How Сloud Services Can Be Useful for Your Business
Technology does not stand still, making every company keep pace with the times. What was considered to be normal ten years ago, may become completely outdated now. For example, ways of building infrastructure. Let’s figure out how cloud services can help.
In the past, it could be limited to a standard server room with two or three servers, on which important company’s applications were running.
There are not so many companies who practice this approach today, because of the following facts:
- Users’ expectations from applications went up significantly due to the increase in the level of competition.
- Ways of providing services have changed greatly. Companies have already made a shift from offline services to online services, use of mobile devices have significantly increased.
- The amount of the processed data has been dramatically increased and the processing speed has been accelerated.
- Companies’ risks and financial/reputational losses caused by application stability issues are much higher than before.
And this is not a complete list of changes driven by digital transformation. Today, all these requirements can be easily covered by the use of cloud technologies.
Below you can find the answers to frequently asked questions that will help you understand why cloud services are so important for modern businesses.
Why do modern companies need to use cloud services?
First of all, cloud technologies help to solve problems of any complexity in a short time. With the help of cloud services, in particular, IaaS and PaaS, you can organize a pool of virtual machines in a matter of minutes, prepare remote workstations and data repositories.
Put simply, the cloud is an alternative to renting physical servers, which today is quite rarely used due to the lack of flexibility and economic feasibility.
The cloud, on the contrary, attracts customers with its capabilities: reliability, flexibility and security. In addition, the cloud approach, being an alternative to investment in expensive hardware and network equipment, allows you to build high-quality and reliable IT infrastructure, which is characterized by minimal management and financial costs.
For example, you need to perform a compute-intensive calculation once a week. Building an HPC cluster on premises can take a lot of time and cost hundreds thousand of Euro. If you build an HPC cluster in the cloud, your time to market will be much lower and TCO (total cost of ownership) will be much slower because you will pay for this cluster only during periods of active use.
What do you get using the cloud?
Indeed, what do you get when you switch to the cloud consumption model? What is included in the cloud service?
Using the cloud, you get a flexible solution using which you can easily build your own virtual infrastructure or provide virtual workspaces for your team. Moreover, this format is suitable for any goals and objectives. Depending on the needs, you can rent one or several virtual servers, set the required parameters for resource consumption, and forget about the fact that your resources may run out.
In contrast to the physical infrastructure, using which you will overpay for unused resources or will not be able to handle peaks in workload, the cloud is a super-flexible solution which allows you to add or release the necessary amount of power on the fly.
Good cloud providers also take care of monitoring, backup and periodic security audit of entire cloud infrastructure. As a result, these included services reduce the efforts and costs of your operations.
Does the cloud services help to reduce your hosting bill greatly?
Renting a virtual infrastructure, a company can prevent large one-time spending. At the same time, tasks related to the purchase of expensive equipment, its maintenance, and further replacement are the responsibility of a cloud provider, which greatly simplifies your life.
Some cloud providers offer not only virtual machines, but more high-level services such as platform as a service (for middleware or databases), or software as a service (CMS, CRM, ERP, etc.), which may dramatically reduce your spendings on management and operations of these solutions due to the fact that a cloud provider will do it for you. So instead of multi-year hardware and license commitments, you can use infrastructure and licenses on the pay-as-you-use model and cancel anytime without penalties.
In addition, use of cloud is the perfect way to cut down costs on hosting of your testing and staging environments, because these environments are usually short-living objects and you will pay only when they are active, but not when stopped or deleted.
Thus, the company that chooses the path of “cloud consumption”, directs its strength to the development of business, without being distracted by non-core tasks.
Why should a cloud provider be located in a secure data centre?
In order to comply modern security requirements and ensure the reliability of services, cloud platform has to be built using high-end equipment and be located in a data centre, which reliability is confirmed by the international certificate of UTI (Uptime Institute).
Unfortunately, today there are a large number of commercial data centres that do not have proper certificates or do not fully meet the necessary requirements.
Such data centres are unlikely to provide high-quality facilities with a high level of fault tolerance.
Therefore, before using the cloud platform, make sure that it is physically reliable. The cloud provider Hidora, for example, offers to its customers a cloud platform located in a secure data centre in Gland (Switzerland), which is certified by the Uptime Institute for Tier 4 level (the highest possible level). Tier 4 data centres are fully fault-tolerant and have no single points of failure.
By implementing its own services on such sites, you will be able to get a smoothly functioning infrastructure and predicted level of service. Otherwise, an error of choice may affect the company’s reputation and cause serious financial losses.
Is cloud suitable for every company?
Cloud services can solve a wide range of tasks. Today, the cloud is used by various companies, like retail, tourism, medicine, construction, manufacturing, training, delivery and transportation, IT, banking, financial and others.
Due to the fact that the market today is quite segmented and companies face different tasks, cloud solutions are divided into subclasses, allowing you to reach customers from various segments, ranging from small businesses to large corporate customers.
This could lead to the conclusion that cloud technology is suitable for any type of customers. Representing a set of tools aimed at both the corporate segment and the mass market, cloud technologies allow us to solve almost any problem.
Although some types of companies such as banks and state institutions have enforced security requirements, they can still use either private clouds or public clouds with appropriate security certificates.
Nowadays cloud technologies have become so popular and demanded that a huge number of companies cannot survive without them. Possessing high potential and wide opportunities, the cloud is formed but still is a developing segment of the market, which in recent years continues to show steady growth and demand from customers.
Cloud services offer you: rapid access to infrastructure, reliability, and security, flexibility and scalability, increased availability for work, faster time to market, transfer of capital costs to operational, money savings and many more.