Cloud computing is a term that has generated a lot of buzz over the last few years. With the rapid increase in data use as a result of society's transition into the digital age, it has become essential for organisations to secure, and process data as soon as the need arises.
Cloud computing, often referred to as just “the cloud,” is the delivery of on-demand computing resources — applications, servers, databases, analytics and so on — over the internet on a pay-for-use basis.
Types of cloud computing services
The following are the several types of cloud-computing services offered by different providers:
Virtual IT— Amazon EC2
Network storage— Apple iCloud
IaaS: Infrastructure as a Service - Cisco Metapod, Microsoft Azure
SaaS: Software as a Service— Google Apps and Microsoft Office 365
Application hosting— Google App Engine
PaaS: Platform as a Service —Google App Engine, Apache Stratos.
Cloud computing services may be free or may involve a paid subscription depending on the vendor.
According to Forrester’s 2018 cloud computing predictions for 2018 on Forbes, the total global public cloud market will be $178B in 2018, up from $146B in 2017, and will continue to grow at a 22 per cent compound annual growth rate within the next few years.
According to Gartner, 83 per cent of enterprise workloads will be in the cloud by 2020 -- 41 per cent of enterprise workloads will run on public cloud platforms while another 22 per cent will be running on hybrid cloud platforms.
Below are three significant benefits you will enjoy if you move your business to the cloud:
Increased productivity and efficiency
According to a study conducted by the market research company Vanson Bourne; “The Business Impact of the Cloud,” companies that adopted cloud services experienced a 20.66 per cent average improvement in time to market, 18.80 per cent average increase in process efficiency.
Cloud computing allows the employees and executives to work at any time and any place. This cloud computing provides collaboration within an organisation or company. The ability to share information and work together on projects can improve the manner and ease at which business processes can be carried out. Workers can complete projects and share information with other employees, contractors, and third parties remotely.
DPR Group is a full-service agency that works in providing marketing support and public relations services to technology companies. The company experienced a high operational cost to maintain their two offices, excessive downtime and lost productivity while using the traditional on-site model. The company solved the problem with entirely outsourced, cloud computing solution from Cetrom centralised all company IT resources as well as secure data centres hosting their valuable applications and data. The effect was that their operating costs were reduced by over $70,000 annually and they retained one physical office.
One of the significant contributors to productivity is the 35-40 per cent increase in productivity that large companies like British Telecom, Best Buy, and Dow Chemicals have experienced when allowing employees to work remotely. Cloud computing also allows more control over the formats of files, ensuring that everyone has access to one version of the data, thus preventing the proliferation of data having differing titles and forms.
Samba Tech, a leading online delivery platform in Brazil established in 2008 experienced a growth surge in the early years of the company necessitating them to adopt cloud computing. However, the local hosting company that was used by the company could not handle the immense amount of demand for video content by users. Towards the end of 2009, it shifted the platform to servers hosted in the public cloud by Rackspace, a US provider.
This switch enabled the company to make giant strides due to the flexibility the platform afforded. The Chief Technology Officer, Mr. Fernando Campos said, “It’s often difficult to foresee when we will need additional capacity, but while traditional servers can take weeks to deploy, Rackspace’s public cloud servers take less than 30 seconds. If cloud technology wasn’t available, we couldn’t have grown as fast as we have.”
According to the Annual Cloud Computing Survey carried out by Clutch in 2017, IT professionals prefer the cloud because of increased efficiency, innovation, and flexibility. Cloud-based services provide an excellent platform for businesses development. They are ideal for businesses that have evolving storage demands. If there is an increase in storage demand, one scales up the cloud’s capacity. Such changes cut across data exchange, storage and execution.
If there is a need for scaling down, the cloud offers a flexible option that updates the system to effect the changes. This flexibility means businesses can operate without having to worry about production processes changes. The flexibility level in the cloud can provide companies an advantage over their competitors.
According to Vivek Kundra; former Chief Information Officer of the United States, on the importance of cloud computing to businesses, he said, “Cloud computing is often far more secure than traditional computing because companies like Google and Amazon can attract and retain cyber-security personnel of a higher quality than many governmental agencies.”
Clarke Rodgers, the Chief Information Security Officer of SCOR Velogica in a 2016 interview said the organisation had to make the switch to the cloud because they had a large amount of sensitive data they needed to protect for their clients.
According to him, "It became clear very quickly that going to the cloud was the path of least resistance, and of the cloud offerings out there, Amazon Web Services was the clear leader based our research."
On the benefits the organisation reaped as a result of the switch to the cloud, he said, "The security benefits are fantastic, because first of all, I now effectively have an extended security team working 24/7 on my behalf. Secondly, there are significant cost savings in our development efforts, and I imagine this would be the case with many companies.”
Cloud services store information on hardware and server business doesn’t control. These offsite servers have strong security measures that prevent any form of data breach. They typically require the most potent firewalls, security protocols and credentials to make sure business executives are comfortable storing critical information on their servers.
The providers also carry out a threat assessment analysis for every cloud application before the business launches. They continuously work to make sure the security measures put in place are stronger and more effective.
Cloud computing is crucial for organisations that desire increased productivity, amped-up security and more flexibility in their business dealings. Cloud computing can also help small businesses compete well with their more established rivals by giving them access to innovative technology that can increase their overall process efficiency.
Guy Sheetrit, CEO, Over the Top SEO
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