Businesses, fortunately, can apply many options in today's age of cloud computing. Earlier incorporating technology in the industry took time because companies had to do everything in-house. But with evolution and progress in technological products, businesses could quickly go online in days. The swift transmission became one of the reasons why we sailed through the pandemic addressing all the immediate demands. In all of this, let's understand how cloud computing makes a significant contribution.
Cloud computing changed business operations by allowing you to use global space, applications, and hardware without actually owning them. You pay for whatever you use and meet your business obligations. There are many cloud providers with who you share your business needs, and they transform them into valuable accessories for you. Let's understand the functionality of cloud computing with the help of an example.
Imagine you have guests who are coming for dinner to your place. You have two options- either cook for them or order online. To cook at home, you would need raw materials, whereas, for an order, you decide the menu and pick up the cooked food. Cloud mirrors the same concept and presents you with a multitude of options. You can use its infrastructure and platform to create your applications or simply pay for the whole package to use for your business. Here is how they all work.
Infrastructure As A Service (IaaS)
This service category allows you to access different servers, networks, storage, and other online resources in the cloud. You pay for what you use. It works like a foundation that lets you create and run your applications in the cloud's hardware, store and access your information without doing it all in-house. Companies access the resources, create virtual machines and software, run them in the cloud platform, and store relevant data in the cloud. The idea is to deploy the workload at a reasonable cost without the pressure of investing in the entire structure.
Data management in cloud computing provides the company with virtual space and resources, but the company manages the applications, operating systems, and data. Listing down some of the many benefits of IaaS
- Saves time and cost by allowing rent or lease of virtual resources.
- Highly scalable as the usage depends on the internet.
- No wastage of resources as companies pay as much they would utilize.
- Incredibly adaptive as it allows multiple users to operate it at the same time.
- Companies get complete control of the infrastructure.
Despite its immense popularity, some factors lead to its limitations like,
- Risk of security as the varied accessibility could encourage hacking.
- The workforce needs the training to handle and perform functions using the many resources of the cloud
- No transparency of infrastructure configuration could make monitoring a challenge for many users.
- The presence of a network is a mandate while accessing virtual resources.
Examples : - Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure.
Platform As A Service (PaaS)
PaaS adds a few more components to the IaaS category to shift the company's focus in developing the software. The cloud provider gives everything else, i.e., the operating system, regular updates, and the infrastructure. The applications are termed as middleware and offer many pros such as:
- It simplifies the entire application testing procedure.
- It allows customization within applications any number of times.
- Highly scalable.
- With a platform, it enables quick deployment of apps and feedback from users.
- It is cost-effective as companies do not have to create a platform while developing new services.
- The third-party servers are a concern in the matter of data security.
- The platform may need customization as sometimes it may fail to be compatible with the company's requirements.
- Some PaaS providers may not have competitive resources for your company's specific requirements and render low quality.
Despite some of the concerns, PaaS can work wonders for your business. It only needs a little effort in securing the communication between database and applications for safe implementation.
Examples:- Amazon AWS, Alibaba
Software As A Service (SaaS)
This category provides everything in one place to the businesses, including infrastructure, platform, and applications. Many of these Saas applications need no download and can be operated online. The cloud providers, therefore, do all the work from managing and upgrading the software. Businesses can access the many applications from the cloud and pay for what they use.
- A great alternative to traditional software that requires installation.
- They offer many options for custom software, and businesses can subscribe for what they need specifically.
- Companies need not bother about the hardware and software updates; the vendor takes care of it.
- Cost-effective and easy to use.
- With better scalability comes the question of security that needs enhancements.
- The control over resources lies with the vendor, and unfortunately, the company's sensitive data bears the brunt of any malfunction in the service.
- None of the applications/platform/infrastructures can work without the internet; hence there is network dependency.
- A one-size-fits-all application is impossible to build since businesses have different requirements. Therefore, there is always the additional cost of customization.
- Since SaaS intends to provide standard service to businesses, there may be redundancy of features.
Examples: - Dropbox, Google Workspace, SAP Concur
Know When To Use
The cloud management features provide businesses with many resources that help them channelize their focus to create effective solutions. However, since the resources are standard and have a greater audience, companies must research to customize content to get a competitive advantage over other players. The risk of security in the public cloud can be minimized by moving to a private setup.
The future of cloud computing is phenomenal. Technology is already on the verge of solving complicated business procedures and simplifying it all for our customers. It's only a matter of time for businesses to take steps to plan a cloud strategy; use its infrastructure, platform, and software to maximize opportunities, experience, and revenue.
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