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What Is Cloud Computing?

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing gives organizations and individuals more power over what, how, and where you store and utilize data and resources. Cloud technology can improve workflow processes by helping you manage costs more efficiently, scale your operations to meet budgetary needs and space constraints, and simplify collaboration between distributed and remote teams.

Learn more about the benefits of cloud computing and what it can do for your company.

What Is Cloud Computing?

Cloud technology is when you host all or some of your organization’s software, infrastructure, licenses, and data on a remote server managed off-site, instead of storing information on physical storage devices or on-site data containers. Businesses, governments, and individuals rely on the cloud for completing various tasks, like designing and deploying web applications, managing workflow, and backing up files to a secure place.

The three types of clouds are:

  • Private: The private cloud has more restrictions and security than the public cloud since it’s designed explicitly for a single business, individual, or organization. It’s located on-site or managed by a third-party service provider.
  • Public: The public cloud is a cloud-based server supported and managed by a third-party provider. Full benefits and features of the public cloud depend on the third-party servicer you work with.
  • Hybrid: The hybrid model combines elements of the public and private cloud platforms by implementing the ability to move data back and forth across an on-site private cloud and an off-site public server.

Examples of Cloud Computing

Common industry uses for the cloud include services like:

  • Amazon Web Services: Amazon Web Services is a pay-as-you-go platform for developers to test and run code for applications and services without the need for on-site hardware and servers. This platform can instantly provide additional support for data and storage as you scale your business.
  • Microsoft Azure: Microsoft Azure is a public cloud platform that aids in analytics, networking, disaster recovery, data backup, and data storage while providing a place for hosting and development.
  • Slack: Slack lets team members communicate and collaborate on projects and to-do lists, no matter where they are in the world, with options to organize messages per project, topic, team — whatever works best for your workflow.
  • Dropbox: Dropbox is a collaborative file-sharing storage cloud that can accommodate files of any size. It also has built-in tools to simplify integration with other applications.

IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS

IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS are three popular cloud options for businesses and organizations:

What Is IaaS?

IaaS, or Infrastructure as a Service, is when the cloud service provider handles everything from storage to networking, but on a pay-as-you-go, on-demand business model. You can choose what you need, how long you need it, and scale your services up or down as your growth requires.

IaaS cloud companies have thorough server security in place, making it easier to store data compliantly while testing and developing new applications and web infrastructure. It’s a common choice for the finance, science, and design sectors, all of which need flexibility for high-performance computing.

What Is PaaS?

PaaS, or Platform as a Service, is when you can shop for the specific applications, services, and resources your organization needs and only pay for those, instead of a larger package. Amazon Web Services is one example of PaaS. The PaaS model makes it easier to manage your operational costs and create a custom cloud setup that accommodates your team’s needs without overcrowding or unnecessary additions. Depending on the PaaS provider you work with, you could have access to options like application development tools, data mining and analytics, and secure storage.

Being able to mix and match the platforms you need to succeed can save you time while improving workflow processes — all without the need to hire additional talent or invest in new hardware and infrastructure.

What Is SaaS?

SaaS, or Software as a Service, gives organizations access to cloud-based web applications and tools on an as-needed basis. The cloud servicer is responsible for all server and hardware management. With SaaS, you can access time-saving productivity tools, development insights, and other resources to simplify and improve your team’s workflow without costly commitments. Slack and Dropbox are two examples of the SaaS model.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

Three of the most significant benefits of cloud computing are the possibility for cost savings, the ease of scalability, and how it simplifies collaboration:

1. Cost Savings

Before the cloud, companies had to research, invest in, and learn how to manage and update costly hardware and equipment. For data-driven businesses, like web development and medical institutions, the cost of external storage and subsequent security alone was enough to warrant a new approach. When you consider the fact that technology is ever-evolving — meaning companies must pay to learn and implement new skills and equipment as needed — costs add up, keeping many smaller and mid-size businesses from being as productive or profitable as they could be.

Cloud services let organizations access software and tools without the need to invest in their own on-site resources, like storage space, infrastructure, or staff with specialized skills. These cost savings can be allocated to other areas of the business or invested back into cloud services to add workflow improvements.

2. Easy Scalability

In the pre-cloud world, expanding into a new region or opening a second branch meant securing enough funds to purchase new hardware and equipment — and that’s assuming there was enough room to house everything needed for security and storage. Cloud technology simplifies this process by letting trusted third-party experts manage data and tools.

As your company grows, you can pick and choose which cloud services you need to continue sustaining growth and stop using those that are no longer necessary. This level of flexibility makes it easier than ever to manage operations and reach new goals.

3. Collaborative Support

With the work-from-home model growing by nearly 140 percent since 2005 and a growing percentage of companies relying on entirely distributed workforces, the ability to collaborate across distances and time zones is more critical than ever before. Employees can quickly and easily access information, utilize shared tools, and communicate with one another on projects and daily operations. This is true no matter where employees are because the cloud isn’t tied down to a specific office location or hard drive.

This improved collaboration also comes with bolstered security and privacy features, so your team’s data is never left vulnerable to malware or virus attacks. Secure servers protect information as you move it between teams and individuals.

Consolidated Technologies, Inc. Is Your Cloud Service Provider

Cloud Communications from Consolidated Technologies, Inc. eliminates the need for costly, bulky hardware and contracts while giving your business the data security and simplified processes you need to succeed. If you’re in New York and the Tri-State area, contact us to learn more about our cloud service configurations and what our private, public, and hybrid models can do to improve your organization’s workflow.