Cloud revenue is estimated to be $149.12B by 2019*. I think it’s safe to say that cloud services and applications are here to stay; 59% of companies indicate that they are using some sort of cloud service for at least 1 or 2 applications*. That still leaves 41% of companies yet to adopt. Many businesses are still asking what is Cloud Computing. Cloud Computing is IT Hardware, Software or Services that are delivered over a network as a service; typically the network is internet based for public clouds.
There are many different types of cloud computing products and services as well as a set of acronyms to go along with them.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IAAS) – Customer can create their own infrastructure on the IAAS provider’s resources, however they are responsible for the upkeep of the virtual server and software. Examples include Amazon, GoDaddy & Rackspace.
- Platform as a Service (PAAS) – The operating system has already been installed by the reseller and the customer is given a virtual server to install their software on – the software is the customer’s responsibility. Examples include Microsoft Azure, Force.com & Google App Engine.
- Software as a Service (SAAS) – The reseller delivers the software that you need directly to the end user, you the customer. This type of service is typically accessed through a web browser. The reseller is responsible for all upkeep of the software. Examples include Office 365, Salesforce, Autodesk 360
- Network as a Service (NAAS) – This service strictly handles the networking/transport of an end user’s connection services. The most common example of this is a VPN (Virtual Private Network).
- Business Process as a Services (bPaaS) – This service looks to combine different cloud services and types together to fit a specific business need. This type of offering is still relatively new and highly specialized. Cognizant is an example of a company provide this type of service.
So now that you know what the cloud is, you’re probably wondering why you should consider any of these offerings. The clouds provides many benefits to companies and users. The following list outlines the advantages to consider when moving to the cloud:
- If part or all of the infrastructure and software is being managed by a 3rd party, the resources needed internally to maintain that system or applications is reduced.
- Acquisition of cloud services is typically an operating expense, not a capital expenditure, alleviating large cash outlays to acquire up to date technology and applications.
- Scalability is another benefit of cloud services; the platform to acquire cloud technologies allows you to easily scale up or down as needed. Traditional infrastructure and software acquisitions are extremely static with no agility. This does not lend itself well for companies that are growing or that unfortunately need to down size.
- Cloud computing gives companies the advantage of mobility as long as you have an internet connection; giving companies and employees the benefit of working any time anywhere.
Cloud Computing has transformed itself into a business strategy that projects double digit growth and increased cloud IT budgets in the coming years. If companies haven’t yet adopted some sort of cloud technology they should at least be evaluating their options. For those firms that refuse to consider the cloud; consider the inability to compete based on lack of mobility, agility and collaboration.