Cloud computing is no simple term, but it is neither as complicated as you may think. This post gives you the simplest definition of what cloud computing offers and its potential in the coming years. Once you read this completely, you should be completely convinced that you should move your website to the cloud immediately.
Everyone is connected to the internet these days, at least everyone I know is. So, it does make sense to keep all your data and apps over the internet instead of your hard disks, USB drives and other storage devices, isn’t it? Simple, has the internet instilled enough confidence about the security of your data or apps to make use of it it on a regular basis, professionally? For example, whenever you use Google Drive or tune into iTunes you are using cloud services. So, it did, isn’t it?
In this article, we will see the advantages of keeping your data on the internet a.k.a, the cloud.
Before I come to that, I remember it was 2013 when I was backing up my data on to Dropbox since I was quitting my job. Though I understand software, it seemed that I did that quite well and viola, I got home and never could access the data again, not even today, it’s just vanished. Dropbox has been there since 2008, the problem was that I was not an early adopter and never could figure out where I went wrong. What did you think I did? Of course, swore, never to use cloud storage again. I am sure many of us have gone through such harrowing experiences, some, more than once.
But then, somewhere along the line, I got used to using the Google Drive [probably found it much simpler to use] and today I use many other cloud spaces including Dropbox. In fact, this very website is hosted on Google Cloud. Along the learning curve, I found the cloud storage helped me to:
Be flexible with my data
Yes, I can access my data anywhere, anytime I need to including on the mobile phone. Dealing with AI databases, I do store huge volumes of data out there and believe me, it is so simple to use. And, since I run a small business, it also opened my eyes to using it as PaaS [Platform as a Service], SaaS [Software as a Service] or IaaS [Infrastructure as a Service]. Nothing to be confused about, it is just about how you want to go about using the cloud to suit your business needs.
A little more explanation – PaaS is used to host a customised application for your business so that your employees, vendors etc. can use it to fasten your business processes. SaaS deals with applications that are already on the cloud or your own application built on the cloud to offer subscription for business to use [Example – Google Drive].
In a nutshell, we can say that PaaS allows companies to come up with customised applications suited to their needs, while SaaS requires them to choose an application to subscribe to. So for SaaS, the service is provided by a host that also manages the application itself. IaaS is about using the resources on the cloud to get your work done. [Example – Hosting your website]. Again, all these can be used in tandem, as required for your business.
Why I use cloud computing?
Available all times: Resources on any cloud computing platform are available all the time or you could say it is on-demand. You don’t need all that paperwork and the IT department to do the job for you.
Device independent: You can call and use any resources you need using your mobile phone, laptop, home computer or even a tablet, all you need is a consistent internet connectivity which is not a challenge anymore.
Shared resources: Cloud computing or storage is a multi-tenant model which means that the same resources can be shared at the same time by various users without any security risks since privacy is controlled through multi-layered security protocols and passwords. This kind of resource pooling is like living in a gated community but sharing the resources provided without any security risks. You still have to lock your house though!
Scaled resources: If you are running a business, you can well understand that you will need excess resources, probably for a short period of time and those requirements will be needed ‘yesterday’. Cloud computing is equipped to take care of such needs at a second’s notice. You can scale your requirements as needed, for as much time as needed and billed for it, as used, no more, no less. And, remember, in most cases, this is automated with detailed reporting.
Pay per use: Yes, cloud computing is based on a pay-per-use model, with detailed reporting of what you have used over a period, you are billed accordingly, so no extra money wasted or extra resources lying idle somewhere.
Why I moved to the cloud?
I am a very orthodox businessperson and believe in cost-cutting but not by cutting corners or at the cost of customer satisfaction. I look for value for money and cloud ensures that I get it. How?
Reliability: Assuming that your cloud provider is down due to some reason, which doesn’t normally happen, your data is automatically backed up on a parallel cloud where you can access it easily. So, the cloud is highly reliable. Cloud technology works on a distributed data management system [OMG, another acronym DDMS].
Flexibility: You could have employees or providers across the globe and yet get the best out of them using the cloud. Since it is omnipresent, the flexibility of scaling, costing and accessibility that a cloud can provide is enormous.
Recovery: Since your data is on the cloud, for example your WhatsApp chat data is backed up on Google Drive, it is very easy to get that data recovered in a matter of minutes even if your phone is bricked and you get a new one and login with the same credentials. In a business scenario, this becomes highly important once a local server or a laptop go bad suddenly.
Environment friendly: As a result of using cloud computing, your cost of maintaining IT infrastructure reduces drastically. You are not only cutting costs but also running a business that does not contribute to global warming.
Security: Believe it or not, cloud computing is the most secure way to store your data. Since most cloud providers use Linux servers, they are not prone to virus or malware attacks. Also, since clouds are simpler to configure, access level securities are quite possible offering no chance to the hacker community to test their skills.
Instant monitoring: Since the cloud is always at your disposal, it is very easy to figure out your reporting in a jiffy. It is easy to check how many tissue rolls you have sold in Indonesia and what is the inventory left sitting at your plush corner office in Chicago. You don’t need to send emails to-and-fro and find out inventory or sales requirements.
Implementation: Many still think that cloud implementation is a complicated process. Yes, it is, depends on the purpose of implementation, But, again the advantages it brings are enormous and implementation is only a one-time process.
Investment: Cloud computing is an investment, yes, but look at what it is going to save you over the next two years in terms of resources and time, and how it can bring efficiency into your business and elevate the opportunity costs. Not to mention, having that ever heavy-headed IT department around. Compare costs, you will see that the investment in cloud computing initially will only be a fraction of benefits it will bring.
Competition: Last but not the least, adopting cloud computing is going to shoot you up through your competition. Take for example, hosting your website on the cloud – your website becomes faster than most of your competitors and speed, as you may know is one of the marketing factors that matters most to your customers as well as SEO.
The 2019 perspective
Cloud computing has been there for a decade now and it has improved leaps and bounds to create ripples in the business and technology arenas. In fact, most businesses are making it a priority to shift to the cloud because of the advantages it offers. More and more cloud services are taking birth every day, so it caters to more needs of your business than you may think. I can well understand that following the cloud industry is not your forte for you as a businessperson, but giving it an hour of your valuable time in terms of research and your competition can give you important insights that could boost your business.
If you are looking forward to migrating your website to the cloud and need some expert help, we are always here to help you make the transition.