What comes to your mind when someone asks you the meaning of cloud computing? Most of us immediately think of storing images and videos online! And that’s despite our home-use of Zoom, app and file sharing, and data management during the pandemic.
But there are so many other ways to use cloud services.
And one of the chief ways is to use cloud computing as an essential tool in today’s economic climate to help streamline your business processes and scale up your company.
Let’s look more closely, first, at cloud computing in general and then at the benefits cloud service providers can have for your company’s growth.
What is Cloud Computing?
You’ve heard of Microsoft Office 365, or Amazon Workspace, Dropbox, or Google Drive. But what do they all have in common? They’re cloud applications.
The idea behind cloud computing is that the physical location of the service, the hardware, or even the operating system is transparent to the user.
The whole point, first of all, was to offer a safe online space to store and easily access data.
But cloud services now offer much more. They can be surprisingly diverse, varying from storage to networking, from processing data in a data lake to using artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze and forecast. Basically, this means any tech operations that don’t require the user to be physically close to the computer doing the work. Instead, you access what you need from the cloud.
This flexibility of cloud computing makes it useful for any business, regardless of its size. That’s because owners can hire on-demand computing resources and services to suit their needs over remote networks. This then becomes a practical, affordable – and these days, essential – way of scaling up your infrastructure without needing physical IT space or your direct active management.
What Are the Main Cloud Computing Services For a Business?
There are many providers of cloud computing services but cloud computing itself can be any of the following three models:
Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS is the most common and popular model of cloud computing. For a subscription fee, it delivers software apps as a service to the user, who will access the apps through the internet from a hosted location.
Flexibility is the highlight of this option, as it removes the need for businesses to pay for and install a piece of software and manage updates on their own system. Their own hardware and operating system becomes irrelevant.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
IaaS replaces traditional IT infrastructure with an online infrastructure, through virtual services. This is a great option that removes the need for businesses to buy and maintain their own computing infrastructure. It also avoids the costs associated with
- ongoing development of technical skills,
- hardware upgrades, and
- in-house IT departments.
The two main IaaS providers are Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
Like IaaS, PaaS also offers virtual infrastructure, but with a wider cloud-based environment for building and managing applications, including
- development tools,
- management systems, and
- business intelligence (BI) tools.
Other Essential Cloud Computing Services Include:
Storage and Backup
This service allows businesses to store data on a remote server and easily access it from different devices, through the internet. A cloud service provider charges a subscription fee to store and back up a copy of your business data, with 24/7 uptime.
Online storage offers you peace of mind. Your data is safe in the cloud and available anytime to counteract any possible data loss locally.
Hosting in the cloud is a great alternative to traditional hosting to prevent downtime. It uses multiple servers to keep your system, website, or applications running smoothly. This translates into time optimization and security for your business.
If you don’t yet have a cloud migration strategy, have a read here to see how it can be successfully put in place and carried out.
But how will cloud computing help your business grow?
In addition to the flexibility, mobility, and sustainability of cloud computing, the benefits vary according to the kind of service you choose.
But whichever you choose, partnering with a cloud provider basically means you’ll no longer need to buy servers, software, hardware, and operating systems. And that will save you time, money, and energy.
In light of all that we’ve said, we want to detail the three main reasons why you should consider it if you want to take your business to the next level. In other words, help it grow.
When you consider the total cost of maintaining an in-house IT department, including system upgrades and staff wages, investing in a cloud computing service is cost-effective. Cloud computing providers offer flexible packages, so you only need pay for the services and resources you need. It’s possible to scale up later, and even scale down, according to your requirements.
Not only do you save money with this pay-as-you-go system, but guaranteed access to your data will also increase your company’s productivity and ROI.
2 Increased Security
One cloud computing advantage you might value is data encryption. Transmission and storage of encrypted information in the cloud makes your data less vulnerable to cyber-attacks.
Another advantage is that your service provider offers 24/7 security monitoring, so you don’t have to worry about
- file corruption, or
- data loss.
This benefit has recently become crucial for businesses.
3 Disaster Recovery
Many small and mid-sized businesses don’t have the infrastructure or budget to invest in an internal and secure backup system. And in most cases, they won’t even realize how important this is until they have a broken hard drive or computer. Recovering data is not easy, and if your server sustains severe damage, it might even be impossible. It no longer makes sense to have physical backups on site.
Cloud computing companies are the answer to this problem. For an affordable fee, you can get an excellent recovery service and continue your business as usual. The secret to this is that cloud computing providers store your data in multiple locations that are always accessible to you. If one server goes down, there will still be a backup of your data on another.
Ready to Access Cloud Migration Services?
If you’re ready to grow your business using cloud computing, and want help to set up your cloud migration strategy, we’re here to help. OneSource Tech provides cloud services in the Houston area with 24/7 monitoring to give you security and peace of mind.
We can help you connect everything and streamline your entire creative and sharing process, leaving you to run the rest of your business in the way you know best. Book your free evaluation today.