What is Cloud Computing | Benefits of Migrating to the Cloud
Using an online service to send emails, edit documents, store pictures, play games? Have subscriptions for OTT media like Netflix? Streaming apps for music? You are certainly using cloud computing. If you use a laptop, desktop, mobile, or TV at work or home, you most certainly use some form of cloud computing every day.
Five technologies – distributed systems and their peripherals, virtualization, web 2.0, service orientation, and utility computing – have played a transforming role in making cloud computing what it is today since the initial idea in the 1950s. Already, from small startups to global conglomerates, government agencies to non-profits are embracing the technology for varied needs. According to a recent study by IDG Communications, Inc. (a tech, media, data, and marketing services company), 92% of the organizations surveyed use the cloud today, with the number expected to reach a cent percent in the coming year.
What is Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is essentially about renting computing services. It is called so because the data is stored remotely in the cloud, a virtual space. Cloud users can store data, files, and a wide range of applications on remote servers and access them via the internet. The users don’t have to be in a fixed location and can access the data from anywhere in the world, anytime. Traditional applications were complex and expensive because they had extensive hardware and software requirements and time-consuming processes to run them. Cloud computing has helped eliminate the challenges that come with storing one’s data and managing software and hardware. We can now simply pay the vendors for storing and processing our data remotely and using network resources. These services are charged as per specific requirements, making it easy for a business to scale up or down. A cloud platform runs and maintains the hardware connected to the network essential for the computing services using a web application to help us access whatever we need.
So, cloud computing delivers computing services over the internet. These services include databases, servers, software, networking, analytics, and intelligence, and enable a faster path to innovation, flexible resourcing, and economies of scale. One only pays for cloud services one uses, helping lower operating costs, more efficient use of infrastructure, and scaling according to changing business needs.
Uses of Cloud Computing
We use cloud computing in our day-to-day life without even realizing it. Here are a few examples of how cloud services are an intrinsic part of our world.
Store, Backup, and Retrieve Data: Quickly and easily store and access information anytime, anywhere in the world by simply using an internet connection. Since the data is stored on the cloud, it is easier to take back up and retrieve the data using the cloud.
Build and Test Applications: Quickly build, deploy, and scale applications on any platform, web or mobile-based applications, and/or APIs. Reduce application development costs and time for organizations and developers by leveraging cloud infrastructures that can easily be scaled up or down.
Analyze Data: Unify and streamline data across teams, verticals, and locations to draw insights using artificial intelligence and machine learning and make informed decisions.
Stream Media: Connect with your audience anytime, anywhere, on any device with high-definition audio and video distribution.
Embed Intelligence: Engage customers by using intelligent AI models and leverage the valuable insights gained from the captured data to improve business operations.
Enhance Security: Cloud computing helps in safeguarding our data more cost-efficiently, keeping it secure by moving it over the internet to a remote cloud storage system that is accessible from any device and location.
Deliver Software on Demand: Also called software-as-a-service, on-demand software helps you harness the latest technologies without having to purchase them. It offers the latest software versions and updates anytime they are required, accessible from wherever you are.
Leverage IaaS: With IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service), organizations get on-demand access to fundamental computing services – physical servers and virtual machines, storage, networks, and operating systems from a cloud provider on a pay-as-you-go basis. Thus, reducing the need for high up-front capital expenditures.
7 Key Benefits of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing marks a significant shift from the traditional way businesses think and utilize IT resources. Here are seven reasons why enterprises are turning to cloud computing services.
To use a cloud-based backup, all one needs to do is install a client program and start using it. Say goodbye to installing software, connecting to external hard drives, physically securing the drives, duplicating the backup storage in case of damage, etc. Today, the cloud services provider takes all these steps, and the only requisite is an internet connection.
Cloud computing does away with the CAPEX on purchasing hardware, software, and setting up and running on-site data centers. It helps offload most of the costs of purchasing, installing, configuring, and managing on-prem infrastructure. Resources are allocated on-demand and according to the current requirement. For a relatively small subscription-based fee, a business can enjoy an enterprise-level service, doing away with the need for high infrastructure and license fees if one invests in the servers.
Improves Agility & Time-to-Market
With the cloud, a complete ready-to-use service is provided within a few hours, or maximum, days, giving businesses a lot of flexibility and taking the pressure off capacity planning and building. Cloud also lets business owners empower certain users, especially developers and data scientists, to access new software, technologies, and support infrastructure effectively to implement new solutions quickly, accelerating time-to-value.
The ability to scale elastically is among the key benefits of cloud computing. The ability to scale elastically is among the key benefits of cloud computing. In cloud parlance, that means providing the correct quantum of IT resources – computing power, storage, bandwidth, etc. – exactly when required and from the desired geographic location. Instead of purchasing excess capacity that goes waste during slow periods, one can scale capacity up or down in response to spikes and dips in traffic. Businesses can also leverage the cloud service provider’s global network to deploy applications closer to the users around the globe.
Enhances Productivity & Performance
On-site datacenters usually require extensive “racking and stacking” – hardware setup, software patching, and many more time-centric IT management tasks. Cloud computing does away with the need for much of this drill, freeing the IT team to focus on achieving the business goals. Large cloud computing service providers run their services on a global network of highly secure data centers that are continually upgraded with the latest generation of computing hardware. This enables huge benefits over a single enterprise data center, including higher economies of scale and reduced network latency for applications.
With cloud computing, data backup, disaster recovery (DR), and business continuity become easier and cost-effective as data is reflected at multiple sites on the cloud provider’s network. The service providers invest in the latest technologies to create a reliable infrastructure to ensure smooth and uninterrupted client resources.
Most cloud providers offer a wide set of checks & controls, policies, and technologies that strengthen a business’s security blanket, helping protect data, apps, and infrastructure from probable threats. Since the data is located outside the company, an encrypted connection ensures safe data transfers, minimizing interception of sensitive information.
While the term cloud sounds intangible, the benefits of cloud computing are real and tangible. It allows businesses to plug into infrastructure using the internet and use computing resources without installing and managing them on-prem. World over, more and more organizations are increasingly adopting cloud computing for its proven potential to unfold a new era of responsiveness, effectiveness, intelligence, and unprecedented efficiencies in IT service delivery.
Want to modernize your business operations by moving to the cloud, but don’t quite know how and where to start? Or want to scale up your existing cloud network? Get in touch. Our digital experts will be happy to assist you.
Keen to know more about cloud computing? Stary tuned for our upcoming post on different types of Cloud Computing and Cloud Computing Services.