A decade ago, nobody would probably have imagined that the term “cloud” would be associated with technology. However, any resources that you now access over the internet is referred to as the cloud. For example, if you save photos on the internet in your google drive or Dropbox – it simply means uploading your pictures in the cloud.
Cloud, by definition, is a term used for software and services that you access over the internet instead of your local machine. So, where are these pieces of software and services stored? They are stored on networks of computers, i.e., servers, that are located worldwide. These servers can do all the work for you whenever you need something and send it directly to your machine.
While the cloud relies on access to the internet, it has a vast number of practical applications for every industry:
- Storing information in a way that allows you to access it remotely over the internet.
- Asking external servers to perform complex tasks for you instead of relying on local machines.
- Easily sharing information or collaborating with people from all over the world
In short, cloud computing solves one of the biggest problems – building an ability to manage data safely and execute business operations efficiently. Traditionally, a company would have to spend thousands of dollars on building an in-house IT infrastructure, hiring a team to manage it, and ensuring its security. It can be a considerable expenditure. However, in today’s world, a business can simply rent these IT hardware resources on a pay-as-you-go basis from a cloud company such as Microsoft or Amazon.
Benefits of Cloud
Cloud computing provides the business several benefits in terms of costs, agility, safety, and maintenance. Some of them are listed below:
- Flexibility: Using the cloud allows you to be flexible with scalability. Have a sudden surge in sales during the Holiday season? Just rent more computing power, and then scale down when the need is fulfilled.
- Data security: Since cloud companies typically have larger ecosystems and serve multiple businesses, they can do more to ensure data security.
- Accessibility: It is easier to share data and collaborate from any location since everything is on the internet. E.g., Two or more people can edit a PowerPoint at the same time, from different parts of the world.
- Ease of maintenance: Your cloud service provider will handle all the potential issues and upgrades needed. It protects your business from any unforeseen costs associated with data management.
- Hybrid option: If a business fears that putting sensitive information on the cloud exposes them to a higher risk, they can manage sensitive data in-house and use the cloud for the rest.
Given all these benefits, it is highly lucrative for businesses to utilize the cloud. First, however, it is best to understand how you want the cloud to be integrated with your ecosystem. Then, depending on how many IT capabilities you want to keep in-house, there are three options:
- IaaS or Infrastructure as a Service – this is where the cloud service provider will give you just the raw space and computing power. It is up to you to see how you want to utilize it.
- PaaS or Platform as a Service – this is where the cloud service provider will give you space, computing power, and a platform that you can use to build your own tools and software.
- SaaS or Software as a Service – this is where the cloud service provider will give you space, computing power, platform, and software to do your work. You can directly utilize SaaS to meet your business needs with minimum IT requirements on your end.
In summary, an organization that does not adopt the latest advances in technology in today’s highly competitive world generally gets left behind. There is already a rise in cloud adoption by enterprises. According to a survey by Harvard Business Review, 83% of survey respondents agreed with the importance of cloud for an organization’s future strategy and growth. Furthermore, 69% responded by saying that a significant part of their business information and applications will be in the cloud in the coming years. It gives a clear picture that cloud computing is an opportunity that cannot be ignored. It also shows that cloud is bringing a generation shift in the ever evolving world of technology.
Learn more about the Cloud in this video by XpertCloudSolutions , where we are trying to explain everything as simply as possible.