In 2021, 50% of all business data was stored in the Cloud. Emerging trends suggest that all business data on a global scale will soon be stored in the Cloud. That means companies must select cloud service providers very carefully. Or else their sensitive data is at risk. Is your organization undergoing a “cloud transformation”? Let’s explore the ins and outs of cloud computing technology along with the benefits and the underlying security risks.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is the process of providing on-demand computing services over the Internet, typically on a pay-as-you-go basis. In simpler terms – the term “cloud” refers to virtual data centres on the Internet. Your business is technically “cloud computing” by storing business data in such virtual data centres.
Giving your company a “cloud transformation” basically means transferring all business data from your on-premises IT infrastructure to the Cloud. Your business data is constantly operating in the Cloud. You can even use customized data access programs to optimize your data stored in the Cloud in various ways.
Cloud servers allow companies to cut down their reliance on hardware tools for data storage. Workloads in the Cloud are infinitely scalable and accessible to all authorized users across the globe. By operating in scalable and elastic cloud servers, companies can drastically increase their capacities.
Understanding How to Use Cloud Computing
Cloud computing service providers charge their clients on a pay-as-you-go basis. Companies only pay for the cloud resources they use. From IT infrastructure to virtual data centres - these service providers can deliver all types of computing resources to clients.
- Why build/maintain your own IT infrastructure or data centres when you can access software programs from cloud computing service providers?
- Why create expensive, in-house data centres when you can rent cloud storage space from your cloud computing service providers?
These are the types of questions cloud computing service providers ask their clients. These providers can be categorized into two groups - frontend and backend.
- “Frontend” cloud computing service providers give users access to software solutions and data via cloud computing applications.
- “Backend” providers help companies’ set up the right types of servers, networks and databases needed to store their business data.
From start-up companies to “legacy” corporations – all leading businesses use cloud computing for various reasons. Here are some of the most common and the most important applications of cloud computing –
Build Web Applications
Web applications are critical tools for modern-day businesses. Companies can now use cloud technology to ensure anyone can access their web-based apps via the Internet. The virtual cloud servers provide remote users with instant access to information. Companies can create custom web apps on the Cloud to – facilitate in-house communications, give customers real-time updates, and work remotely.
For example, Microsoft Azure is a “Platform-As-a-Service” (PaaS) cloud computing service provider. It facilitates the web app development lifecycle by giving developers secure and easy access to different tools, languages and frameworks.
The most common use of cloud computing is still data storage. Cloud storage allows companies to effortlessly access critical business data from any device or location. Unlike old-school data storage options like hard drives, USB drives, etc., this mode of storage is much more efficient.
Plus, companies operate on a pay-as-you-go basis when they store their business data in cloud systems. That means they can upscale/downscale their storage spaces anytime they want, based on their commercial requirements. Cloud databases are more flexible, cheaper, and easier to use than traditional databases.
Dropbox is one of the most popular cloud-based storage service providers. Users can store and sync their files on this cloud network to later access them from anywhere. The best cloud-based data storage companies have specialized support teams. The risk of data loss or delays in accessing business-critical data is minimal.
Long before the pandemic, professionals in the leading industries were using cloud systems to share large files. During the pandemic, this ability helps those professionals to collaborate effectively and overcome geographic barriers. Cloud computing tools like Google Workspace, Microsoft 365, etc., allow professionals to collaborate internally (with colleagues) and externally (with customers).
Collaboration between remotely located workers is much easier on the Cloud because of its accessibility, flexibility, and security. “Frontend” cloud computing service providers create cloud systems that are very easy to use, even for first-timers.
Why Use Cloud Computing?
Companies can choose from four types of cloud computing -
- Public Cloud (e.g., Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Workspace, etc.)
- Private Cloud (internal Cloud, hosted at the company’s data centre only accessible to authorized employees)
- Hybrid Cloud (combination of public and private cloud environments)
- Multi-cloud (combination of two or more public/private clouds)
All these types of cloud computing options enable businesses to operate virtually and with more efficiency. From cutting down IT infrastructure costs to scaling up your company’s access to computing resources – the benefits are countless. Partnering with a top cloud vendor can help your company become paperless, more collaborative, and more efficient.