What is cloud computing?The ‘cloud’ refers to cloud computing or cloud services that are aimed at providing comprehensive connectivity across a group of networks and servers hosted on the internet. It allows employees access to a wide range of resources including databases, software and applications without having to invest in physical IT infrastructure. This takes away the fuss of handling cumbersome physical servers. Software and applications can be conveniently run on any user device.
Cloud computing categories_The different categories of cloud services consist of Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS) and Software as a Service (SaaS), offering virtualised network resources, enabling environments for the deployment and building of applications and ready-to-use software applications respectively.
What is IaaS?IaaS, or Infrastructure as a Service, is essentially on-demand access to services, networking resources and storage capacity that can be provisioned and accessed in similar ways to on-premises hardware solutions. An IaaS solution allows an organisation to build out resources as and when required. An IaaS solution like Microsoft Azure, can help with creating higher availability, improved responsiveness and increasing security.
What is PaaS?PaaS enables organisations to develop, run and manage applications in the cloud. Azure for example, provides DevOps teams the capability to develop, test and deploy applications throughout each stage of the development lifecycle. This allows teams to scale and optimise applications more cost-effectively and provide faster times to market than traditional on-premises development.
What is SaaS?SaaS, Software as a Services, is a cloud-based application, or software, that usually operates on a pay-monthly, or subscription model. These applications run across both desktop and in-browser. The value of a SaaS solution, such as Microsoft 365 or Dynamics 365, is that services, storage, networking and data storage are all covered by the vendor. The biggest value point of a SaaS solution is the ability to enable a workforce to work from anywhere, on any device, in a cost-effective way.
The power of the cloud_There are many benefits to operating within the cloud environment. Cloud capabilities enable businesses to gain access to a pool of computing resources, services and applications outside of a physical, on-premises, infrastructure. Taking away the need to own complex infrastructure, cloud services will equip you with advanced software to take your business to the next level. The Azure Cloud platform allows businesses the flexibility to build, manage and deploy applications utilising several different frameworks and infrastructure. Azure provides the base for organisations to deploy applications fully in the cloud, or through a Hybrid Cloud model. Azure is Microsoft’s advanced cloud platform designed to accelerate data management across the multiple facets of your organisation, using integrated data services and analytic tools. Below we’ll look at some of the benefits of the cloud:
Scalability and flexibility_Through a cloud solution, like Azure, organisations no longer have to invest in expensive on-premises infrastructure once they make use of the cloud. The elimination in hardware and software costs is the key to scaling up business operations. This cloud scalability will provide you with the ability to meet evolving demands both internally and externally, hence contributing to growth. Cloud infrastructure provides businesses with the flexibility to function efficiently from any location. Teams can be set up with efficient remote working setups. Employees will have the freedom to complete their respective tasks stress-free, ultimately leading to an increase in productivity. With traditional on-premises infrastructure becoming obsolete, businesses can scale up their teams quickly.
Digital innovation for future transformation_Innovation is one of the hallmarks that is required for any forward-looking business. The cloud will provide you with intelligent AI based technology to empower growth across your organisation. Following announcements at Microsoft’s Build conference, Azure now enables organisations to deploy and scale AI-Powered intelligent apps from the flagship cloud platform. Also announced were previews of OpenAI’s ChatGPT-4 in Azure OpenAI Service, that now enables DevOps teams to integrate AI experiences directly into their own applications. By utilising these emerging technologies, cloud services will put your business in the position to create ground-breaking solutions for improved client satisfaction. The current business climate embraces brands that are willing to think outside of the box. By investing in cloud technology, your company can truly set the market for becoming an industry leader in its field of expertise.
Advanced security and disaster recovery_Protection of your organisational data should be a top priority. In this fast-moving technological era, the loss of any type of data will be detrimental to any business operation. This is where cloud computing comes in. It provides a platform where you can safely store sensitive data without any issues. The robust security infrastructure within cloud software packages lead to a reduction in instances such as data theft, loss or damage. It has secure protocols and systems to safeguard huge blocks of data juxtaposed to on-prem storage. Cloud computing combines advanced disaster recovery features to store backup data for easy recovery when required; therefore, minimising downtime to promote business continuity.
Enhanced collaboration for the digital workplace_The cloud environment empowers employees to collaborate on multiple projects irrespective of their location. Cloud-based productivity tools such as Teams, Outlook, Excel and SharePoint facilitate efficient communication and collaboration among colleagues. Some of the features include real-time chats, video-sharing and document accessibility. This empowers employees to work flexibly and seamlessly. Productivity is also improved when staff are given the freedom to work from any location and or any secured device. For internal IT teams and product development teams, Azure enables DevOps teams the freedom to develop, test and deploy applications throughout each stage of the development lifecycle. In terms of collaboration, this allows to teams to scale and optimise applications much faster than traditional on-premises development cycles.
Leveraging big data in your organisation_Cloud computing assists organisations in gaining an in-depth oversight of their data. It offers scalable storage for huge volumes of big data. By breaking down information into accessible forms, decision making is made easier for all stakeholders involved. The innovative tools also enable the efficient processing of information, thereby leveraging your company for onward success.
Are you ready to make the big move to the cloud?Transitioning to the cloud is crucial in scaling up your business. By driving the shift in the way your organisation operates you can benefit from a solution that scales and flexes with the growth of your business. Need help moving to the cloud? We’ll assess the unique needs of your organisation and will offer you all the technical help required for the shift.
Contact our specialists today for more information on the benefits of the cloud and how you can transition from legacy on-premises applications.