Cloud Based | 9 mins read

What Is Cloud Based Technology and Computing?

what is cloud based technology and computing
Hanh Truong

By Hanh Truong

Introduction to Cloud Based Technology

Cloud based technology has simplified an organization's need for software, data storage, and processing power. Through the use of the Internet, cloud computing solutions enable business owners to boost productivity, ensure data security, and increase efficiency.

According to research from an IT services group, 85% of businesses around the world are already implementing cloud technology to store information. Enterprises and small businesses alike are taking advantage of these advanced tools to optimize their operation without breaking their budget.

What is Cloud Based Technology and Computing?

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Cloud based technology and computing is the use of software and services via the Internet. These applications commonly include data storage, networking, servers, and databases. Users can access their cloud hosted tools with any device that is connected to the Internet. This is in contrast to older legacy systems, in which files and data must be kept on hard drives. This means, with the cloud, users can work remotely and will not need to be at a certain location to review their data.

Cloud computing also does not require bulky, specialized hardware. By reducing the necessity of physical infrastructure, businesses can lower their financial investment. Additionally, many providers offer cloud services using a pay-as-you-go model, allowing for scalability. This means organizations can purchase the services they need and subscribe to more features whenever necessary. This is helpful for small businesses that are looking for cloud computing platforms that fit their budgets.

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Types of Cloud Based Services

Studies show that the global cloud computing market is anticipated to reach $623.3 billion by 2023. The growing rate of cloud infrastructure implementation can be attributed to various cloud computing platforms. The following are 3 types of computing services that more and more businesses are utilizing in their operations.

1. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

Software-as-a-service, also known as SaaS, is considered to be the most popular cloud computing service. SaaS enables users to access servers through a web browser or app. It also eliminates the need for end-users to work directly with the underlying hardware and operating system. Generally, SaaS is a great tool for organizations that prefer software subscription platforms.

Additionally, SaaS is ideal for those that do not want to have to maintain IT infrastructures and software. With SaaS, users also do not need to purchase on-premise devices. However, it is recommended that companies invest in fast Internet service and network hardware. For example, business teams can leverage the use of SaaS platforms, like Google Suite or inventory management software, if they have a reliable tablet or laptop.

2. Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)

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Platform-as-a-Service, or PaaS, enables end-users to develop, run, and oversee their own applications. PaaS platforms generally provide the hardware and software to individuals through a third-party service provider.

Therefore, users will not need to create and maintain the IT infrastructure or server that the app must run on. Developers and computer programmers often use PaaS because of these advantages. This is because it streamlines the creation process of an app, as well as its integration to another database.

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3. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)

Infrastructure-as-a-Service, also referred to as IaaS, is another common type of cloud computing. Companies that want to build their own applications and manage all aspects of development will typically use IaaS.

The IaaS provider supplies the hardware, hard drive, storage, and server, while the user controls the operating system and app. Although brands will have more command using IaaS, it is recommended that they invest in teams that have technical skills in IT.

Types of Cloud Computing

Much like how there are different versions of computing services, there are different types of cloud based applications, as well. Businesses can deploy their platforms on various forms of clouds, depending on their needs and values. The following are 3 key types of cloud computing.

1. Public Cloud

According to the annual State of the Cloud Report from 2019, 91% of businesses use a public cloud. This type of cloud is owned and managed by third-party providers and allows users to implement any service - IaaS, PaaS, or SaaS. With a public cloud, users can easily scale their platforms and boost their computing power. This means the brand can provide its customers with more information and resources.

2. Private Cloud

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Private clouds are the second most used cloud service, according to the annual report, with 72% of business users. A private cloud refers to computing services that a business exclusively uses. Oftentimes, these platforms are located on the organization's on-premise datacenter to ensure authorized access only.

Other businesses will protect their private clouds by using a corporate firewall. Essentially, organizations have the power to control their data's location and infrastructure with a private cloud, which is beneficial for IaaS and PaaS projects.

3. Hybrid Cloud

Reports show that only 69% of enterprises use hybrid cloud solutions. This cloud type combines the capabilities of a public and private cloud. This technology allows data to move and be shared between the two types of clouds.

Therefore, businesses have more flexibility with their data and have increased deployment options. Many organizations will opt for a hybrid cloud to ensure data security and recovery, and to reduce hardware costs.

Benefits and Risks of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing can provide various benefits and risks for businesses.

Benefits

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Organizations can optimize many aspects of their operation with cloud technology. Compared to traditional IT resources, a digital transformation with cloud services can improve system performance and increase efficiency. The following are other advantages to implementing cloud computing.

  • Reduce Costs - Cloud computing platforms allow users to pay for the capacities and features that they need. Therefore, businesses can be cost-efficient and make smart purchasing decisions based on their unique service demands. This ensures teams leverage and actually use the applications they buy and prevents unnecessary spending.
  • Lessen IT Operating Expenses - Many of the computing services are user-friendly and intuitive. This means businesses will not need to spend their budgets on set up fees, updates, and maintenance. It will also reduce expenses associated with hiring IT specialists and experts.
  • Increase Speed and Flexibility - Since cloud services are accessible on any Internet-connected device, users can review their applications with just a click of a button. Additionally, they can use their platforms remotely from any location.
  • Ensured Scalability - Businesses can scale their applications elastically with cloud technology. As new consumer and organizational demands evolve, business owners can quickly accommodate their system by purchasing more IT resources. For example, users can increase their bandwidth, lower their computing power, and maximize their storage at any time, whenever they need it.
  • Reliability - Cloud computing tools will automatically back up data storage systems. It will also help with disaster recovery, allowing businesses to guarantee that their data is safe and reliable at all times.
  • Security - Providers of cloud resources have established policies and technologies that will ensure data security. These services are equipped with tools that will protect IT infrastructures, apps, and information from cyber threats and breaches.

Risks

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By understanding the various risks of cloud computing, businesses can practice their due diligence and implement preventative steps to protect their data. The following are some drawbacks to cloud technology.

  • Contracts and Agreements - Some cloud providers may not include privacy and data security conditions and limitations of liabilities in their contracts. This can be risky for businesses because, in the case of a data breach, the provider may not be obligated to notify or rectify the issue. Additionally, the user will have to deal with full liability, despite not being at fault. Before signing an agreement, companies should thoroughly review the contract and negotiate terms, if necessary.
  • Lack of Control - Depending on the contract and jurisdiction of the provider, business owners may lose control of their data and network. This gives providers the ability to store data in different warehouses in other countries. Privacy regulations will vary based on region; therefore, data can be further shared or intermingled with other sources.
  • Potential Security Threats - Although many providers have technologies that will safeguard data security, cyber threats may still occur. Due to the robust amount of data and computing resources that cloud services provide, it is susceptible to bot malware and hackers. Organizations should talk to their cloud providers about their security protocols and access controls to ensure data is properly protected.
  • Limited Availability - Cloud services require strong Internet connectivity. Therefore, companies can lose their access to data if their device is not properly connected to the Internet. Additionally, this can cause a disruption to business system continuity. Organizations should talk to their cloud provider and ask if there are offline features that will allow them to process information without the Internet.

Costs of Cloud Computing and Its Future

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With the rise in computing services and the heavy increase of competing platforms, the cost of cloud technology is steadily decreasing. Industry experts believe that the price of cloud services will continue to reduce for applications, such as storage and databases. This is due to vendors attempting to attract companies that are transitioning from enterprise data centers to cloud systems.

Despite these advancements, cloud technology is still relatively new. Many businesses are still trying to get acclimated with the idea of storing data online, rather than on an on-premise server. To perform a digital transformation, executives and top-level managers must also re-strategize business plans and values. Therefore, cloud providers are promoting the benefits of computing as an improvement and not an additional cost.

In Conclusion - Cloud Based Technology

  • Cloud based technology and computing are the delivery of software services and applications through the Internet. These solutions commonly include data storage, networking, servers, and databases.
  • By using the cloud, business owners and teams can work remotely and access their systems with any Internet-connect device.
  • The 3 main types of cloud computing services are Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS). SaaS is the most commonly used platform among the general public and organizations.
  • The 3 types of clouds include public, private, and hybrid. The most popular form is the public cloud, followed by the private cloud, and then the hybrid cloud.
  • Cloud computing services provide various advantages, such as cost reduction, reliability, and scalability. However, it also entails drawbacks, such as limited contractual agreements, lack of control, and security threats.
  • While the capabilities of cloud technology continue to advance and many businesses are taking advantage of its features, some companies are slowly migrating to the cloud. Cloud platform providers are promoting the benefits of cloud computing to encourage brands to begin their transition from legacy systems.

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