The term Cloud is commonly used to represent the Internet and can be defined as a vast global network of servers that work together and function as a single ecosystem. And the process which is used to deliver the various computing services such as databases, storage, servers, software, networking, analytics, etc. over the Cloud or the Internet is referred to as Cloud Computing.
With the advancement of technology, we are already transitioning towards a Digital Age. Nevertheless, the sudden outbreak of the Coronavirus Pandemic (Covid -19) along with its appalling Second Wave, has accelerated the need for Digital Transformation . To survive in these uncertain times and to prepare for future growth amidst the threats of an impending third wave of Covid-19, organizations must incorporate “Digitalization” in their everyday business processes. In this context, Cloud-based services & technologies hold a very special significance. It empowers businesses to incorporate remote work and ensure the safety of their employees, optimize costs and efficiencies, prepare for recovery & build a resilient future for themselves.
However, before delving deeper into the reasons as to why organizations should opt for cloud-based services and technologies, let us first look at the different types of cloud as well as cloud-based services.
TYPES OF CLOUD
It is owned and operated by a third-party cloud service provider and delivers the cloud resources such as storage and servers over the internet. It is cost-effective as all the hardware; software and supporting infrastructure is managed by the cloud service provider.
It can be located either on the Companys on-site data center or hosted by a third-party service provider. The cloud resources and services are not shared. They are offered either over the internet or a private internal network only to a select group of users.
It is a combination of public and private cloud platforms. It not only ensures a seamless sharing of data and applications but also provides businesses with greater flexibility, optimizes their existing infrastructure along with security and compliance norms.
TYPES OF CLOUD SERVICES
Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
It offers infrastructure such as servers, virtual machines, operating systems, storage, and networking resources based on demand on a Pay-as-you-go basis.
Platform as a service (PaaS)
It offers infrastructure such as servers, storage, and networking along with development tools, business intelligence (BI) services, database management systems, etc on a Pay-as-you-basis. “It provides an on-demand environment for developing, testing, delivering, and managing software applications”.
Software as a service (SaaS)
It provides software applications over the internet on a subscription basis based on demand. The cloud service providers host and manage the software applications along with the underlying infrastructure. They also handle the maintenance work such as software upgrades and security patching.
It provides backend services on an as-used basis. The cloud service provider automatically provisions, scales, and manages the infrastructure required to run the code. They also handle the setup, capacity planning, and server management.
Let us now look at the reasons why Organizations should opt for Cloud-based services & technologies and leverage them for transforming their business processes in this Age of Digital Transformation
Enable Productivity from Anywhere
Cloud-based services enable organizations to support a remote workforce. It ensures a consistent and productive work experience irrespective of the different geographic locations. It facilitates real-time communication and seamless data sharing among team members and paves the way for well-informed data-driven decisions.
Cloud-based services help organizations in optimizing their costs in terms of buying software & hardware, system upgrades, setting up & running on-site data centers, energy consumption (electricity for power and cooling), maintenance, staff management, etc.
Maintain Business Continuity
Cloud-based services empower organizations to deploy easy-to-use, cost-effective, and efficient backup and disaster recovery solutions. It ensures business continuity and minimizes disruption by saving data at multiple sites on the cloud providers network.
Unlimited Storage Capacity
Most of the cloud services can automatically sync data from the user desktop. They also offer the flexibility to retrieve data/files in case the user switches to a different computer or mobile device. Organizations pay only for the storage used and do not have to maintain the infrastructure.
Agile Business Processes
By using Cloud-based technologies, organizations are provided with the ability to scale elastically based on business demands, without having to invest in physical infrastructure. At the same time, it also reduces the risks related to in-house operational issues and maintenance.
Efficiency in Performance
Unlike on-site data centers, cloud-based services eliminate the need for different tasks such as hardware setup, software patching, etc. This enables organizations to focus efficiently on important business goals for meeting the existing and future challenges.
End-to-End View of Business using big data analytics
By using cloud-based technologies, organizations can unify their data across teams, divisions, and locations in the cloud. This provides them with an end-to-end view of their business using real-time data and business analytics for generating actionable insights, making predictions, and improving forecasting, etc.
Cloud service providers offer a “broad set of policies, controls, procedures, and technologies that work together to protect cloud-based systems, data, and infrastructure. These security measures are configured to protect data, support regulatory compliance, and protect customers’ privacy as well as setting authentication rules for individual users and devices.”
To put simply, opting for cloud-based services and technologies is an integral part of Digital Transformation process. It empowers businesses in terms of flexible resources, lower operating costs, efficient infrastructure as well as scalability of business processes.
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