vendor capabilities and services.
Although cloud computing is flexible to use, switching vendors may not be as easy. You'll need a team of experts to migrate your data and confirm the viability of the new cloud vendor platform.
There will be negatives with positives. It depends on the business requirements and how it will affect business operation and workflow. You can see that the advantages outweighs the negatives. In fact, cloud computing adoption is expected to grow substantially for years to come.
Contact us to find out what cloud computing can do for you.