Designing, implementing, maintaining, securing, and growing enterprise infrastructure is hard, time-consuming work—not to mention expensive.
However, for years, businesses didn’t have a choice but to set up their own computing infrastructure, data centers, and servers to enable their business operations. But, today, businesses looking to streamline their operating costs, simplify their infrastructure management, and future-proof their technology now have the choice of many cloud computing options ready to deliver services at the size, scope, and scale that they need.
It’s for this reason that the cloud computing industry is expected to grow by 17.5% in just 5 years, reaching $832 billion in size.
So just what is cloud computing and why should your business be considering this powerful operating model?
What You Need to Know About Cloud Computing
Drawing on the concept that the internet—and the hardware and software that defines and drives it—is seemingly everywhere, cloud computing refers to the concept of on-demand delivery of IT resources over the internet.
In other words, instead of buying, owning, and maintaining physical data centers and servers in your own on-premises locations, your organization can access technology services, such as computing power, storage, and databases, on an as-needed basis from a cloud provider that manages and maintains the equipment on your behalf.
Cloud computing can be used in a variety of uses cases, including:
- Data backup
- Disaster recovery
- Software development and testing
- Data analytics
- Web application hosting
- Internet of Things (IoT) management
The Benefits of Cloud Computing
So, in addition to the wide flexibility of cloud computing’s applications, there are plenty of other reasons why cloud computing has become so ingrained in our business and even our personal lives. Here are some of the biggest advantages of cloud computing:
Like any other subscription service, utilizing cloud computing can actually save businesses money in the long run. In addition to not having to hire and retain specialized IT staff to manage and maintain your own on-premises infrastructure, cloud computing providers allow you to scale up and down your services as you need them.
In other words, when it comes to your computing power, your organization only needs to pay for the cloud services that you use. As business needs increase, you can scale up your data storage, processing power, or availability and, as need changes, you can scale it back down. This is dramatically different than always having the fixed and variable costs that come with on-premises computing.
As business continues to go global and work happens anytime, anywhere, and on any platform, it can be difficult for businesses to implement and maintain the computing power at the levels and consistency in-house on their own.
When working with a cloud computing provider, you are also shifting how work can get down at your business, giving your employees access to their files, data, and collaboration tools as long as there is a secure internet connection. On top of that, cloud service providers’ operating model relies on being able to deliver 24/7/365 service with almost no interruption, putting less stress on your staff to be “on call,” available to implement patches, and deliver the services your business requires.
As 2020 proved firsthand for many, the pace of technological change is evolving quickly.
On top of the pressure to “keep the lights on,” it can be difficult for internal IT teams to find the time to learn about, test, and deploy new technologies and features as fast and as efficiently as their organizations require.
However, when operating within a cloud computing environment, your team not only has access to reliable, scalable service but also a team of professionals who are able to provide consultative services to your organization about which new tools and services may benefit your business and keep it more secure.
Flexible Operating Models
In addition to all of the other benefits, cloud services providers also offer a range of operating models to fit the specific needs of your business. At a high level, these include:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): This involves access to the networking, computing, and data storage technology your business requires.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS): PaaS includes delivery of the underlying infrastructure, including hardware and operating systems, needed to run your applications.
- Software as a Service (SaaS): This concerns delivery of a complete application or product run by the service provider, such as mail or a business-specific application.
- Public vs. Private vs. Hybrid: In the public cloud, the resources that your organization uses are managed by the provider, but are securely shared with other organizations. In the private cloud, the cloud computing resources are just dedicated to your organization, while a hybrid is a combination of both, usually reserving the private for specialized data and services while using the additional cost efficiencies of the public cloud for less vital needs.
Now Is the Time to Leverage Cloud Computing
Is your organization ready to leave legacy systems and hardware behind and utilize the cloud to enable digital transformation to match customer’s evolving needs and rising expectations?
Schedule a call with one of our experts now and learn more about what cloud solutions best fit your needs.
About the Author
Chief Growth Officer