Cloud computing is nothing new to the online world, and the average person uses cloud-based services as frequently as they do their smartphone, tablet, or computer. As consumers, we typically access cloud-based data anytime we stream videos, listen to podcasts, scroll through a social network feed, check our email through Outlook or Gmail, or use other online apps.
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Consumer and public use of cloud services have become more prevalent than business use mainly because business data is extremely sensitive. In the past, company data mainly had to be stored securely in-house with technical systems management processes. While business use of cloud-based platforms has not been widespread in the past, that’s beginning to change.
Studies projected that half of the current global enterprises are already working with at least one cloud-based platform. Further, the public global cloud market is anticipated to keep growing and already holds a value of $178 billion. Cloud computing seems to be the future of digital storage and has many benefits for businesses of all sizes, which include:
- More affordability and security efficiency
- Customizability according to company needs
- Reducing the likelihood of data loss
- Increasing accessibility worldwide
- Up to date upgrades on the most current technologies
Types of Cloud Computing
Many companies aren’t familiar with the various kinds of cloud computing. Some businesses, such as property management companies, might require several types combined to act as one cohesive solution. The following kinds of cloud services have many unique advantages. It’s important to choose cloud solutions that do the best job at solving inefficiencies within your business.
Infrastructure As A Service (IAAS)
Email hosts and website hosts are common examples of IAAS providers. IAAS is a cloud-based tool that provides a virtual interface to manage security and networking, storage, servers, development/testing, recovery/backup, and data analysis.
“Whether you need centralized website portals with streamlined tasks, or to combine banking and accounting to manage finances and daily reconcile accounts like a breeze, there is a software out there that is designed for what you need,” explained Bill Blanton, founder of CINC Systems the cloud accounting software.
Platform As A Service (PAAS)
Web and software developers often use these resources because PAAS is the environment that gives users the freedom to build simple to complex apps and services. All of the same features as IAAS can be found in PAAS, but it also has additional development tools, database management, business intelligence capabilities, and more. PAAS increases flexibility, reduces coding time, and improves collaboration when developers are building the same application from different locations.
Disaster Recovery As A Service (DRAAS)
DRAAS relies on tools in the cloud to protect applications from loss and disruption. The loss of data is a primary concern for companies of all sizes because expenses can be extreme, even to the point of disrepair. If anything goes offline, it’s imperative that no data is lost and that it can be brought back up as fast as possible.
How to Select Appropriate Cloud Services for Your Company
Since cloud services can be combined to serve almost any need that a business has, having a set plan for cloud services from the beginning can help a business get what they actually need. Increasing numbers of systems are becoming externalized so there are many options for cloud providers.
To make sure you select a cloud provider that fits your business, take the following actions:
Solidify a strategy for your business’s cloud-based needs. Since your company is unlike any other, it has individual requirements for cloud storage and functionality. Be certain that the provider you choose fulfills each of your initial needs because there are many to choose that have varying capabilities.
When you find a provider that fulfills your needs, be sure to carefully look at their compliance and data protection procedures, infrastructure, development methods, and data classification processes. Then you can be certain that the cloud provider will work well with your business.
#2. Look for Value
See which cloud-based providers would be willing to offer the most value in their service agreement. One provider might be willing to combine services into one payment, which can make it easier to manage the package in an optimal manner.
#3. Assess the Security
Triple-inspect the security measures a provider takes. Look into the risk management practices, vulnerability summary, and audit compliance report. All businesses need to be hyper-focused on data security.
#4. Don’t Set It and Forget It
Review the service regularly after you move everything to the cloud. You’ll need to keep an eye on your bandwidth to be sure there are no interruptions in service. Be sure that everything is working as it should.
Potential Risks of Cloud Computing
One thing to be aware of is that some cloud storage providers lock you into a contract. Before you move all of your business data to the cloud, find out whether or not your data can be accessed and if you can switch to another provider if you decide to. If a more suitable or cost-effective solution for your business becomes available, it’s important that you can switch if you want to.
In short, the benefits of cloud computing for business use truly surpass the possible risks. In the future, cloud-based platforms will likely become even more powerful and capable of creating, organizing, and storing sensitive business data.