Cloud computing is revolutionising many business computing processes, opening up new possibilities for both small and medium enterprises. Everything from data storage to customer services, software delivery, and mail storage facilities can be optimised using this exciting new technology to boost operational efficiencies. At the moment there are several trends emerging, along with a host of confusing new acronyms to remember. Let’s take a closer look at each of these.
SaaS is on-demand software. It is rental software that subscribers can access via their Internet browser. SaaS negates the need to buy expensive software licenses for each user, which can amount to a considerable saving for any size of business. SaaS software is available for content management, finance, and accounting, ERP, CRM, and many more business systems. Because SaaS can be easily adapted to suit many different business models, it’s a trend that will continue to grow.
IaaS is a virtual platform based on a cloud VPS hosting platform. Cloud virtualisation allows users of IaaS to access an abstract computing platform without localised physical features. Virtualisation also helps to create a hypervisor or virtual machine monitor, called Interface as a Service. This gives users access to control infrastructure such as the servers, data centre space, network equipment, and software.
PaaS is a connecting link between SaaS and IaaS, which offers computing platforms to the end users of cloud computing. SaaS offers a smooth and seamless integration of hardware architecture, software, and the OS that are required for computing by the users. Some of the real time applications of PaaS include hosting, testing, and deployment, along with application design and development.
The benefits of cloud are considerable for even the smallest of enterprises. Because there is no requirement to invest in physical database and server equipment, there are immediate cost savings. Many small to medium enterprises also find the pay-as-you-go model favourable, especially when their business is seasonal and/or unpredictable.
There are a growing number of apps available that are designed to assist in the presentation of information and key company data. Because they make the manipulation and display of data simple, they’re very useful for key decision-makers to capture and disseminate trending data.
Disaster recovery is a top consideration for every business data manager. Most companies place considerable effort in creating a robust backup facility to protect their valuable business data. With the cloud this happens automatically. As such, start-ups and small enterprises are realising major financial savings by entrusting their disaster recovery plans to their cloud service. Cloud services backup data on a regular basis, which can be accessed from anywhere, anytime.
Many companies have been hesitant to entrust their data to large cloud service providers. Instead, they prefer to engage smaller private cloud service operators who are demonstrating greater levels of security and privacy for their highly sensitive data.
One of the most important factors in the growing popularity of the cloud is accessibility. In today’s dynamic business environment, customers want to be able to access their data instantly, 24/7, anywhere they can get online. Because of the cloud’s browser-based consoles, it offers customers this convenience via any connected PC, laptop or device worldwide.
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