Moving Forward with Cloud Computing

In this day and age, the use of internal IT Infrastructure including hardware, software and storage are becoming a thing of the past for many organisations. “The Cloud” (hosted services including Infrastructure, Platform and Software) have become viable solutions to meet the IT needs of many companies.

The Cloud can be deployed as private (for more security-stringent organisations, typically in industries like banking, government and healthcare) or public (providing services to anyone using the internet).  A third category, ‘hybrid cloud’, is a combination of public and private clouds and is presently the fastest growing flavor of Cloud computing.

Some of benefits of Cloud Computing services are described below:

  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS).  The benefits include allowing a company to pay for as much capacity as is needed, therefore keeping expenses down and keeping services scalable to suit the changes in operations and storage needs. This reduces costs for system and hardware upgrades and reduces the time needed to deploy infrastructure.
  • Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) provides the benefit of hosting the software and product development platform on the cloud provider’s infrastructure.  This again reduces IT costs such as software upgrades and having access to automatic updates for up-to-date software, servers and computer processing power (ask your Cloud provider for more details).
  • Finally, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) includes not only all of the hardware infrastructure and software products, but also the front-end user portal is provided by the vendor. Common services included in a SaaS model are web-based email, inventory control and database processing.

There are numerous other advantages of the Cloud, including:

  • It can be used as a critical part of your Business Continuity strategy.  In the event of disaster, having data stored in the cloud and backed up regularly ensures your organisation’s assets are protected and are in a secure location ready to be recovered, minimizing any downtime, loss of productivity whilst speeding recovery timeframes.
  • Providing flexibility to employees in their work practices e.g. working remotely from home or an off-site location more readily.
  • Collaboration is made easier with the ability to communicate and share information off-site with just an internet connection.

In summary, IT Infrastructure, including hardware, software and platform can now all be sourced as a Cloud solution.  This can include continuous backups and disaster recovery capability.  The Cloud can easily be accessed remotely, creating the space for flexibility and on demand data access whenever it is needed.  Finally, Cloud Disaster Recovery is the future move to a more reliable and cost effective system to maintain operations and help your organisation stay afloat when a major incident strikes.

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