Cloud Computing – What You Need to Know About it

While having your head in the cloud could be a bad thing, having your computing power in the cloud is a great one! Cloud computing simply means that computing resources are available via the internet through hosting at a remote data centre managed by a cloud service provider (CSP). You can access these resources as and when you need them (yay for on-demand!), normally through paying a subscription or usage fee.

These resources could be anything from software to data storage or development tools. Cloud computing also refers to the components that make the cloud work – the virtual IT infrastructure that may include servers, operating systems, networks and so on.

Types of cloud services

There are various types of cloud services to consider, some of the main ones are:

  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS): This refers to cloud-based software or applications. It’s hosted in the cloud and you access it via your web browser, a dedicated desktop client, or an API (integrated with your device’s operating system). Examples include Microsoft Office 365 and Dropbox.

  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS): PaaS provides software developers with an on-demand platform. This encompasses everything a developer needs to create and manage applications, from hardware to the whole software stack, infrastructure, and development tools.

  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS): IaaS provides on-demand access to infrastructure IT resources (like servers, networking and storage) to users over the internet on a pay-as-you-go basis. The big benefit for users is the ability to scale and downscale resources as required, reducing the need to invest in expensive capital projects to build their infrastructure.

Benefits of the cloud

Unlike traditional IT services that had to be accessed on-site (remember when the software was only available for installation on CDs?), cloud services can be accessed remotely and can be scaled as required, which has some massive benefits for your business, including:

  • Lower costs: Instead of having to pay for on-site resources, which would mean funding everything from procurement to installation, configuration and maintenance, with cloud services, you only pay for the cost of using the service.

  • Faster implementation and use: With cloud services, your team can start using an application in minutes – even at the enterprise level – instead of waiting months for an IT implementation project to be rolled out across the business.

  • Access to specialist tools: In the past, there had to be a big enough need in the organisation to justify investing in a specialist IT tool. With the cloud, you can pay per user, per licence, per period, or with other flexible fee structures, meaning that you can access tools that were previously too costly to consider.

  • Faster scaling: Pay for what you use at any given point, rather than having to guess how much capacity you’ll need. Rather than purchasing a capacity that sits unused during slow times or runs out in busy ones, you can respond to dips and peaks as they happen.

Get in touch and let us help you leverage the benefits of the cloud to your business’s advantage.

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