Cloud computing is a technology that provides access to computer power, disk space and software over the Internet. With on-demand availability and a payment model for actual usage, companies can use IT resources without purchasing and maintaining their own IT infrastructure. This helps save costs and match computing power to actual usage. Read on to find out more.
Cloud computing is a powerful tool that supports businesses in the age of digital transformation. We use it every step of the way when sending emails, streaming audio and video, or using storage and backup applications like Google Drive.
Small and medium-sized enterprises can gain a lot when implementing the advanced functionalities of this technology as it allows them to operate efficiently. It is closely linked to the use of a variety of services in the form of a subscription called XaaS (Everything as a Service).
What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing is primarily a model for delivering IT resources, such as:
disk space, or
There are three types of cloud computing in business:
Private cloud – a dedicated infrastructure for a single organization, providing control and privacy of data. Its primary advantage is the greatest security, and disadvantage – higher costs. The most popular providers are VMware, IBM Cloud, Dell EMC.
Hybrid cloud – it is a combination of private and public clouds, allowing for flexible resource management. Its advantage is optimal use of resources, and their disadvantage is a greater management complexity. It is also a more secure solution, which is why more and more companies choose hybrid clouds. Hybrid cloud providers include Rackspace, IBM cloud, and HPE GreenLake.
Public cloud – in public clouds, resources are provided to multiple customers, which allows for scalability and flexibility. For this reason, it is the most frequently chosen solution. Its advantage is lower cost, and its disadvantage – lower control over data. The main providers are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, IBM Cloud and Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.
To avoid the drawbacks associated with using a single public cloud, businesses sometimes use a multicloud solution. Multicloud computing differs from hybrid cloud computing in the way it works. In the case of using a hybrid cloud, different public and private clouds work together to share data and processes to perform the same task.
In contrast, with multicloud, different public clouds are used to perform different tasks. This strategy is designed to minimize the risks associated with dependence on a single provider. Its advantage is also avoiding the so-called vendor lock-in, that is a situation when the customer is tied to a particular service or technology provider, making it difficult or impossible to change providers without significant costs and effort.
Its main disadvantage, in turn, is the complexity of managing and integrating various platforms, just like in the case of a hybrid cloud. The main providers of multicloud computing are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and IBM Cloud.
Cloud computing in business
Cloud computing lets you move many business operations to the cloud. It facilitates, among others:
Remote collaboration – thanks to cloud computing, teams can work together on documents, presentations and projects in real time, regardless of location. Cloud platforms provide easy access to communication tools like chat, video conferencing and screen sharing, which contributes to better communication and productivity when working remotely.
Resource management – cloud computing helps centralize and manage resources from a single location. Companies can easily track the use of resources, such as memory, bandwidth or computing power, and scale them as needed. As a result, small and medium-sized businesses can optimize the cost and efficiency of their IT infrastructure.
Data analysis – cloud computing offers a wide range of data analytics tools that can help companies better understand their market, customers and competitors. This enables companies to make informed business decisions, optimize their operations and increase profitability.
Data storage – cloud computing lets you securely store a big amount of data without investing in costly local infrastructure. Companies can scale their storage needs quickly and easily, and take advantage of advanced safeguards and backups to protect their data from loss or cyberattacks.
Project management – thanks to cloud computing, small and medium-sized businesses have access to professional project management tools that were previously reserved for large corporations. These tools allow them to effectively plan, monitor and control the progress of projects, so companies can achieve better results in a shorter time.
However, these are just some of the possibilities that cloud computing offers.
Choosing the right cloud computing company
Choosing the right cloud service provider is crucial to the success of implementing cloud computing in a company. It is important to pay attention to such criteria as:
Service reliability and availability – it is important that the provider guarantees stability and continuity of cloud services. Interruptions in access can lead to loss of productivity and even revenue. Choosing a provider with a high SLA (Service Level Agreement) minimizes the risk of downtime,
Quality of technical support – in case of problems with cloud services, fast and competent technical support is crucial. A provider that offers 24/7 support and a dedicated technical supervisor can help solve problems more efficiently and avoid delays in business operations,
Data security – by choosing a provider that uses advanced security technologies and regularly updates its systems, we can reduce the risk of data loss and leaks,
Offer flexibility – flexible pricing plans, the ability to scale resources or use different service models make it possible for a company to use cloud technology more effectively and grow according to its needs.
Popular cloud computing service providers include:
Amazon Web Services (AWS) – in the last quarter of 2022, 32% of all cloud computing users were taking advantage of it. AWS w offers a wide range of cloud services and is known for its flexibility and scalability. For small and medium-sized companies that need a tailored cloud infrastructure, AWS can be a good choice given its ease of implementation and competitive pricing, especially for startups and companies that grow rapidly,
Microsoft Azure – the cloud used by 23% of cloud computing users. It’s suitable for SMEs that already use Microsoft products such as Office 365 or Dynamics 365, as integration with existing services is easier. In addition, Azure offers attractive packages for SMEs that combine the cloud with access to business tools and technical support,
Google Cloud Platform – it is highly efficient and innovative when it comes to machine learning and data analysis. For SMEs that want to take advantage of advanced analytics and real-time data processing tools, Google Cloud may be a better choice than competitors, thanks to its ease of use and competitive pricing.
Cloud computing is a powerful tool that supports small and medium-sized enterprises in the era of digital transformation. Its implementation brings many benefits, such as flexibility, scalability, cost savings and enhanced security.
Practical applications of cloud computing in business mainly include:
resource management, and
Choosing the right cloud service provider is crucial to the success of implementing this technology. Due to the incredible pace of technological development, the future of cloud computing for SMEs looks bright, with great prospects for growth and innovation.
If you like our content, join our busy bees community on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, YouTube, Pinterest, TikTok.