Businesses and the Choice of Cloud

In the simplest of terms, the cloud is a shift away from the traditional consumption models of Information Technology. Computing resources are made available on-demand from remote servers through the virtualization technology in the Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) model. PaaS or Platform as a Service builds on IaaS, cloud hardware and software infrastructure components used in developing and testing applications are provided in this model. Software as a Service or SaaS incorporates both the PaaS and SaaS. In this, the entire software suite is made available in a pay-per-use model.

Cloud is deployed in three ways- private, public and hybrid. In the private cloud, applications and the infrastructure is controlled and managed by the IT departments using them. In the public cloud, applications and infrastructure housed and managed by a third party are delivered to multiple clients. Hybrid is a combination of the two in which organizations use a public cloud for emails etc. and private cloud for sensitive assets like financial records.

Cloud implementation is on the minds of enterprise owners because of the dire need to cut costs while simultaneously maintaining high efficiency. It’s a high-pressure situation for the business developers and strategists. New solutions are being sought by these weary professionals. Cloud implementation is one of the answers. According to a survey by Forbes, that had surveyed over two hundred Chief Information Officer (CIOs) and other executives of leading US companies, it was observed that businesses remain more interested in private cloud than its public alternative- more than 1/3rd said they had no plans for public cloud implementation, while only 16% had similar disinterestedness in private cloud. 10% were not willing for any of the two types of cloud. The reason behind this is that most businesses are still in the evaluation phase when it comes to cloud implementation.

Technological proliferation has increased competition in every aspect of human life. Information Technology departments have to deliver higher standards and sophisticated levels of support and services while reducing infrastructure costs, consolidating operations, and managing capital expenditures. Some enterprises view the cloud as a possibility to increase their service reliability, reduce costs, and mitigate disaster risks and others are apprehensive to give the control over digital assets to a third party. 92% of surveyed professionals view cloud computing as a means of reducing costs and deem it ‘useful’. While some enterprises are ‘thinking’ of shifting to cloud in the coming years because ‘basement data centers aren’t sensible to maintain given frequency of floods induced by the climate change’, some are still ignoring the trend by sticking with the status quo.

Hybrid is the best strategy for businesses that have huge amounts of data stored on their own premise systems and who have made significant monetary investments in these systems. With public cloud features, the business can test new resources or technologies whenever needed and transfer the innovations to on premise systems after thorough testing enabling accelerated innovation. Hybrid offers the option to scale resources in times of need facilitating seasonal scaling and the flexibility to keep data at a specific geographic location still remains with the hybrid cloud implementation ensuring data dominion.

The Public cloud gives startups a distinctive advantage when it comes to launching a company. They need not build infrastructure or fret over scaling difficulties. Cloud providers will do that for them. Overhead expenses get eliminated and they get access to the highly sophisticated data processing services. The consistent and reliable services that come with a public cloud are the most preferred thing for a new enterprise. It lets them focus on their idea but there’s a down side too. The public cloud gives less control over security and organization of data. The data could be saved in such locations where the regulatory protocols do not match with those of the geographical location where the data was generated.

Private cloud is preferred by the organizations that have to comply with regulations like HIPAA which stands for Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. It is a United States’ legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information. In the private cloud, the cloud is offered to a single organization that is isolated from the others.

Cloud implementation offers businesses many possibilities but the consequences will depend upon how prudently they adopted this trending technology. A detailed analysis of the organizational status and goals while making the shift will be beneficial.

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