When it comes to business operations, applications, and systems, the trend is definitely moving quickly toward cloud-based on all fronts. Having your business in the "cloud" is becoming an imperative business move to support remote work and fuel growth, but what does operating your business in the cloud really mean? And what does your company need to thrive in a cloud environment?
Cloud computing comes in all sorts of shapes and sizes, from infrastrucute and databases to apps and software solutions, but most providers tend to specilize in one of three main cloud services.
1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
IaaS offers customers access to virtual servers and the ability to run dedicated or customized applications. Customers do not have the ability to change or alter the basic cloud infrastructure.
2. Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS delivers an application to customers. It allows businesses to deploy an application quickly and with minimal effort. However, customers will not be able to manage cloud infrastructure, resources, or even the application itself. Unlike IaaS and PaaS, software as a service often uses a per-seat pricing model which can be more cost effective for small teams.
3. Platform as a Service (PaaS)
PaaS allows customers to create their own application using programming, libraries, and other services that their provider may have available. Like SaaS, PaaS helps businesses deploy applications quickly but gives customers more control and customization options.
These three infrastructure as a service giants may have more in common than not, but there are some distinct differences between these providers.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) was released in 2006. This makes it the oldest of the three providers and it shows. AWS has the most services offered, more than 200 compared to Azure’s 100+ and Google’s 60+. AWS also has the most availability zones, though Azure is right on their heels and catching up fast. As the oldest of the three, AWS also has the largest user base; some high profile companies that use AWS are:
Azure was released in 2010, four years after AWS. Even though AWS had the head start, Azure has made itself a formidable competitor. Azure has more popular integrations than AWS and Google Cloud and, on top of that, Azure boasts almost 80% of Fortune 500 companies as it’s customers. Some names you may recognize are:
Released in 2011 and the youngest of the three, Google Cloud is growing fast. Though it has the smallest market share of the three, in 2019, Google Cloud had a growth rate of 83% which is tremendously impressive. Furthermore, Google’s pricing model means that businesses can get more bang for their buck. Some major Google clients include:
Cloud services are obviously useful but especially as businesses are navigating remote work solutions, cloud services are becoming a necessity - here's why.
One major benefit of cloud services is that all of your businesses files and documents are stored in the cloud. This means that data is not tied to one location, and employees can access the information they need while working remotely.
Being able to access data from home is one thing, but making that easy is entirely different. Luckily for businesses shifting to remote work, cloud services make it easy to access the information employees need from any device, any time. Furthermore, role-based access controls mean that your business can protect sensitive data even though it is in the cloud.
It can be hard to manage a project while working remotely, especially if it is collaborative. A benefit of cloud services is that they streamline collaboration from multiple locations. In addition, the flexibility of cloud services means that the product can be tailored to the exact needs of your business, which can only improve efficiency.
Innovation and collaboration go hand in hand, which is why cloud services help to promote technological innovations. Cloud services are always evolving, and as such need to update frequently. Online software upgrade procedures allow providers to maintain service while updating their software which means your business' cloud will not be interrupted.
Keeping data in the cloud holds an inherent risk of compromise. Cloud service providers have developed a number of ways to keep your data safe. One example of this is data encryption, which keeps your data separate from other data in the cloud and prevents others from accessing your data. Another example is limiting access, often through role-based access control and/or key management.
Cloud services providers like AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud also offer native cloud security options to boost security on their platforms and infrasctructure services and keep your business data and operations safe in the cloud.
Cloud services are not an isolated service; you can integrate other applications and services with your cloud. Doing this leads to many benefits, such as improved visibility and connectivity. Integrating a CRM would improve customers relations and service. Integrating a communications application would improve internal messaging and collaboration. There are endless ways to add onto your business’ cloud services.
Like what you just read? At Wheelhouse, we are passionate about all things software, and our specialty is connecting software buyers to a solution that perfectly matches their needs.
Please visit our website for a complete list of all the cloud solutions we have on offer. Need more help? Drop us an e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll be happy to assist you!