What is Cloud Computing?
This refers to technology that facilitates flexible, cost-efficient, and versatile IT resources through the Internet. Services typically consist of applications, storage, servers, software, analytics, and databases that enable innovation as well as economies of scale. CSPs manage and maintain information residing on physical or virtual servers. They maintain multiple data copies to mitigate IT security risks and threats, as well as data loss and data breach. Organizations only invest in the services they use, which means they can reduce operating costs, run infrastructure effortlessly, and scale to meet evolving business requirements.
Top cloud computing use cases range from Virtual Desktop Infrastructure, SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS to unifying global operations, data backup, disaster recovery, and Big Data analysis. For example, the cloud incorporates a highly resilient security architecture and unlimited storage for financial services institutions to safeguard stock market transactions, card transactions, insurance payments, and loans. Or, consider the healthcare sector that uses the private cloud to safely transfer electronic documents and patient health information. It also utilizes the public cloud for storing medical data remotely.
How Does Cloud Computing Work?
Its architecture is custom designed and engineered with two essential components. We have the front-end that consists of a thin client, thick client, or mobile endpoint device. Next, there is the back-end that integrates storage and servers. Other elements include a cloud-hosted delivery platform and a network that connects the front-end and the back-end. While this is generally the Internet, businesses may use the Intranet or Intercloud. All these software, databases, and applications work together to enable capabilities that solve business problems.
Furthermore, each application in a cloud system usually has its dedicated server, and not all systems necessarily integrate the same user interface. A central server oversees the entire system where it manages traffic and client needs to ensure smooth operations. It implements protocols and leverages middleware that functions as a bridge connecting servers, applications, and data. This allows companies to run applications at scale, and middleware enables networked computers to interact with each other.
Cloud Computing Benefits in Business
Recent statistics reveal how much the industry has advanced and is expected to grow in the coming years. According to TechJury, 67% of IT systems will be cloud-based by 2020, and 82% of enterprise projects will reside in the cloud. These impressive numbers incentivize businesses to allocate a reasonable chunk of their budgets to the technology. Let’s have a look at some reasons why opting for cloud services is a viable business decision that reaps long-term rewards.
The platform enables seamless access to a wide variety of technologies that help businesses innovate faster, accelerate time to market, and enhance quality without compromising on compliance. You can provision resources on-demand from computing, databases, storage, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), data lakes, the Internet of Things (IoT), and more. Technology deployment is quick, and you can transform ideas into best-of-breed products or services that deliver great customer experiences. This is a plus point for SMBs as it offers them a competitive advantage over larger companies in the market.
Eliminate the capital costs of purchasing hardware and software, as well as setting up and running on-site data centers. Other expenses you need not worry about are associated with server racks, near 24/7 electricity for power and cooling, time delays, and infrastructure technical support. These tend to add up quickly, but things change if you consider cloud services. Essentially, what happens is you trade CapEx like physical servers and data centers for variable expenses. This prevents the risk of wasting money by overprovisioning resources upfront to handle peak levels of business activity during busy seasons. Such an approach is more feasible and you can scale up or down with remarkable flexibility.
In this digital world, there are always data security concerns when it comes to implementing IT infrastructure solutions. How can you be sure that organization files, data, and programs remain protected when they are not located onsite? Also, if you and your users can remotely access corporate data, then surely, cybercriminals can do the same?
Cloud computing proactively addresses the security vulnerabilities and architecture flaws related to traditional IT infrastructure. A cloud host thoroughly monitors security which, if you compare with a conventional in-house system, is considerably more efficient. It also becomes easier to fulfill regulatory compliance mandates. How does this work? The answer is encrypted data being transmitted over networks and secured in databases. Encryption makes information less accessible to hackers or unauthorized sources, and you can even set security settings based on your preferences.
Offer easily accessible data to remote employees, users with tight schedules, or staff members traveling regularly. This is possible with an Internet cloud infrastructure that maximizes productivity. The ability to communicate and share more easily outside of traditional tools and methods is another advantage. If you work on a project across different locations, you can allow teams to access and view the same files. Your CSP will also recommend the most appropriate model for you to share records with contractors and third parties. An example is sharing accounting worksheets with your financial advisor.
Maintaining quality and consistent reporting are two essential factors that determine business success. A cloud-hosted environment is beneficial as it stores all documents in a central repository and a single, unified format. With users accessing the same information, administrators can guarantee data consistency, avoid human error, and keep clear records of updates or revisions. You decide which users have what level of access to specific data and streamline work once your teams know the documents assigned to them. Apart from attaining complete visibility into operations, you can avoid the hassle of managing data in silos. In this way, your employees will never accidentally save different versions of documents that can lead to confusion and ultimately, false or incomplete records.
Planning for natural disasters and technical failures that result in downtime is necessary for every business owner. This is because we are not in control of external factors, and in today’s competitive business landscape, even a small amount of unproductive downtime can lead to negative consequences. So, how does one stay prepared and help speed disaster recovery?
Cloud computing represents a fast and accurate medium of retrieving applications and information. Conduct research on services that enable storing and recovering system data on a remote-cloud based solution. There are many benefits to doing so. Firstly, you need not create a secondary physical site or buy hardware and software to support time and mission-critical operations. You get access to cloud storage that serves as a secondary DR site. Secondly, you can store backed-up data across multiple locations to eliminate a single point of technical discrepancies. Additionally, leading network infrastructure ensures that your CSP easily identifies and resolves errors or issues. They also manage cloud storage support and maintenance, allowing you to focus on strategic tasks such as optimizing productivity.
Cloud-hosted applications automatically refresh and update on their own, replacing the otherwise time-consuming and tedious process of rolling out manual updates across the organization. This saves valuable time, effort, and resources, not to mention your CSP regularly updates your system with the latest technologies. These can range from up-to-date software versions to server and computer processing power updates.
Enterprises are recognizing the value of cloud computing and its impact on their performance, security, and profitability. Today, there is less dependency and spending on on-premises IT systems as companies look to stay on top of the latest tech advancements. This indicates a growing need to shift from legacy architecture, and the cloud is a great place to start.
Do you have any questions about how to effectively move to the cloud for your small business? Or, would you like to know how to optimize cloud performance, cut costs, and dynamically solve computing problems? If so, please contact us today. Our experts will get in touch with you and offer personalized recommendations based on your unique business model.