Cloud computing has risen to prominence considerably in the last decade. The cloud revolution got an incredible push during the pandemic. When COVID hit the world, businesses had no option but to either move their activities online or shut down the majority of their services. The major barrier that cloud computing faced was that businesses didn’t trust these online services but had no other options, they were compelled to utilize the services of cloud computing and it soon became a hit. One by one companies made a beeline to buy these services. The users could now access everything from desktops, test environments, networks, monitoring, location, data, framework, and disaster recovery through the as-a-service models of cloud computing.
The models of cloud computing are based on the different ways in which you can utilize their features. The models provide you with more control over what, and how you want your requirements to impose on the cloud-based systems for your business. These models simplify the processes and the implementation of your needs. They also help companies to build and create strategies.
The pursuit of limiting the costs and constraints in financial resources are the driving factors behind the adoption of cloud computing models. These, plus the need to simplify business solutions with proven techniques, improve the pace and agility of organizations, increase productivity through improvements in technology, to promote efficiency in remote work environments, are a few of the other factors behind this phenomenon. The scalability and flexibility of cloud computing are continuing to get better and as time goes by, these services and cloud computing itself will be coded into the work of every organization.
Models of cloud computing and how to choose the one that is best suited for your business
Cloud computing models have drastically evolved over time, giving companies a more effective way to merge their businesses with cloud computing services to manage their expenses, create different strategies, and bolster the efficiency of their workforce. It is, therefore, important to know the advantages of each model for the companies to be able to choose what’s the best fit for their organization.
Types of cloud computing models:
1. Software-as-a-service (SaaS): SaaS is the most commonly used cloud computing service. It is used extensively by organizations that deal with posting and managing online content, such as online media publishing houses. As the name suggests, it is a type of cloud computing service where an application is hosted by the cloud service provider. WordPress, Google Workspace, and Dropbox are some of the most extensively used SaaSs. They are good for those SMEs who can move their data loads to third-party cloud servers. It helps in cost saving while not having to maintain or monitor the server. It’s best aligned when you want your site to be accessible on both mobile devices and PCs. This is the reason why e-commerce companies who want to quickly adapt and publish their sites online use it. It’s not viable for large-scale companies to use SaaS models, since they run a lot of data and in SaaS to process data, you have to transfer it to third-party servers. Moving this amount of data is never the right move for big companies since, they are sometimes confidential and would anyway, take a lot of time to move. SaaS doesn’t have many customization options plus it lacks the control to govern and manage data as per the requirements of the companies.
2. Platform-as-a-service (PaaS): Cloud platform services provide the user with cloud components for certain software. The platform provides the user with a basic framework upon which the developer can work to create customized applications. The monitoring and surveillance are all handled by the cloud service provider. Some popular PaaS providers are AWS Elastic Beanstalk, Google App Engine, and OpenShift.
PaaS is a little different from SaaS where, instead of providing the software, it provides the user with a platform for the creation of other software. The platform is accessible on the web where the developer can work on creating and building the software, shifting all the other worries to the third-party servers.
PaaS is useful when you need to make customized applications or in the streamlining of work in companies where there are multiple developers working on the same project. It cuts short the expenses of coding, developing, and deploying an app.
PaaS has its own limitations as it lacks data security. It becomes a problem when you have to integrate it with your legacy system as not all framework versions are supported by the third-party servers, which becomes a limitation while also causing run-time issues.
3. Infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS): The IaaS model provides complete control over the working and functions of cloud computing. It delivers operating systems, networks, servers, and storage services to the consumer through virtualization. The user has total control over the infrastructure. It provides businesses with the option to manage scalability issues as resources can be bought on-demand or as per their requirements.
The control over the cloud-based system is provided through an application programming interface (API) or dashboard, using which you can control the entire infrastructure. IaaS eradicates the effort that is required to hold and manage data canters by removing the need for hardware installation. It also eliminates the work of managing and maintaining any in-house hardware, acting as a “virtual cloud data center”. SMEs should go for the IaaS model to save money by not having to spend on hardware and outsourcing the work to third-party servers.
IaaS too has its own concerns and limitations. System vulnerability causes security issues for companies and the lack of total integration with the legacy system can cause similar run-time issues as with PaaS. The handling of the virtual data centers is not an easy job and requires practice. It is hence time-consuming for the companies as their in-house workforce will need time to get used to operating and working with the new interface.
Some Cloud Computing Strategies
Hybrid cloud computing is a mix of private and public cloud operations. Any organization which uses cloud computing services and merges them with its private cloud or its on-premises infrastructure is optimizing and using a hybrid cloud strategy. These methods are budget-friendly and help in easing and simplifying the work process. SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS are all hybrid cloud computing techniques. Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services are prime examples of cloud computing.
Multi-Cloud Computing Strategy: Any company using more than one public cloud to store and manage their work, with or without having a private cloud, is following a multi-cloud approach. This approach helps in allocating different sets of tasks as required, among the workforce. This strategy provides greater flexibility and minimizes dependency on a single public cloud.
Poly-Cloud Computing Strategy: This approach is a step above the multi-cloud strategy where companies use specific cloud platforms for a specific set of tasks according to their strengths. For example, a company that is using Amazon Web Services (AWS) for standard operations and Google Cloud for machine learning and data-oriented operations is following this technique.
Choosing the right model and strategy is essential for any company. Whether it’s SMEs or large-scale enterprises, both should know what targets they must hit and accordingly build a strategy on how they should go about it. It is thus important to know the basics of the cloud computing models to form an idea and create a plan and a strategy to build a path for your organization to move forward. Utilizing your resources and finances in a constructive way should be given the utmost importance. To comprehensively understand the various models and create a strategy as per the requirements and goals of your company is how an organization should operate. It is of utmost importance that SMEs focus on these models and strategies to tackle their problems effectively and excel in the execution of their tasks.