In the current global situation, cloud computing is proving itself to be an unsung hero in keeping businesses operating by giving workers access to their business-as-usual systems without any headaches. However, for some companies, preparing their teams to work from home was a struggle and they needed to source different ways to ensure that remote working could be achieved. Which category did you fall into? If it was the latter, then our article this week will help shed some light on the world of cloud computing and the benefits it could have to your business.

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud Computing has been around for about 20 years now and if you’re unfamiliar with the term, it is defined as the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer.

Currently, around 90% of companies are running on a hosted cloud service and Amazon Web Services (AWS) are dominating the world of cloud as a vendor with a market share of 32% (data from 451 Research).

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Cloud and COVID-19

COVID-19 has greatly accelerated the requirement for organisations to scale to meet the technical needs of life in lockdown. Being cloud-ready was no longer a nicety but a necessity. Every sector was affected by the pandemic and companies had two choices; invest in shifting operations into the cloud or fail. Cloud transformation has been integral to so many businesses to survive but it has also set up many businesses for the future of working. With the pandemic (hopefully) coming to an end, many workers expect flexible working to continue. Businesses can now offer this as a perk because they have the proper infrastructure to support it.

What are companies spending on Cloud technology globally?

In terms of spending, the United States of America tops the global project spending report conducted by the International Data Corporation (IDC). Its market is larger than that of the next four countries combined. To give you an overview, here are the countries that spent the most on cloud technology in recent years:

The US – £96.3 billion

China – £8.1 billion

The UK – £7.7 billion

Germany – £7.3 billion

Japan – £5.7 billion

The way the global cloud computing market is going, its worth is expected to be £482.2 billion by 2023. That’s more than Google’s, Apple’s, and IBM’s 2020 revenue combined with enough left over to buy a few islands off the coast of Panama.

What are the different types of Cloud Computing?

There are three primary types of cloud:

Public cloud – Designed for services delivered across the internet.

Private cloud – Designed for internal use by a single organisation.

Hybrid cloud – When a company uses both a public and a private cloud.

The key difference between these types of cloud is who owns the infrastructure. Take this ownership away and they are the same thing.

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What are the different types of Cloud Services?

There are three main models for cloud services:

Software as a Service (SaaS) – Applications that are accessible by the clients via either a web browser or some lightweight applications.

Platform as a Service (PaaS) – A place for application development and testing.

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – A wide array of computing resources in a virtual environment. IaaS includes data storage, virtualisation, servers, and networking.

In the world of web hosting, cloud services are often divided into two categories: managed and unmanaged. Unmanaged requires technical expertise as the buyer of the service is responsible for setup and maintenance of the cloud system, while managed supplies the technical expertise.

The challenges 

Nearly two-thirds of organisations see cybersecurity as the biggest challenge for cloud transformation. By transferring to the cloud, you could be opening yourself up to attack without the proper measures in place. However, the cloud is not a trade-off for security and multi-layered systems can be put in place if you have the right people.

Another challenge for migration will be human error, which is why many companies will turn to automation to remove the potential for error. This is because many organisations lack the staff with correct experience for cloud adoption.

The benefits

Transferring to the cloud offers many benefits for your business. Most relevant would be the ability to set up a virtual office and the flexibility of connecting to your business at any time, from any device and anywhere – streamlining access to your data. Other benefits include reduced IT costs, continuity in the face of a crisis, scalability depending on the size of your operation and access to automatic updates for your cloud systems.