While the cloud is a great tool to improve the accessibility of applications and data, many businesses only scratch the surface of how the cloud can benefit their business. Take a moment to learn more about cloud computing.
Cloud Computing is Much More Than a Place to Store Files
Cloud computing has become part of the general consciousness, so much that the term “cloud” is even used as a general term for “it’s on the Internet.” However, despite its ubiquitous connection to being the place you save your photos, cloud computing is a powerful tool for businesses if you take full advantage of it.
As we noted, unfortunately, many businesses’ only knowledge about cloud computing is due to their experience with the free personal cloud storage they got with their Google or Microsoft accounts. While there is still a lot of value in this, many companies underestimate the value of cloud computing, particularly its capability to increase productivity while reducing expenses.
How Cloud Computing Benefits Business
Cloud computing benefits business in several ways, but in reality, it boils down to two; efficiency and cost reduction. If we look at cloud computing services such as application hosting, productivity suites, VoIP, and of course storage, we see the benefits it brings business. While businesses in the know have heard of the services associated with cloud computing, they may not have a clear understanding of how the services can benefit their business. Let’s take a moment to learn more about the three most common types of services: SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS is characterized by its ability to allow your team to use their applications through a web browser. One example most businesses should be familiar with would be productivity suites such as Google Workspace and Office 365. As these applications are virtual, they allow your team a wide range of productivity. Your team can collaborate with each other, share documents, and as long as they have access to the internet, work from any location.
A main advantage of SaaS is that it brings with it opportunities for cost-cutting. Due to its virtual nature, businesses don’t have to worry about downloading or installing applications. This can reduce the need for IT to spend time maintaining and purchasing software to be used on workstations. Subscription-based applications ensure all team members are using the same version of the software.
Finally, many businesses rely on generational software in order to save expenses. Generational software occurs when a business uses different versions of software, some of which could be out-of-date. Out-of-date software not only causes compatibility issues but can also allow cybercriminals to gain access to your network, due to them being able to exploit obsolete software.
Some advantages of SaaS include:
- Hosted on a remote server
- Accessible over the internet
- No need to invest resources in hardware and software
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
PaaS (Platform as a Service) also known as cloud platform services, provides a framework for developers to build custom applications upon. Since PaaS is virtually hosted, all functions, such as servers, storage, and networking are handled by your provider. This frees your team to focus solely on creating custom applications, without needing to worry about managing the hardware needed to run it.
PaaS can streamline your processes, particularly when several developers are working on the same development project. PaaS offers the efficiency and flexibility needed to rapidly develop or distribute applications.
Some advantages of PaaS include:
- Reduction in the amount of coding needed
- Allows for cost-effective development and distribution of apps.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Infrastructure as a Service provides the infrastructure needed to support web apps. Some examples of IaaS would be Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Cisco. The distinguishing feature of IaaS is that it allows businesses to purchase resources on-demand and as needed, as opposed to the traditional method of purchasing physical devices (such as servers) outright.
IaaS reduces your business expenses by eliminating things like the need for dedicated server rooms, which require physical security and temperature control, which in turn require considerable investment. IaaS also manages hard drives, networking, virtualization, and storage, all the traditional services a data center would perform without the need to physically maintain them.
Some advantages of IaaS include:
- Highly scalable
- Resources can be purchased as needed
- Flexible cloud computing model
Is Your Business Taking Full Advantage Of The Cloud?
A cookie-cutter solution for your business IT won’t allow your business to make the most of its technology for growth. Each cloud model, SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS serve a different purpose. Depending on what your organization’s goals are, it is essential to understand the difference to decide which service is right for you. If you’re not familiar with these services, chances are you’re not using the cloud to its full potential and could be leaving money on the table.
Are you ready to increase your bottom line? We are Detroit’s Managed IT experts, serving businesses throughout Michigan. We can help your business take advantage of all the benefits of cloud computing. Call 248.545.0800 today to schedule an appointment.