Disruptive technologies refer to innovations that replaced or revolutionized a well-established technology, product, or process. These techs sweep away the old and replace it with something far more efficient, like what the car did to horse-drawn carriages.
Cloud computing is one of those disruptive technologies. It became popular in the last part of the 1990s but became a force to reckon with during the first decade of the 2000s. In 2022, about 57% of organizations will transfer their workloads to the cloud.
The technology has been around for many years, but businesses still seem unsure of what cloud computing can do for them.
An overview of cloud computing
Cloud computing refers to the delivery of computing services, such as software, analytics, intelligence, servers, networking, and databases, using the ‘cloud’ or the internet. Cloud computing also means that the data you’re producing is stored off site in a data center managed by another company.
Additionally, cloud computing can mean there’d be no need to install software on the company’s computers. Software is accessed through the internet using a web browser and hosted on vendors’ servers instead. Due to these features, the benefits of cloud over on premise are rapidly becoming apparent to businesses. For many companies, cloud computing is a vital tool for going forward.
If you think cloud computing is suitable for you, consider preparing a cloud infrastructure to be in a position to take advantage of this technology. According to Gartner, worldwide spending on cloud services is likely to grow by almost 28% and reach USD$600 billion in 2023. And this trend will continue in the foreseeable future.
What is cloud infrastructure and why do you need it?
Cloud infrastructure refers to the components required for cloud computing. These components work together, merging into a single architecture supporting cloud business operations. Generally, cloud infrastructure is composed of the following:
- Storage: Your data is stored in a storage center that can hold massive amounts of data. For example, a social media site has a storage center that can hold around 300 petabytes of data. Your storage needs, however, will be based on your company’s data use.
- Virtualization: This is the system that sets hardware apart from IT functions and services. The hypervisor or virtual machine monitor (VMM) enables a host computer to support several guest virtual machines (VMs). A VM can do this by sharing resources like processing and memory virtually.
- Hardware: This includes services, routers, firewalls, and backup devices, which make up the cloud network.
- Network: Network is comprised of servers, routers, switches, and physical wires. Cloud networks are typically made up of different subnetworks. This arrangement allows the formation of virtual local networks (VLANs), a group of network devices and workstations that improves traffic management and boosts the performance of Local Area Networks (LANs).
If you’re considering signing your company up for cloud computing, you’ll need cloud infrastructure. Cloud infrastructure has several delivery models, i.e., pre-packaged IT resources offered by cloud service providers. Below are the more established and common ones:
- Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
The cloud service provider offers virtualization capabilities, servers, networking, and data storage. IaaS can give your organization added computing power and data storage, but you’ll be using your software platforms. These software platforms include applications, middleware, data, runtime, and operating systems.
- Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
The cloud service provider offers the whole cloud infrastructure, which includes virtualization, data, servers, and networks. Unlike IaaS, PaaS includes runtime, middleware, and operating systems too. This delivery model means you can develop, test, implement, and run apps in the cloud without the additional expenses and complications of putting up an entire IT infrastructure.
- Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)
The cloud service provider offers the use of apps via a web-based portal. No need for you to install and maintain the software. You’d be subscribing to the software, which you can access via the internet. Any data storage you need is taken care of in the cloud service provider’s servers. The cloud provider also takes care of the security support and updates of the software, including maintaining the whole cloud infrastructure and other technology stack features.
So, how do you know if having a cloud infrastructure is right for you?
Getting the right cloud infrastructure that fits your company’s needs is vital. Having one that dovetails with your company’s cloud computing needs maximizes the cloud infrastructure’s benefits.
Cloud computing may be a popular option for business right now, but before making a decision, it’s best to evaluate your organization’s needs first. Here are a few situations where cloud computing can be of help to businesses:
- Expanding business
Cloud computing is designed to provide an on-demand deployment, and this benefit makes it particularly suited for an expanding business. If your business is growing or planning an expansion and you need to acquire resources to meet your business needs, by all means, avail of the services of cloud computing.
Planning, executing, and deploying your organization’s newly acquired resources can take months. But that won’t be a concern when you’re using cloud computing. What’s more, your organization can quickly adapt to meet modern business challenges with no outdated resources weighing you down. For example, collaboration among remote workers is far easier with cloud computing.
Software solutions located in the cloud can be easily customized, allowing you to act and adjust quickly according to your environment. Easy customization means handling and implementing processes are much more flexible.
- Keeping costs down
Companies worldwide are spending around USD$4.4 trillion on information technology (IT). Suffice it to say, a company’s IT budget can take a significant chunk of its operating costs. Acquiring software and hardware, plus the qualified personnel to handle them, can quickly run up costs. Cloud computing reduces these added expenditures since the provider takes care of these elements.
Overall, cloud computing can lower your operating costs while scaling down your IT responsibilities as well.
- Needing security requirements and regulatory compliance
Some industries like finance and insurance are highly regulated. If your business is similarly regulated like these industries, then cloud computing is ideal for you. IT professionals consider security on cloud platforms superior to security used on data centers on site.
Cloud security is composed of several components; it’s a set of procedures, strategies, and policies designed to ensure resources like data and apps are safe on the cloud. These multiple levels of protection can be effective against Distributed Denial of Service Attacks (DDoS), data breaches, unauthorized access, and other threats.
Cloud computing is poised to affect the internet significantly, including how businesses operate. It’s rapidly becoming indispensable among many companies. But before jumping on the bandwagon, evaluate your business needs first to find the proper cloud infrastructure.
Some of the circumstances enumerated in this blog may apply to you and help you decide whether cloud computing is the right fit for your organization.