Digitization has become a critical requirement for businesses to stay competitive and reach their customers in double-quick time. It enables businesses to embrace agility, responsiveness, innovation, scalability, and technology to drive customer engagement and satisfaction. However, with the changing market dynamics and customer preferences, businesses need to be at the top of their game in terms of the quality of products, customer interaction, and marketing. Legacy systems can be a drag in driving the above-mentioned attributes given their limited reach and inadequacies.
Today’s businesses need a flexible and dynamic IT infrastructure where stakeholders (management, employees, clients, vendors, and customers) can connect to the IT infrastructure and access information, anywhere and anytime. Besides, there may be a requirement of scaling up operations at short notice (a quick product launch, a temporary project, Christmas or New Year’s sales etc,) can be difficult to manage with in-house legacy systems. To tide over the situation and meet the challenges (current and evolving) head-on, businesses should opt for cloud services.
What are cloud services?
These are resources comprising servers, storages, and more that are delivered on-demand to individuals, business enterprises, organizations, or entities over the internet. The services are designed to provide quick, easy, seamless, scalable, and secure access to resources (software, hardware, and databases) without the need to have in-house IT architecture. These resources are fully managed by a service provider remotely rather than by a company using them.
In the cloud, software programs running various applications are stored in remote servers owned by a third-party. This helps companies not to lose out on the performance of their applications due to the lack of processing power of their computers. They can access resources on the internet from anywhere and anytime instead of depending on their in-house computers thereby saving cost on IT support.
The cloud services can be scaled dynamically to meet the demand of users (businesses, individuals, organizations etc) without the latter having to provision their on-premise resources or staff to manage. The examples of cloud services include social media, online data storage, web-based email services, backup solutions, office suites like Office 365 etc.
Types of cloud services
Cloud computing is classified in terms of location (Public, Private, Hybrid, and Community) and service (IaaS, PaaS, SaaS, and XaaS) offered.
Cloud types: in terms of location, levels of security, and management
Public: The entire computer infrastructure comprising servers and software applications is located on the premises of a third-party that provides the cloud service. The recipient of the cloud services, thus, has no physical control over the IT infrastructure. The public cloud platform uses shared resources, which are faster to access and performs exceptionally, quality-wise. However, these may be vulnerable to malicious attacks. Businesses in Australia (and elsewhere) can use such a service by contacting a cloud computing service in Perth and save costs.
Private: This is similar to Public in terms of benefits but uses dedicated hardware for one organization or customer. Here, the entire hosting infrastructure is owned and shared by a single organization with the highest level of security and control. It is quite expensive when compared to Public cloud.
Hybrid: It uses both Public and Private cloud platforms depending on the business objectives. To cite an example, Public cloud can be utilized to interact with the customers whereas their data can be kept secure in a Private cloud. It can provide elastic scalability and the ability to manage unexpected fluctuations in demand.
Community: It involves a shared infrastructure to be used by organizations, which can belong to a single entity or government. It can be located both in-house and remotely.
Cloud types: in terms of service
Also called the cloud computing stack for being built on each other, these cloud types can be classified into four categories.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): It is a type of cloud computing where virtualized computing resources are provided over the internet. Here, a third-party provider hosts computing resources like software, hardware, storage, server, and other components on behalf of its customers. The IaaS platform offers highly scalable on-demand resources suitable for temporary, experimental, or dynamic workloads. The examples are AWS, Go Grid, and Rackspace.com, among others.
Platform as a Service (PaaS): In this model, the third-party cloud service provider gives access to software and hardware tools needed for software application development. The PaaS type of cloud frees an IT company from installing and maintaining hardware and software, in-house. The developers working in a company like a web design and development company in Mandurah only need to log into the PaaS platform through a web browser interface. The examples are Force.com, App Engine, and Azure, among others.
Software as a Service (SaaS): In this type of cloud computing model, software applications are hosted by a third-party cloud provider and made available to the users over the internet on-demand and on a subscription basis. Here, the hosting company takes care of software maintenance, upgrades, and security patching. The examples are Google Docs, Gmail, Salesforce, Netsuite etc.
Anything as a Service (XaaS): This type of cloud computing comprises the general category of services provided by a cloud provider. It refers to the vast array of software products, technologies, and tools delivered to the users over a network like the internet. The examples are SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS.
Benefits of Cloud Services for your Business
Cloud computing has emerged as the go-to model for enterprises like yours to achieve a host of benefits.
Cost savings: Since you will be using the resources of a third-party cloud service provider, you can reduce the cost of purchasing and maintaining expensive IT systems in-house. Moreover, your operating cost will be reduced substantially as the system upgrades and security patches will be borne by the cloud provider.
Scalability: Your business can scale up or down its use of resources depending on your business needs. So, if you need to scale up your IT infrastructure to meet the sudden rise in demand, you need not purchase or install expensive hardware or software but get it on lease/rent from the cloud provider. Conversely, if the demand is down you may stop using some resources and save costs.
Business continuity: The business landscape may face sudden fluctuations – natural disasters, malicious attacks, power failure, and others. In such an unforeseen scenario your business can continue to run uninterrupted as the data and other resources will be stored in a remote secured location with sufficient backup. Thus, your clients, vendors or customers won’t face issues like downtime, missing the turnaround time, lack of accessibility etc.
Better collaboration: In case the employees of your business work on a project from different locations, cloud computing can facilitate collaboration among them, the customers, clients, and third-parties. For example, most IT companies from across the world used/continue to use cloud computing to run their operations during the recent pandemic induced lockdown. Work From Home and access to common resources from remote locations became a reality due to the flexibility, quick access to resources, security, and robust management provided by the cloud infrastructure.
Automatic updates: Every software application needs periodic updates and the addition of security patches to ensure high performance. Thus, your business need not bother about updating the software periodically thanks to your cloud service provider.
Cloud services have become the need of the hour given the need for maintaining and working on a distributed, flexible, dynamic, and secure IT architecture. The host of benefits mentioned above can help your business sustain in the highly competitive landscape of today. Should you want to hire a dedicated cloud service provider in Perth, then visit www.internalit.com.au, call (08) 6424 3030 or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.