Cloud-based business operations bring many benefits that make it an attractive option for businesses. Many of these benefits work to save resources and money for the company that is utilizing the services, such as scalability. By utilizing cloud services, businesses only pay for the resources they use. There is no need to purchase excess technology because cloud services work under a pay-as-you-go system, whereby a company can quickly and efficiently maneuver the resources it is purchasing. This process allows a company to position itself to only use as many digital resources as it needs at that current moment, with the ability to quickly adjust in the face of consumer demand. Additionally, there is no need to pay for hardware and maintenance costs. All of these expenses are taken on by the cloud provider, who is able to pass on cheap and manageable prices to its customers through economies of scale and by avoiding many of the cost-increasing problems that plague on-prem systems.
Some other benefits work to improve other tangible and intangible aspects of digital business operations. As technology advances, hardware quickly becomes obsolete. With the cloud, businesses can take advantage of the latest technology without having to invest in new hardware. These upgrades are essential purchases for cloud providers to stay ahead of the competition. As a result, that benefit is passed on to cloud consumers for little to no cost. Disaster recovery is another benefit of the cloud. With data storage being disbursed, more redundant, and more reliable in the cloud, disasters leading to loss of data are a near impossibility when utilizing the cloud. Cloud also provides distribution benefits, as businesses can choose where to locate their operations which can determine the speed of customer interactions without the need to jump through real estate and logistical hoops. Lastly, cloud architecture and hardware are flexible. Businesses can work with their cloud providers to adjust their purchases and services periodically to target which offerings maximize efficiency. Under this system, companies are not locked into certain hardware or services simply because they purchased them. Rather, they are able to quickly adjust to their needs and demands.
Three Ways to Deploy Cloud Services
Cloud computing is the delivery of computing services over the internet at high speeds and flexibility. These services include storage, servers, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence. Overall, cloud computing eliminates costs, increases speed, and boosts productivity. Therefore, it is important to understand how to deploy the service in your organization. There are three ways to deploy cloud services: on a public cloud, private cloud, or hybrid cloud.
The most common way to deploy cloud services is on a public cloud. On a public cloud, the services are operated by a third-party provider through the internet. All the components of the cloud, including software, hardware, and other infrastructure, are owned and managed by the third-party provider. Examples of a public cloud are Google Drive and Microsoft Azure. Common uses of public cloud deployments are web-based email, online office applications, and storage.
The next way to deploy cloud services is on a private cloud. Unlike a public cloud, the services of a private cloud are operated by one organization or entity. Infrastructure and services can be maintained physically at the organization or hosted by a third-party service provider. While the services may be hosted by a third party, they are still maintained on a private network that only your organization has access to. A private cloud is more flexible and scalable.
The final, most versatile way to deploy cloud services is on a hybrid cloud. As suggested by the name, a hybrid cloud combines the “on-premises infrastructure–or a private cloud–with a public cloud” (Microsoft Azure). On a hybrid cloud, data can move between the private and public clouds. Therefore, companies can make better use of on-premise infrastructure and expand data storage. If the private cloud becomes full, the business can transfer old data to the public cloud to free up storage.
Overall, many businesses choose to deploy hybrid cloud services due to greater control, flexibility, cost-effectiveness, and reliability.
Future of Cloud
Cloud computing, as of right now, is still considered a developmental platform by many businesses, who see its need but have yet to see its necessity. But in the future, that will most likely change, as cloud computing will become a source of creativity for businesses. There are many future trends of cloud computing that can be clearly defined even now. According to Tech Journal, by 2025 “Eighty percent of businesses are expected to go to the cloud, while 84 percent use a multi-cloud approach. Because more and more companies switch to remote facilities, a cloud-powered world is reemerging, forming future trends in cloud computing.” As a result, we will see cloud usage develop all around the globe, not just primarily in North America.
Additionally, by 2025, major gains in security will be seen. With the implementation of artificial intelligence and machine learning in the cloud, monitoring programs will be capable of resisting attacks by recognizing them quickly and improving data security throughout the cloud. With more autonomous security in place, cloud computing will be given the chance to advance further.
There are additional long-term predictions that come with the prevalence of clouds expected in the future. For example, improved data storage capacity is expected, along with fewer hardware systems, allowing for decreased expenses since cloud-saved data would not necessarily require human intervention. Furthermore, even though it already exists, serverless cloud computing could become a major part of the cloud in the future. Without a server, companies will pay for the resources they need, preventing overspending, and also allowing companies secure environments to test their code and check for errors.
Overall, cloud computing is expected to grow exponentially over the next decade. According to Tech Journal, by 2030, success is guaranteed in these areas of cloud computing: “understanding of important business processes and data operations, measuring actual return on investment and value for money, risk management for suppliers, [and] solving challenges for security and integrity.”