Cloud Computing: An Overview

You’ve likely heard about “the cloud.” Cloud computing is one of the most integral limbs of the 4th Industrial Revolution, taking its roots in the 1960s. In the modern world, cloud computing is increasingly popular.

It greatly benefits businesses in terms of enhancing collaboration and real time data visualization. It gives you the flexibility of working anywhere you can find an internet connection.

What is the “Cloud”?

You might be curious to know as to how cloud computing got its name. The idea was taken from how clouds form in the sky. They gradually build up as water particles condense and travel before precipitation occurs.

Similarly, in the digital world, the cloud is that virtual platform which allows the masses to exchange data, resources, and software across distances.

What is “Cloud Computing?”

The backbone of cloud computing is cloud operating software. Companies can benefit from public cloud services or choose to go on with a private cloud maintained through the firm’s intranet, where the data is kept secure behind their firewall.

In contrast to the utilization of “ready-made” software, firms usually employ custom software tailored to suit their needs accurately. This has been taken one step further by the implementation of custom software development via cloud vendors.

The choice of opting for custom development allows the convenience of scalability and compatibility, which ultimately helps in streamlining the business process and hence increases the overall efficiency.

What Are The Benefits of Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is a valuable tool due to the following benefits:

Smooth Functioning

Prior to cloud computing, when companies had issues with their local servers, the troubleshooting procedure wasted a lot of time.

Since cloud server providers have the sole responsibility of managing their servers, these servers run more smoothly. They are also more likely to solve issues in a timely manner.

Responsive & Scalable

Businesses can now customize various aspects of cloud computing. For example, storage can be scaled up and down as needed, which can result in great cost savings.

Efficient & Economical

Since the cloud computing models work on Pay-on-Demand basis, it allows you to pay for only what you need. Also, the fact that it’s your vendor’s duty to keep you updated relieves you of this additional hectic task.

Easier Accessibility

Instead of wasting valuable time copying and pasting your data, cloud computing services enable more accessible data storage and accessibility via the internet.

You can more easily automate data to populate where you need it. This has the added benefit of cutting down on manual entry errors.

The Drawbacks of Cloud Computing

Despite the numerous benefits of cloud computing as listed above, there are some drawbacks which need equal attention. These are as follows:

Internet Connectivity

To keep your work running smoothly, you require a constant and stable internet connection. While this is easier than ever to come across in 2019, it can pose issues occasionally.

Increased Downtime

As seen above, cloud computing requires a stable internet connection. Hence, any malfunctioning may result in downtime. Depending on your business, this could have notable impacts.

Data Insecurity

Since cloud computing relies on the internet, it makes your essential data vulnerable to hackers and security breaches. While many cloud providers have robust security measures, this isn’t always the case.

Cloud Computing Categories & Applications

Implementation of cloud computing for businesses can take a variety of forms. The cloud can be divided into three major categories, as follows:

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

IaaS is a customized cloud infrastructure service provided and managed by the vendor.

Examples include:

  • Amazon Web Services
  • GoGrid
  • Microsoft Azure

Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS supplies clients with tailored software development through the internet. The vendor takes care of the required cloud infrastructure, allowing a convenient way for the user to work in a hassle-free environment.

Examples include:

  • Windows Azure
  • Force.com
  • Google App Engine

Software as a Service (SaaS)

SaaS is the most popular form of cloud computing. It provides tailored cloud-based software to the client. This benefits the user as they can easily acquire control over the applications via the internet or the APIs provided.

The general trend has been shifting towards employment of custom software development by SaaS.

Examples of SaaS include:

  • Gmail
  • Google Docs
  • Pixlr
  • Aviary

The Power of the Cloud

As you can see, the cloud is a powerful business tool. Cloud computing has made so many business processes easier, more effective, and more efficient. With that being said, it’s important to protect against the drawbacks of cloud computing as well.

Custom application development with cloud computing is a fantastic way to meet your business’ needs and propel your company’s growth.

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