What Is A Cloud Based Solution? Definition and Meaning
Any cloud-based solution refers to applications, storage, on-demand services, computer networks, or other resources that are accessed with an internet connection through another provider’s shared cloud computing framework.
The simplest way to think of cloud computing is by comparing it to electricity. Your home and business have it, but you don’t need a power plant on your property to use it. You just connect to the one that provides electricity to your area.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
Cloud-based solutions offer benefits for both businesses and end-users. Cloud providers use a pay-as-you-go model, so businesses offering cloud-based services never pay for more than what they use. This is helpful for startups on a budget because this keeps the expense in line with the company growth. If for any reason business declines, plans can also be downgraded accordingly. There’s no need to worry about investing in the upfront infrastructure costs like servers and software licenses. They don’t have to worry about having an IT team in-house to handle the maintenance and repair of equipment.
For end-users, cloud computing means they can access everything from their files to emails, to business applications and more from any device that has an internet connection. Whether they are working from the office desktop, their home laptop, or their mobile devices on-the-go, they can access their account – and information syncs across all the devices in real-time so there’s no need to worry about data being out of date, or needing to duplicate efforts.
As the cloud-based approach has grown in popularity and more businesses adopt it for their own use, the price points have gradually become more affordable for small businesses (SMB) to use. Because software as a service (SaaS) solutions are available to suit nearly any business need, it’s possible for companies to get the tools they need at a fraction of the cost of licensing for each user, and access isn’t limited to the licensed device, which is helpful in terms of disaster recovery. If your hard drive crashes, you can retrieve all the critical project files from the cloud.
Take, for instance, the Adobe Creative product suite. A single license for Photoshop CS6 came in at $699. Software bundles with multiple Adobe products ranged anywhere from $1,299 to $2,599 per license. And you’d have to pay a fee to upgrade whenever Adobe released an updated version of the programs.
With a cloud model, teams can access a single app for $33.99/month/license, or all apps for $79.99/month/license. This approach is far more affordable for small businesses, especially since the software remains up-to-date all the time, and projects remain accessible anytime, anywhere, in the cloud.
Whether you’re building or using an application on the cloud, you have freedom and flexibility because investing in infrastructure is not required.
Why Consider Using Cloud Solutions
Building an on-premises IT infrastructure could easily cost tens of thousands of dollars, depending on the computing power you need, the software the severs require, and several other factors. If there’s a power outage at your place of business, without a backup supply you’ll deal with downtime – and any service you’re providing to customers through that server will be unusable until service is restored. With cloud services, maintaining the data center, and keeping things operational is not something you have to worry about.
What Makes Up Cloud Computing Solutions
At the top of the pyramid, we have SaaS because it is what the majority of people interact with. It’s software hosted on the cloud, like PLANERGY.
Infrastructure as a Service: IaaS
IaaS is the infrastructure and hardware on which the software runs. This what allows users to rent the cloud infrastructure itself – the servers, data center space, and software. Renting the structure, rather than owning it, allows for quick and easy scaling according to business needs. It is what the cloud computing provider purchases and maintains for you.
Platform as a Service: PaaS
PaaS is the platform where applications are created and deployed. It allows developers to collaborate on projects, create applications, and ultimately test functionality without needing to buy or maintain the infrastructure.
All of these services work together to help businesses save time and money when it comes to deploying and maintaining the necessary IT resources.
Public vs. Private Cloud vs. Hybrid Cloud
A public cloud is a cloud service offered to multiple customers through cloud service providers operating virtual machines. SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS are all part of the public clouds.
A private cloud, on the other hand, is a cloud service not shared with any other organization. Private clouds can be maintained internally, or hosted by a third-party.
With a public cloud, each customer’s data and applications running in the cloud are not visible to other cloud customers on the same remote servers. Data management and data security is the responsibility of the provider.
Public clouds, and hosted private clouds, are available through cloud computing services such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform. Services such as Dropbox and Microsoft OneDrive offer cloud storage for businesses and individuals.
Think of a public cloud like renting an apartment, whereas a private cloud is renting a house of a similar size. The house is more private, but generally costs more to rent. Apartment maintenance is handled by the staff, but it is more difficult to get someone to work on the house – if a contractor isn’t available, the tenant may need to take care of themselves.
A hybrid cloud is a cloud environment that uses a mix of on-premises, private cloud, and public cloud services. This approach moves workloads between the public and private clouds as needed based on computing needs and cost changes. Businesses that opt for this solution have improved flexibility and data employment options.
Investing in cloud solutions makes it easier to obtain all the software you need to run your business smoothly. From basic human resources tasks like onboarding employees and tracking time to procurement, enterprise resource management (ERP), financial management, and more, your business has everything it needs in the cloud.