All businesses are different, and so they have different needs. However, it’s clear that cloud computing offers so much in the way of efficiency for any business, whether big, medium or small.
The purpose for many businesses using cloud computing software is obvious. It’s efficient and, depending on its type, requires little to no management on the business’ behalf. And of course, we can’t forget about storage. These benefits come without having to add software or invest in training or additional staff.
Types of cloud computing
There are three main types of cloud computing:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
The main difference between the three types is how much you manage on your own. With IaaS, you handle quite a bit, almost as if the software was on-premise. With SaaS, a third-party provider takes care of everything. Of course, with cloud computing, these types are all managed over the internet.
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Let’s look at this as if we’re playing The Sims.
Imagine you move into a house. You’re renting. It’s fully furnished, but you’re able to move anything that you want; you can let anyone in or out that you choose; and if you need any help, you can contact the landlord (or provider). That’s SaaS.
In this way, you get to use the service and customize the basics, but without having to manage it. It’s all-inclusive. That’s a load off in terms of responsibilities.
Take the same house analogy. You’re still renting, but you’re able to tweak some of the finer details. Your landlord provides you with a few tools, but they still take care of the maintenance. They own the lawn mower, the snow shovel, and they do all the gardening. However, you get to take care of the washer, dryer, dishwasher, fridge, and lights. That is, the appliances (or applications). Lucky you! You might even choose to put solar panels on the roof. But no pets allowed.
In this analogy, you need to know quite a bit about construction, just like with PaaS, users need to be familiar with software development. You also get to knock down walls, redevelop the layout, bring in different furniture. These items stand for data.
With PaaS, you can add on certain applications to help with development.
With IaaS, someone owns the land on which you build your building. That building might not even be a house, but some other kind of structure. However, you can’t control your neighbors, the size of the property, or the resources coming in, such as water, plumbing, or electricity. That’s all in place with the infrastructure.
Anything else you’d need to develop with is yours to bring in.
What are the benefits?
Cloud computing can offer your company security, transparency and the ability to collaborate, time and cost efficiency, and mobility. Now you can work from cloud nine all the time.
Any business can benefit from cloud computing, especially those with remote teams, multiple offices, or fully remote businesses in general; businesses dealing with big data; or businesses that need to outsource their software management.
Probably the most important benefit is being able to scale. Whichever cloud computing type fits your business, each offer scalability. A lot of software in general fits a specific business size. However, using software that’s already tailored for consumer use has its benefits.
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Cloud databases are often overshadowed by a stigma that questions their security. However, along with accessibility, only the right people are given access.
I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “don’t put all your eggs in the same basket” before. And, yes, if something as simple and commonplace as Google Drive were ever hacked, many people would be in deep trouble. Myself included. However, cloud computing companies hire the best security experts because your data is their biggest selling point. It isn’t only the convenience and transparency, but mostly the ability to compile data and trust that it’s safe.
Cloud storage and collaboration
Cloud storage refers to just that: being able to store data on the internet, providing access to others.
The cloud does not require you to maintain servers, handle set up, or integrate into your systems. If you’re looking for a better way to collaborate without the hassle or strain of managing your own hardware or software on-premise, consider making the shift.
Many businesses criticize the transparency of different cloud services. However, the cloud offers visibility into tasks, rather than into the hardware. With the cloud, you have the ability to access and share your work, see changes, and make developments at various levels (depending on the type).
Additionally, for businesses with big data, cloud computing can help avoid data silos. There’s no point in clogging up your computer’s memory when it can be stashed online securely.
The ability to keep your data backed up and accessible off-site (and accessible to only the right people) is monumental.
With software as a service, you can access your applications, such as Google Drive, Docs, or Sheets, from any device. Once you make this switch, you’ll find it hard to go back.
Cloud computing is gaining ground due to the benefits it offers businesses. Your investment in cloud computing and best fit of service depend on your understanding of software, the time you have for managing and developing that software, and your business’ needs and schedule.
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