If you are wondering what cloud services are, how they work or what benefits they can bring to your business, you are not alone. More and more businesses of all sizes, geographies, and industries are exploring this new frontier that is changing how businesses operate. However, this concept is still relatively new and many people do not yet understand what cloud services are all about. So, let’s try to expound;
What are Cloud Services?
To start, we must first understand what a cloud is. In general terms, a cloud is a remote storage space that holds data so that it doesn’t have to be stored on a local device such as a laptop, desktop computer, server or smartphone, all of which have limited storage space.
How Do Cloud Services Work?
Cloud services or cloud computing involve interactions between several devices and a common cloud storage space that are all connected through a network. The network allows you to access portals between the devices, storage space or platform supported by a cloud. This means that cloud services and cloud computing, in general, require a network connection to transfer data to and from the cloud and the devices. This network is typically an internet connection. However, depending on the type of cloud service, it can also be a local network.
In essence, cloud services offer an expansion of available storage in the form of a cloud, via a network that opens up limitless cloud computing benefits and possibilities.
Types of Cloud Computing Services:
- Software as a Service (SaaS): This service involves a cloud hosting provider who acts as a central hosting space for software applications that they provide to users on subscription. Common types of SaaS include; document sharing applications, email services, and sales management services. Common examples include; Salesforce, Microsoft Office 365 and Google G Suite.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): This service provides users with outsourced computing infrastructure on a need basis. Common services include; virtual private networks, storage databases, and large scale data analytics tools. Common examples include Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS): This service is typically used by developers. It provides shared infrastructure and tools to build, test and deploy applications. Common examples include; Force.com and Salesforce’ Heroku.
What are the Benefits of Cloud Services to Businesses?
Cost Savings/ Efficiency
Using cloud services means that you do not have to invest in hardware, facilities, utilities and personnel to establish and maintain a large in house IT infrastructure. With a reliable cloud services provider, you only need a minimal number of in-house IT specialists. Cloud systems also reduce the risk and thereby the cost associated with downtime.
Data breaches can severely damage a company’s brand, revenue, and customer loyalty regardless of size. Cloud services providers employ advanced security features that ensure your data is handled and stored securely. They also apply baseline protection such as access control, authentication, and encryption. Enterprises can also bolster these efforts for maximum data protection and security.
Different businesses have different demands at different times of the month or year. Cloud services allow businesses of all sizes to quickly and efficiently scale up or scale down their IT function according to the prevailing business demands. For an e-commerce business, for example, the holiday season results in a traffic overload. Cloud services allow such businesses to increase their capacity without having to invest in physical infrastructure. This means you will always have high-performance resources at your disposal with professional solutions with no upfront costs. This agility and flexibility allows you to gain a competitive edge over your competitors.
The business landscape is changing. More and more people now prefer to work on the go or remotely. Cloud computing allows mobile access to company data and solutions on any connected device from any location around the globe. This means that all your workers can easily access, store, retrieve or process information from anywhere, 24/7, provided they have an internet connection.
This mobility also means that your systems can be updated and maintained remotely, with minimal disruption to normal workflow thereby saving you precious time and money.
Loss of data can cripple any organisation. Cloud services allow the user to store data on the cloud and also give them the ability to quickly recover this data even if their primary physical infrastructure is destroyed. Cloud storage also reduces your risk of data loss through local disasters such as natural calamities. In case of a disaster, all you need is an internet connection to resume operations.
Information access control is very important in any business. Cloud services give companies complete visibility and control over their data. You can easily decide which employee has what level of access to which data at what time and for how long. This is also important in streamlining operations and easing collaboration.
Cloud services are the future of business. From cost savings to security and flexibility, every business stands to gain from using cloud services. The next step is to find a reputable IT support company offering reliable Cloud Services. At AdEPT, we have a highly experienced team of IT specialists ready to guide you through all the ins and outs of cloud services to help you decide which solutions will best work for your business. Talk to us today for more information.