Cloud services allow computer users to have online access to storage, networks, interface, and hardware. Service providers offer these services as separate components or complete platforms depending on the user’s need. Businesses and individuals can now take advantage of sophisticated computer services without the need to purchase expensive equipment or hire dedicated information technology specialists to maintain their systems.
Business owners find this option attractive because they have the opportunity to streamline their internal systems and can save money on software and hardware. Providers take care of all maintenance and upgrades freeing up the portion of a company’s budget that would otherwise go toward purchasing computer equipment and hiring IT specialists to maintain it. Data is stored off site and accessible through any device with a reliable Internet connection. The provider backs up files automatically eliminating any risk of losing data.
Providers offer a wide range of services to clients, including infrastructure, platforms, and software. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) provides users with all the components and equipment they need to store data and access it from any location. The provider owns all the equipment and takes responsibility for maintaining it. The client logs onto the system and pays per use.
SaaS, or Software as a Service, makes applications available to clients online without the need to purchase programs. This frees up computer space because the user does not have to install programs. The provider will also take care of all system updates to ensure the client has access to the most current software version available. Updates happen automatically with no input needed from the client.
Access to operating systems is available through companies offering Platform as a Service, also known as PaaS. Clients pay for the use of off-site servers and all services associated with running various applications or for the development and testing of new ones. Users save money by relying on a single vendor for their infrastructure. This also eliminates any concerns about duplication of functions and compatibility among multiple hardware facilities.
Business owners are able to make better use of human resources with this type of service. Workers have access to the information they need from any location. This increases productivity and allows employers to hire employees living anywhere in the world. Owners and team managers can monitor projects remotely, which increases efficiency.
Security is an obvious concern when transferring business IT resources to a cloud service provider. Business owners should verify that the provider utilizes physical and technical safety controls. These should include penetration testing, intrusion detection and an impenetrable firewall.
Cloud services are revolutionizing the way small and large businesses implement the most advanced technology to interact with their customers, partners and vendors. Users no longer have to worry about exceeding their data storage capacity. Business owners enjoy predictable monthly operating expenses, making it easier to stay on budget. Start-up companies benefit because they save money on the cost associated with hiring experienced IT personnel and do not have to purchase, install, and maintain expensive computer hardware and software.