What is Cloud Computing? An insight into cloud computing.
What is Cloud Computing? There are many different definitions to what cloud computing is. In its simplest terms cloud computing can be defined as IT services delivered over the internet.
Facts on Cloud Computing The origin of the term cloud computing is obscure, but it appears to derive from the practice of using drawings of stylised clouds to denote networks in diagrams of computing and communications systems. The internet in diagrams and IT schematics has been represented by a cloud since 1994.The three forms of Cloud Computing: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
Software as a Service (SaaS)The most popular of these at the moment is Software-as-a-Service(SaaS), this due to the rise of organisations such as Salesforce.com andservices such as Google Apps.SaaS has become very popular due to the pricing models that areavailable to companies which make it a lot cheaper for organisations tohave a particular piece of software. The initial set up fee is a lot lowerso the barriers to entry are much lower. The pricing models tend to beon subscription basis per a user, so you only pay for what you use.Customer Relationship (CRM) is one of the most popular types of SaaS.This is because it can be accessed from anywhere simply by userslogging into a system via the Internet.
The top 5 benefits of cloud computingReduced Capital Expenditure – there is no need to spend on hardwareor software licence feesIT requirements are managed by a third party, therefore there is noneed added cost of hiring an IT consultant or paying for IT supportImproved accessibility – You can login anywhere anytime from amachine that has the internet. This highly beneficial for globalcompanies that have staff all around the worldReduced costs and overall spending on technology- no need to pay forupdates and licence fees as these come as part of the packageIncreased flexibility – if for some reason a software no longer meetsthe businesses needs you have option to change as you are notcommitted to using the software
The benefits of cloud computing for small businessCloud computing creates a level playing field forsmaller businesses. Cloud computing means thatsmall companies have access to the samesoftware as larger businesses. For example theycan grow their business by using the same CRMsystems that major businesses useReduced overhead costs - there is no need tospend money on expensive servers as data suchas email and files can stored on the cloud
Working with 3rd parties – Small businesses can share data andinformation much easier with external employees and partnersthrough the cloud. This means that they can work with a wider rangeof people and organisations such as external consultants andspecialistsRemote workers – Small businesses canreduce the cost of office space and caneasily take on remote workers who canaccess data from anywhere. This givesemployers a lot more flexibility when hiringstaff as well as reducing the need to havebigger offices
Can using the cloud save you money? Using the cloud will save you money in terms of reduced energy costs of running a server and overall capital expenditure It will also save money in terms of software upgrades and will mean that your business only pays for what it uses. For example the cost of upgrades is a shared cost with other businesses that are also using the service It will also reduce the need for hiring external IT consultants, as most SaaS companies have their own internal experts who can manage the software and provide support when required
The cloud can be a great way ofmanaging your IT requirements andreducing costs. Though it must beremembered that you are relying onexternal organisations to manageyour IT infrastructure and yourcompany data. You should ensurethat you back up all data in aseparate location to ensure that yourbusiness has a copy of the data. Thiswill not only give you piece of mind,but also means that the data is stillaccessible in some form if yourservice provider is down.