Cloud computing is a model of computing which has existed over the years, quickly becoming the norm in the business community. It is a way of allowing your data to be stored in the cloud instead of your physical devices. This saves you money on storage costs, allowing you to use your computer whenever you want without having to worry about data transfer fees. Anyone with an Internet connection can access data stored in the cloud, so there is no limit to how much you can save on computing costs.
As a revolutionary approach to computing, cloud computing has become an increasingly essential part of modern business and homes. Since its introduction, clouds have allowed not only companies but people to work on large projects without the need to host their servers. This has led to a significant reduction in costs and time required for many tasks. Cloud computing can store and serve data in an automated and efficient way through a software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform. A cloud application allows the user to access the system files without saving most of that system on their computers. Examples of cloud-based applications are;
- Google Drive
As users of these platforms, you are sending your personal data to a cloud hosting server to store your information so you can access them later. As a beginner, here’s what you need to know about cloud computing and services.
What are The Uses of Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is something you experience and use every day unknowingly. From sending emails, watching movies online, playing games, and storing files, cloud computing is mostly responsible for making these activities possible in the background. Here are some uses of cloud computing.
- Develop a cloud-based application. You can easily build and develop applications like web and API.
- Store and recover data. You can store and backup your data at less cost by transferring and saving your data in the cloud accessible to you.
- Stream audios and videos. You can connect with people anywhere in the world on any electronic device.
The Importance of Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is indispensable for many businesses and entrepreneurs. It is in its early phase of use, even after existing for years. It’s a massive transformation from traditional computer systems, typically run on hard drives or Second Generation Disks (SGD). Cloud computing utilizes commodity hardware, software, and services to replicate computer servers in an automated way in order to increase efficiency and make the system more reliable. The core concept is still the same: A central location hosts lists of software applications and data, while individual users access the cloud through their home WiFi or Smartphones via a browser.
Cloud computing is a new way to use your computer. When you store your data in the cloud, it’s accessible from any device, anywhere. The money you save on data transfer fees can be applied to other computing costs
As a business or enterprise, the world’s rapid adoption of technology leads to creating a digital economy. To survive this means to adopt cloud computing. Changing to cloud computing can help businesses re-strategize their business structure and introduce a change in their business to utilize competitive advantages and the efficiency that comes with adopting this technology.
Cloud Computing Services
Cloud computing services provide a wide range of options ranging from storage, networking, and processing using natural language processing, neural network, and accepted office applications. Basically, cloud computing services are divided into four categories, namely;
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS): Infrastructure as a service is the most elemental in the categories of cloud computing services. With this service, you book an infrastructure, storage, networks, and operating systems from an access provider on a pay-as-you-go (PAYG) process.
- Platform as a service (PaaS): This service provides an on-demand medium for testing and managing cloud-based applications. It is modeled to help developers create web or mobile apps without the extra task of managing the servers’ infrastructure and databases required for the development.
- Serverless: Serverless computing service overlaps PaaS. This service’s primary role is building app features and not spend time managing the servers. The access provider takes care of the settings and server management for you. Serverless frameworks are scalable and only use resources when the need arises.
- Software as a service (SaaS): Software as a service is used to deliver applications on the internet, on-demand, and subscription. Access providers anchor and manage the cloud-based application, basic infrastructure, and maintenance such as system upgrades and security fixing. Users can access the application over the internet, using a web browser on their electronic devices.
These services are sometimes referred to as cloud computing stacks because they assemble on each other. Identifying their differences makes it a lot better to achieve your business plan.
No doubt that adopting cloud computing can take your business to the next big level. With different services available to develop and manage your business, most businesses are still not welcoming this new technology and digital business transformation. The advantages of cloud computing cannot be overemphasized, ranging from cost-effectiveness, time management, among others. With lots of cloud computing courses available, you can easily learn more about cloud computing and its services. Here are the merits and demerits of cloud computing.
Merits of Cloud Computing
The cost required to install a cloud-based server can be a thing of concern to organizations. However, the advantage of implementing overlaps the disadvantage. Once implemented, it will be easy to access and backup your data, saving you time and money. If you think you have to pay for applications that won’t be needed or used, most cloud computing serves are on a pay-as-you-go basis. This pay-as-you-go basis means that if you don’t use the services the cloud offers, you don’t have to keep paying for them. This is applicable to data storage to serve your clients; that way, you will get as much space as needed without being charged for used space.
Data protection is the biggest challenge of most businesses. A cloud provider’s primary duty is to monitor security closely, as it is more effective to a traditional in-house system to protect and secure data. An example is where an enterprise separates its efforts between a huge number of IT issues, with security being one of them. With high cases of internal data thefts executed by workers within the organization, it is safer to save sensitive information away from the site.
The solution is to increase security by saving data over networks and stored in databases through encryption. Encrypting data makes it difficult for hackers or unauthorized persons to access information. Most cloud-based services allow different user security setups. About 20% of cloud users can recover lost data in less than four hours.
Cloud computing is not limited to computers only. It also permits mobile access to group data through smartphones and gadgets. This is why everyone needs to adopt this unique technology. Staff working off station can use this app to keep track and up to date with co-workers.
Using the cloud helps you conveniently provide information to remote staff, working from home and on vacation. And thanks to COVID-19, offering and accessing information between co-workers working remotely or freelancing have been just fine.
Time is an essential factor in every business; time is not always enough to clear off tasks. If you need to commit a lot of time to your computer and storage issues, you might attend to clients and focus on your business. However, with the adoption of cloud computing, you can source on an outside organization to handle your IT hosting and managing, so you can focus more on your business and satisfying your customers.
Cloud services offer businesses more adaptability while hosting on a local server. This can make businesses more flexible and productive.
5. Quality Control
Quality set successful businesses apart; one major blow to businesses is their inability to have good reports and up-to-date data. In a cloud-based server, information, files, and documents are stored in one format. When everyone is accessing this data, you can control the activity, prevent human error, and update the information. Managing information in silos can result in staff unintentionally saving the wrong version of documents, leading to uncertainty and mixed data.
Demerits of Cloud Computing
Despite having its advantages, cloud computing is not without its disadvantages, some of which will be looked into in this article. Cloud computing is the best option for small businesses. Still, it doesn’t mean every small business or large business should start disposing of their servers, desktop software and conduct all their activities and operations on the cloud.
Activities such as video editing and its performance-intensive applications and software might not be totally suited to the cloud computers; neither are other tasks requiring high-speed desktop computers. Every business and individual has different needs for their operations; therefore, it might benefit you to use cloud computing only for certain things instead of using it for all your activities.
Before totally discarding your workstations and desktop software, it will be beneficial for you to look into some of these disadvantages of cloud computers.
Using cloud computers makes all your activities dependent on your internet connection. Therefore the moment you go offline, all your work stops. In a case where your internet providers have issues and the connection becomes slow or totally out, you would not be able to work on your business.
Depending totally on the cloud can be an issue because the reliability of the cloud servers you are using can be questioned. If the cloud computing providers’ servers go offline, it becomes difficult for you to do your task. And this is not unlikely Apple iCloud went offline seven hours in 2015, which affected a lot of big and small businesses.
In today’s world, everyone is concern about their data; the important question you should answer is how safe your data is. Therefore, while using cloud computing servers, you should not be using services and applications that involve storing data, especially data that you are not comfortable with being stored on a third-party server.
No data center is fully secured; even the NSA was breached. Therefore don’t believe adverts and promotions claiming that your data are totally secured; vendors will go to any length to claim that they have the latest and sophisticated data security systems so that they can secure your business. incase data security is a big concern for you might as well try using cryptographic internet computers, like web 3.0.
Looking from afar, cloud computing might look a lot cheaper and may appear as the best option if you are looking into a cost-effective system for your business. You are right, and they do not require large sums of investment for licenses or support infrastructure.
But you need to consider the features you are looking for. Does the cloud service have all the required infrastructure for your business like you have on the software, and are these missing parts important to you? These are the things you will have to consider when looking at cost-effectiveness.
4. Inflexible systems:
The inflexibility of some cloud apps is another disadvantage, and most cloud computing systems are built to ensure that you find it difficult to move your files and become a fore ever customer. At times some cloud computing vendors try to lock in customers by using proprietary software so that it becomes very expensive or impossible for you to move to another competitor.
5. Support system:
When cloud computing started, it wasn’t easy to get support. Still, over the years, cloud computing companies like Google now offer support for around 100USD, and their response time is within four hours. This means that if you have a pressing issue, you will not be able to get an immediate response. Furthermore, the cost of getting support every month can become so much for a small business. These are things any business would like to avoid.