Hello folks! Let’s talk some business! What is the one thing that helped businesses function during this tough period? Have you wondered how organizations could streamline the work without going off the deep end?
We are at the cusp of hyper-digitization. What began as a wave of digital transformation across the globe 5 years back is making way for more digitization. And Cloud is the cornerstone of that hyper-digitized world – A world of opportunities and a revamped workspace.
A study by RightScale, “State of the Cloud Survey, 7th edition,” shows that nearly 1,000 IT professionals say that 96% of their organizations have active cloud implementations. And 81% who took the survey have more than one active cloud implementation. This clearly points to the importance of a well-advanced IT service. The changing landscape of business has propelled IT service as a determinant of a successful business. These days, the success and failure of any enterprise are invariably tethered to the quality of its IT delivery system.
Digitization driven by the cloud has made businesses survive the disruption. The current situation of the COVID-19 pandemic confined people to their homes, compelling them to work remotely, by communicating, coordinating online. While all sectors, big and small, had to shift to the electronic route, companies had to become extremely dependent on cyberspace to get their work done.
Did it ever occur in your wildest dreams that you would be working for over a year at the comfort of your home? The challenge is to maintain employee productivity and operational efficiency. This couldn’t have been possible if not for cloud computing. In the present circumstances, cloud computing components are vital to overcoming the ongoing situation.
In addition to this, as countries worldwide focus on bringing down the virus spread, the cloud services offer an innovative platform to enhance the productivity of health care workers. It aids in the war against the COVID-19 virus by helping in detecting, tracking, and monitoring the newly infected person. In a way, cloud computing is the silent soldier in the war against the COVID-19 pandemic.
So, what is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is the on-demand access to computer-system resources without direct active management by the user. Resources like data storage, applications, tools, and more would be made available by the cloud services provider for a fee charged as per usage. These services are available over the internet on a pay-as-you-go basis. It is inherently designed to manage changing demand and if implemented in the right manner, it can handle increased requests.
Want to understand this in simpler terms? Here it goes!
Cloud computing is a service that lets people use online services that are generally available through any device with an internet connection. This means that the user needn’t be at a particular location to access a particular data. This way, it saves a lot of money and time. There isn’t a requirement for dedicated machinery or software, as everything is taken care of by the applications on the cloud platform.
The term cloud computing is inspired by the image of a cloud that is generally used to represent the internet in diagrams.
It can be public or private. A public cloud makes services available to anyone on the internet. Whereas a private cloud caters only to a limited set of people. The access is provided based on certain access settings. In short, whether private or public, the cloud aims to provide faster innovation, flexible resources, and economies of scale. How cool is that?
Okay. Got it. But, How does cloud computing work?
An active internet network connects the front end (consisting of the client device, browser, network, and software applications) to the back end (comprising the databases, servers, and computers). The communication between the front-end and back-end is managed by a server. Usually, there is a dedicated server for each individual application.
This way cloud computing is revolutionizing the digital space, converting IT infrastructure into a utility. You can top up with infrastructure through the internet to make use of computing resources, all this without installing and maintaining them on your system.
IT giants like Microsoft, Google, and Apple have already shifted to cloud-based models. They are also the largest providers of cloud-based services. Services like Google docs, email, skype, WhatsApp etc can be accessed by the users via the internet, anytime and from anywhere. Other popular examples of cloud-based software include zoom which enables audio and video conferencing no matter where you are.
Several Indian IT companies like Skillmine have adapted to the changing environment offering several cloud services like cloud assessment, migration, optimization, DevOps, and more.
Why is cloud preferred over the traditional model?
Like any innovation, cloud computing has resulted in the sheen of traditional web hosting. Three distinct features set it apart from the traditional model:
- Cloud offers a large amount of computing power, unlike the conventional model.
- It is flexible, where usage is solely the user’s choice
- The service is entirely managed by the server.
A cloud-based digital transformation strategy offers great opportunities. Companies that are cloud-based bring new capabilities to the market, innovate easily while reducing technology risk.
Let us take a look at 6 ways in which cloud and IT infrastructure are transforming digital space-helping you reinvent your business:
The reduced risk involved: There is no doubt, cloud disrupts the existing security and infrastructure of a business. But once executed, it eliminates operational overhead and risks involved. Improved security offered by the cloud ensures that the risk of losing crucial information during a system breakdown is completely struck down. Multiple backups of data can be made with the help of a cloud. This way, the company is made resilient to vulnerabilities.
Efficient scalability: The pace at which the cloud adds capacity and new services is phenomenal. This ability of the cloud has been particularly of help to tide over the current scenario of the COVID 19 pandemic. A surge in the use of digital channels triggered by the pandemic was met by the cloud’s capability to ramp up and down as per business needs.
Reduced operating cost: Since the cloud offers a scalable service model which prompts businesses to make a payment only for the resources they use, the operating costs are reduced. The resources are scaled based on needs. Thereby reducing costs involved in IT infra management and resource purchase.
Ability to handle enormous volumes of data: The ability of the cloud to work with humungous volumes of data makes it more versatile and productive. Operations, processes, and services are better managed with a cloud by allowing businesses to respond quickly to challenges and solve problems.
Enables faster prototyping: This quality of cloud acts as a catalyst in digital transformation. Limitless innovations, trials, and errors, and implementation are required to make a mark in the digital world. Cloud creates a platform for all of these.
Makes the system more agile: Instead of keeping you waiting for weeks or months, cloud lets your organization start working with the applications in minutes. Additionally, Cloud lets you empower certain users—specifically developers and data scientists—to help themselves develop software and support infrastructure.
Here are some Cloud Computing Services :
SaaS is one of the three available cloud computing services. Saas is the most commonly used one, and a popular cloud service. The advantage of using Saas is that you needn’t be a developer or an IT expert to use it. In a nutshell, SaaS is a model of delivering software and applications over the internet via a subscription. SaaS users pay a monthly or annual subscription fee; some may offer ‘pay-as-you-go’ pricing based on your actual usage Compared to our traditional model, it is truly a game-changer. Saas is also used in many businesses today, for example, communication, customer services, sales, and many more.
IaaS provides on-demand access to computing architecture and infrastructure. In this service model, the cloud provider manages the storage, networking resources, and server. The positives of using IaaS is that it offers enhanced scalability, supporting dynamic workloads, making it faster, efficient, flexible, and easier. However, it has some cons like security issues, service, and networking delays since you are working on a very basic underlying architecture.
PaaS provides an on-demand platform where users can build and run their programs with zero concern about the underlying infrastructure. It offers an environment with hardware, software, infrastructure, and even development tools—for developing, compiling, and running applications without the cost and complexity of maintaining a platform on-premises.
Serverless computing also called simply serverless, allows you to focus on your application logic without having to worry about any servers. There are no servers to maintain, no operating systems to be taken care of, no hardware to upgrade and no software to be managed. Thus you are left with ample time to focus your time on application logic. Other benefits of serverless computing include easy and efficient scaling, high availability, fault tolerance, no idle capacity (pay-as-you-go service).
So what does the future of the cloud hold?
Organizations have already moved ahead of the initial question of selecting multiple cloud providers. They face the challenge of deciding what data should be stored in public and what should go to private cloud services. Another difficulty they face in the initial days is with regards to managing operations across different cloud infrastructures. The next challenge is likely to be about building on that foundation by designing tools, software, and technology to provide a multi-cloud solution.
The computing power is getting more distributed and ubiquitous. The future of cloud-enabled infrastructure is a mix of multi-cloud solutions, not strategies to support virtual work, workforce and workspace, federated security, and distributed DevOps.
A study by Deloitte expects to see a shift in cloud strategies toward cloud migration, security, operations, value planning, and DevSecOps (short form for development, security, and operations). The future of the cloud would lead to a massive increase in data storage capacity, with cloud computing becoming a norm and more enterprises joining the bandwagon. The possibility of delivery of more data centres at a lower price due to more competition in the future. With more and more companies shifting to cloud computing, the issue of safety has become undeniable. In 2018, the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force. This points to the fact that all cloud service providers are aware of the risks involved and are taking measures to be GDPR compliant.
Another possibility the future of cloud computing holds is the Internet of Things along with cloud computing. The most discussed topics during recent years have been artificial intelligence, machine learning, and the Internet of Things. On one hand, IoT helps us to communicate using any device connected to the network. IoT devices can bank on cloud computing which provides high speed, is flexible, and offers more storage area. Another evolving concept is that of the Internet of Everything (IoE). Moving forward, a greater choice of cloud services would be made available. Also, the ability to select specific services from specific vendors will become easier.
Enhanced performance of the internet can be ensured in the future with the help of the Internet of Things and cloud computing. Modular software will be a priority in years to come as applications will be stored in places other than the cloud, that is, on different modules on servers of different cloud services.
A combination of multi-cloud solutions, federated security, and distributed DevOps can help create a future of cloud-enabled work infrastructure needed to make virtual business infrastructure function well.
Health crises like the present-day COVID-19 pandemic paved way for a surge in demand for cloud services. With events like these expected to see a rise in coming years, it is safe to say that cloud is the present and the future. It is growing at a stellar pace, ever-ready for innovations. Cloud transformation will enhance digital transformation, growth of innovative models, new products and services, and eventually foster economic growth. So what’s the catch? By making it possible to thrive during the crisis, cloud technology indicates that it is here to stay. Even after the crisis is over.