2020 – the year that technology became a superhero who helped enterprises deal with the business disruption born of the pandemic.
Cloud computing emerged as one of the biggest boons for enterprises during these turbulent times. Irrespective of the industry, cloud allowed enterprises across the globe ensure business continuity amidst the pandemic. According to Gartner, by 2024, more than 45% of IT spending on system infrastructure, infrastructure software, application software, and business process outsourcing will shift from traditional solutions to the cloud. In addition to this, Forrester predicted that the global public cloud infrastructure market is to grow 35% to $120 billion in 2021.
With cloud computing evolving and becoming the backbone of business resilience, here is a quick look at the different cloud service models that enterprises need to consider, along with a few cloud computing use cases.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) makes software available for users over the internet – it stores, manages, and distributes data hosted on a remote cloud server and makes it accessible to users from a browser on any device. It is considered one of the most adopted models in the business ecosystem, thanks to the ease of use, upfront, subscription-based pricing, and lowered costs. Marketing Automation Tools, Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools, and online email applications such as Gmail and Office 365, are examples of SaaS applications that are customizable based on the enterprise needs.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Enterprises pay a heavy price and invest a substantial number of human resources into building and maintaining infrastructure. Infrastructure as a Services offers virtualized computing infrastructure on demand and over the internet. In other terms, IaaS is a cloud-based alternative to on-premises computing infrastructure. IaaS models are charged under a “pay as you go” model that allows enterprises to forego capital expenditures and helps them access their data via the cloud. In this cloud computing service model, the IaaS provider ensures ongoing support, and the enterprise has the option of scaling up their requirements at any time.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
This model offers a cloud-based environment that the clients can use to build, test, deploy, manage, update, and scale software applications. PaaS streamlines and simplifies the entire software development process and is one of the most time-effective and cost-effective methods to craft customized software applications. PaaS cloud computing model removes the pain of building and maintaining the software development infrastructure, which is often very expensive. A subscription-based model, PaaS enables faster time to market and enhances enterprise’s ability to react to market changes and opportunities.
Cloud Computing Use Cases
Cloud computing enables enterprises to store, access, and retrieve their data from any web-enabled interface over the internet. Cloud solution providers take care of the burden of operation and maintenance of the storage infrastructure. Enterprises have the option to choose either a flat rate or pay as per the cloud storage consumption. Cloud storage lets enterprises reduce the total cost of ownership, achieve quick implementation, ensure superior scalability & business continuity.
Data backup & Disaster recovery
Businesses across the globe are now driven by the belief that “data is the new oil”. The built-in resilience & durability of cloud computing enables cloud solution providers to back up enterprise data safely & securely. Cloud data backup protects data in case of technical issues, security breaches, employee accidents, etc. Having a well-defined data backup policy & disaster recovery plan helps enterprises reestablish business operations quickly after an outage. Data backup & disaster discovery has always been a complex and time-consuming operation, and usually comes with a lower cost for enterprises.
Web traffic spike bursting
Enterprises operating in industries like e-commerce, retail, and finance are required to maintain websites that handle peak traffic loads. It is cost-sensitive to rely on a physical data center environment to handle spikes in web traffic. Enterprises can leverage cloud hosting to lift the strain off their servers during peak hours. This is especially beneficial for organizations that have expected periods of spikes in traffic, as the cloud allows users to offload overage traffic when their on-premises systems are overloaded. Cloud computing can be used to scale enterprises’ network infrastructure and resources to manage and handle traffic spikes during peak season.
Enterprises have been relying on interactive chatbots to enhance sale funnels by providing superior online assistance. Leveraging the power of cloud computing and advanced algorithms, enterprises can create advanced chatbots that store user preferences & behavior and can provide personalized solutions, messages, and products based on them. Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant are some of the cloud-based natural-language intelligent bots.
Though cloud computing services are still at a relatively early stage of adoption, they will continue to be one of the most sought-after technologies for enterprises looking for improved accessibility, scalability, agility, business continuity, and cost-efficiency. Success relies upon enterprises who approach cloud computing as an ongoing journey rather than a one-stop destination. Adopting a blanket cloud computing strategy simply won’t deliver the expected results. Instead, enterprises should craft adaptive, secure, and customized cloud solutions that meet their business objectives.