Cloud services, if you’re not already familiar with them, are infrastructure, platforms or software that are hosted by a third party provider and are made available via the internet. These systems enable the flow of data to the front-end client’s systems, over the internet, and through to the provider’s systems, and vice versa. Users of a cloud service need only an operation system, a computer and an internet connection to access the service. They don’t need to download anything.
Usage of cloud services has grown in recent years, as they provide a great deal of convenience and other benefits to the users, especially to businesses. Below is a look at how cloud computing came about, plus why businesses should use cloud services and the benefits they can reap from it.
Where did it all begin?
Some would argue cloud computing has its origins in Project Mac, a project funded in 1963 for Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) to develop technology that would allow two or more people to use a computer at the same time. One of the giant computers at the time that used reels of magnetic tape became the precursor for what is known collectively as ‘cloud computing’.
It is the use of virtual computers in the 1990s that has led to the development of cloud computing as the world knows it today. In the late 1990s, the cloud expressed space between the end user and the provider. As businesses began to understand its uses better, the cloud became more popular.
Then in the early 2000s, the world would see Amazon launch and make the most of the cloud. The cloud allowed Amazon to use its computer’s capacity much more efficiently. Seeing how well use of the cloud had worked for Amazon, other companies started incorporating the cloud into their operations. The same year as Amazon launched (2002), Google would launch the Google Docs services.
In 2008, private clouds would come about, especially as security of public clouds was poor. By 2010, Microsoft and some other companies had developed functional private clouds. In 2011, the world would begin to see hybrids of public and private clouds. Incidentally, if you’re concerned about the security of your own cloud, you may wish to consider a service like a Secure Access Service Edge (SASE).
Why should companies use cloud services?
Cloud computing falls into three main types: platform as a service (PaaS), infrastructure as a service (IaaS) and software as a service (SaaS). Companies today need cloud computing because of all the money they spend on developing and installing system. Cloud computing allows employees to access software as a service on the internet from anywhere in the world. They can do so at any time to complete their tasks. The use of cloud computing also helps companies to store their data and share it.
When a business implements the use of cloud services, it can do all sorts of things. Below are some of the main ones.
When you hire a cloud service, you’re only paying for the service hired, whereas running and maintaining a data centre, and hiring technicians who will be responsible for this, is much more expensive. Cloud computing service providers charge based on the features, memory, storage, number of users, time and other factors. This allows businesses to choose a package that suits them and cut their costs.
Enjoy more flexibility
The use of cloud services makes it possible for employees to complete their tasks from any location. They can work from home or work on their tasks in the field itself. Businesses can reduce the number of workstations and let some employees work from home, saving the business money. The business can also monitor operations more effectively.
Scale for growth
Traditionally, a business had to buy extra licences, servers and storage in case it grew unexpectedly, even though it could take several years before they actually needed to use these resources. m. Today, as long as the business can meet the costs, the cloud services provider will upgrade a package in minutes, as long as the business can meet the extra costs. Businesses can add storage and other features whenever they need them.
Businesses have always had to plan for the loss of data, which could spell major disaster for the business if it was to happen and there was no backup storage in place. Cloud computing services have removed the need for this kind of planning now. When storing data on the cloud, the data will always be available as long as the business has access to the internet. Businesses can use the cloud as a backup and as part of their plan for disaster recovery.
Storing data on physical servers and data centres is risky, whereas doing so on the cloud is a lot safer. If there’s a breach of security at a business premises, the intruders can steal laptops or computers and the data on them could become compromised. When you’re storing data on the cloud, it’s possible to remove confidential data remotely or move it to a different account.
The materialisation of cloud services has been a fantastic development for businesses, allowing them to reduce their costs and operate more flexibly. Cloud services have helped to take some of the complexity out of business planning, too, and when using cloud services, business don’t have to worry as much about data breaches or loss of data.