If you’ve been branding cloud computing as “just another buzzword” until now, it’s time to pay attention. Because organisations with their heads in the clouds are the ones working without limitations.
The pandemic taught businesses the need to be able to access their computing infrastructure from anywhere, and it kicked cloud computing up a few notches. Tech analyst experts expect a yearly 12.4% growth in spending on cloud infrastructure between 2020 and 2025. If this plays out, spending on the cloud will reach a massive $118.8 billion USD in 2025.
Shift away from traditional IT - learn what is cloud computing, the types of cloud computing, and why cloud computing services are nothing short of transformative. (Seriously transformative - we’re not even being dramatic for effect here.)
What is cloud computing in a nutshell?
Cloud computing is all about delivering IT services over the internet. You’ve probably been making use of this on a personal level for years (think Google Drive and Dropbox), but more recently, IT providers are offering Software as a Service (SaaS) to upgrade the way businesses of all sizes operate.
Cloud computing is a pay-as-you-go, on-demand service that offers more flexibility and value for money, without the need for excessive software installations or external devices. When you hear about something being sent “over the cloud”, this literally means it’s being sent over the internet.
How does cloud computing work?
How complicated is this thing? The best thing is, to enjoy the benefits of cloud computing, you really don’t need to understand the nuts and bolts. Of course, it can’t hurt to have some insights into how cloud computing works.
At the top level, organisations rent access to servers, storage, databases etc. from a cloud service provider. This is instead of owning their own physical data centres or IT infrastructure. So, they can’t feel or touch the IT systems they’re using. But they’re bringing new levels of scalability, flexibility and massive cost savings to the business. Smart.
What are some types of cloud computing?
The types of cloud computing have evolved over the past few years so there’s something for every business and its office dog. There are all sorts of different models, types and cloud computing services to choose from.
The first question: Do you need public, private or hybrid cloud computing services?
This is cloud computing via a third-party provider, who delivers things like servers and storage over the internet. This includes services such as Gmail and Dropbox. Anyone can access these services as long as they have a web browser - usually they’re free or available with varying subscription options.
If you’re using a private cloud service, it’s for your business only. This might be located in your data centre, or you could opt for a third-party provider who will host it for you. Some private cloud providers you’ve heard of include Microsoft, Oracle, IBM and Cisco.
A hybrid cloud, as you’ve probably guessed, is an all-powerful combo of public and private clouds. It uses technology that lets data and applications go between both. This is a pretty common approach, where organisations go for an on-premise data centre and a public cloud computing environment - like Google Drive. It offers more flexibility and scalability, so businesses can optimise their existing infrastructure to the max.
Why all the fuss about moving to the cloud? The benefits of cloud computing
We know what cloud computing is, but what’s so good about it? Let’s check out a few of the reasons businesses big, small and in-between are rushing to the cloud, with 6 benefits of cloud computing.
1. Save some cash (quite a lot, actually)
Gone are the days when organisations had to buy hardware, set it up and keep it running on-site - taking up time, electricity and cash money. A key element of cloud computing is not forking out for around-the-clock electricity and IT experts who can manage the beast.
2. Get what you need quickly
Access cloud services on-demand - whatever you need, whenever you need it. That means massive amounts of IT resources at your fingertips, for almost-instant flexibility and no need to plan ahead.
3. Grow to the moon (or scale to the cloud)
Why pay for services you don’t use? Harnessing the power of the cloud means you can scale storage and bandwidth up or down, keeping up with business growth and slashing unnecessary costs.
4. Make better use of your IT team
You’re letting those techy brains in your team go to waste if they’re spending all their time “racking and stacking” on-site data centres. Free up their time to focus on your other business goals, like IT transformations and IT security. Let the cloud handle the day-to-day stuff while your team makes some real, meaningful changes.
5. Minimise the risk of disaster
The cloud has built up a stellar reputation for reliability. You can count on it for data backup and disaster recovery, so if you do suffer a data loss for any reason, you know your stuff is stored at multiple sites on the provider’s network. So your business stays up and running throughout any chaos.
6. Strengthen your security
Most public and private cloud providers cover you with secure technology to protect your data, apps and infrastructure from online threats.
How can an IT provider help with cloud computing?
Finally - our time to shine.
Getting up and running with cloud technologies is even easier when you have an IT provider like us on your side. We’re obsessed with what cloud computing is and how it works, and we’ve racked up vast experience and skills in helping other businesses benefit from the cloud for years.
If you’re thinking of implementing cloud computing, chat to us first. The IT Department has relationships with a wide range of cloud service providers (CSPs) and we can recommend one that works best for your needs. Our tried-and-proven processes mean you can move your IT systems over seamlessly (and without any serious downtime) and we can even train your team to adopt the cloud and make sure you’re squeezing every last benefit from it.
Let’s talk services
Since you asked, there are three main types of cloud computing services. They are:
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
- Software as a service (SaaS)
- Platform as a service (PaaS)
Here’s a breakdown of all three.
What is infrastructure as a service?
IaaS lets users rent the fundamental building blocks of computing. This includes things like virtual servers, storage and networking, giving organisations complete control over all elements of the cloud. To take advantage, you’ll need to have some technical knowledge. Otherwise, you’ll need to know someone who does - like us.
What is software as a service?
SaaS covers the largest chunk of cloud computing. You probably use SaaS applications on a daily basis - it delivers applications via a web browser or app, which may be free or available with a cost-per-user. Some SaaS providers you’ll be familiar with include Slack, Hubspot and Microsoft Office 365.
What is platform as a service?
PaaS includes the services you get with IaaS, with the added bonus of the tools and software developers use to actually build applications. It’s a development and deployment environment in the cloud that lets you build everything from simple apps to complex enterprise applications.