It seems like all you hear is how data is moving to the cloud. But what is “cloud” and how can it help your business? We all know cloud computing uses the internet. To do what?
Cloud computing comes in many flavors and companies leverage the cloud to deliver technology services for their business operations. Cloud computing can be a highly efficient, secure, and effective way to conduct modern business. However, there isn't a "one size fits all" solution. It's important to choose a strategy that makes the most sense for your business and meets your needs.
There are many different types of cloud computing solutions in the marketplace. Most are based on a pay-as-you-go model and are offered as a service.
Public Cloud is used to describe the large provider's offerings from companies like Microsoft, AWS (Amazon Web Services), and Google. These solutions are typically virtual environments that allow you to set up servers and workloads to run your business.
Public clouds are just that - public. Meaning that the computing resources are shared with other users of the service and the data is typically distributed around the country and even the world. It doesn't mean that these are insecure systems. It just means that you are getting to use a chunk of computing resources out of a very large pool available to all subscribers. Public cloud can be a great solution for a company that doesn't want to have any on-premise hardware to maintain.
Although this is a convenient solution, you don’t always have full control over the environment or know the specific hardware being used or where your data resides (geolocation). Maintenance is typically dictated by the provider. Costs are based on how much you use and can fluctuate.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is like renting your computing environment and someone else houses it for you. In this scenario, you choose the hardware and software you need to run your business. You also select where in the world you want it to reside. The provider sets it up, plugs it in, hooks it up to the internet, and lets you manage it all. IaaS is best suited for companies that have an IT staff or partner to manage the environment. This is important since the systems will still need to be updated, managed, and monitored. This is a great solution for businesses that still want full control over their computing environment and also want to know exactly where their data resides.
Another plus is that you aren't sharing a large pool of computing power with other subscribers. Costs for IaaS are typically more structured and are based on the type of systems you are using and how much storage you need. Since it is more like rental of equipment, there is usually no initial cash outlay as there would be if you were buying your own infrastructure.
Application as a Service (AaaS) is the most widely used type of cloud computing. This type of cloud computing is typically a specific application or suite of applications that are housed and hosted in the cloud by a provider. You may use these applications to run your business or use them to provide productivity and collaboration tools for your employees. Some examples of AaaS are Microsoft 365, Google G Suite, Adobe Creative Cloud, and Quickbooks Online. Application as a service is nice because you don't have to keep your software updated and since it is paid as you go, the upfront costs of buying user licenses are eliminated. The costs are typically based on a per-user, per-month model.
In this age of digital disruption, its important to work with an experienced cloud strategist. At EWP, we believe there isn’t a cookie-cutter approach to meeting the cloud needs of our clients. We work with clients every day to help them discover their best cloud solutions. Our method is analytical and methodical:
We work to understand your business. It is important to gauge the complexities of your business, understand your internal resources, and your operational needs.
Whether you need to migrate to the cloud need help understanding how the cloud can benefit your business, we'll help get you there. If it makes sense for your organization, we'll even help you move out of the cloud.
Do you still have questions about cloud computing? Are you interested in learning more about the single-vendor approach and how it can save you money?