‘It’s in the cloud’ - is one of those statements like ‘just ask Alexa’ that has worked its way into conversations involving day to day use of technology. Depending on how far down the path of creating a smart home you are, you may already have multiple appliances and devices using cloud storage and cloud applications. For example, when you switch from TV and turn on Netflix you are using a cloud-based video streaming service. Or maybe you have a NEST thermostat or camera system connected to a mobile app using the cloud storage and software.
Smart home devices have been growing in popularity, but is your business taking advantage of all the benefits of cloud-based services? If it isn’t now, chances are it will be in the not too distant future. So, let’s learn about cloud computing.
A recent study by Gartner predicts that cloud services will grow exponentially through 2022, and that study was published in 2019 before the Covid pandemic. Sid Nag, research vice president at Gartner said,
“At Gartner, we know of no vendor or service provider today whose business model offerings and revenue growth are not influenced by the increasing adoption of cloud-first strategies in organizations.”
So, what is cloud computing?
Cloud computing is the delivery of on-demand computing services -- from applications to storage and processing power -- typically over the internet and on a pay-as-you-go basis. ZNet
The cloud service industry is comprised of these three segments:
- lasS - infrastructure as a service
- PaaS - platform as a service
- SaaS - software as a service
Infrastructure-as-a-Service refers to the renting of physical or virtual servers for storage and networking. This translates into compute, network and storage resources accessed over the web. Using laaS gives businesses the benefit of scalability on-demand and remote access to infrastructure from anywhere. Research by Oracle found that 75 percent of laaS users said laaS made it easier for their business to innovate and significantly reduced IT maintenance costs.
You can think about PaaS as the next layer up. It includes the tools and software that developers use to create applications: middleware, database management, developer tools and database management. PaaS provides users with a complete environment to collaborate and develop applications and manage their security, operating system and backups.
Unless you are a software company, it is unlikely that you will concern yourself with PaaS. As a small business, cloud computing to you will consist of your business software, SaaS, accessed over the internet for a subscription fee.
From accounting systems to HR portals, to document management and email, vendors have created cloud-based software to manage business operations for companies of all sizes. Gone are the days of installation discs and managing software on a local server. Applications exist on a cloud network and users interact with the software over the internet.
Some Business Benefits of Cloud Computing
With SaaS, Instead of owning the right to use the software indefinitely, the business will take out a subscription for the service, thus lowering the cost to use it and providing data protection from equipment failure.
Of course, a major benefit of cloud computing is the ability to access services and data anywhere on an internet-connected device. It’s clear that businesses also benefit from cloud computing by reducing upfront purchase costs, and avoid the complexity of IT infrastructure ownership and maintenance.
Cloud vendors have delivered a wealth of applications utilizing the latest technology such as artificial intelligence, to provide innovative solutions to companies large and small.
Applications that were previously price prohibitive are now available to smaller businesses with cloud computing, sometimes with fewer features, but still offering valuable management and process tools to help a business run.
If you want to explore cloud computing and technology solutions that can improve your business, we are here to recommend solutions and deliver services.