What is Cloud Computing
The process of using the internet for the purpose of hosting remote server(s) to deploy and manage shared resources across multiple clients is known as Cloud Computing. The system is capable of providing multiple options to individuals as well as organizations related to
- Sharing a pool of resources (Hardware and Software).
- Increasing service compatibility with the rapidly growing technology.
- Reducing the time frame of hardware and software infrastructure setup.
- Optimizing the use of men, machine, material and methods to get maximum benefits within the minimum time frame.
- Increasing the scope of Internet access to users within the organizational network.
- Enhancing the performance levels of HR by leveraging the use of low-cost hardware and software services.
Who uses Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is essentially used by enterprises for simplifying and streamlining their everyday business operations. You could also find individual users who wish to access the internet as a shared services platform. Multiple types of software Apps, Gaming Apps, and Mobile Apps are made available by the service providing companies today. Small (Including Startups) and medium scale companies tend to use the cloud for Software and applications as a service.
Why Use Cloud Computing
If you wish to understand the main reasons for the Small and Medium Scale Enterprises ( SMEs) to use cloud computing, you must initially understand some of its common features that prove to be advantageous.
- Deployment of distributed software and applications from a centralized remote server. Since SMEs can’t afford to have massive hardware and software infrastructure, they find it easy to depend on the low-priced infrastructure offered by cloud computing companies.
- Enhanced geographical distribution. SMES are no longer constrained to accessing resources within a limited geographical boundary. For example, a supply chain company with its HQ in Boston can provide its employees with software applications deployed in Australia.
- Cloud computing for SME has the capacity to integrate multiple services for the enterprises at reasonably lower costs. For example, a manufacturing firm can access processing services, machine maintenance services, supplier management services, customer relationship management services, HR services and another customizable service through what is called as virtualization.
- Deployment of Data Centers as a part of cloud computing enables business communities to interact with each other for enhancing their service scope and improvise on quality. For example, a common data center for the health care services could provide knowledge bank on
- Electronic Records Management for patients, medications, surgical methods etc.
- Analytical data for clinical research.
- Collaborative solutions to unknown and new types of diseases and illnesses.
How Cloud Computing leverages the Internet
- Using the software applications as a service. It is a commonly acknowledged factor that software applications for the SME are increasingly becoming complex. Just like the example of a manufacturing firm that you read earlier, there are hundreds and thousands of such companies in the global scenario today.
- Deployment of Remote Software Services. It may not be possible for an individual organization to deploy all the required software applications indigenously. But they can’t even function efficiently without them. In such cases, the only viable solution would be to go for “software as a service”.
- Freedom to choose multiple vendors. The company can opt for obtaining services from multiple vendors, thus gaining freedom from absolute dependence on single service providers. This naturally paves the way to cost reduction due to increased competition.
- Minimizing investments on hardware, networking and HR resources. This has been one of the biggest stumbling blocks for many of the startup companies today. Initial investments followed by periodical maintenance could cost heavily to the exchequer in the long run. By switching to cloud computing, the SMEs could save up to 70% on their investment and maintenance costs annually.
- Gain the ability to deploy and implement customized clouds for the organizational network quickly efficiently and cost effectively. For example, assume that a textile weaving company wants to deploy a Private Cloud wherein it can link its HQ with its weaving plant, sampling site, dyeing location, warping facility and inspection & dispatch unit. All the locations are to be remotely covered by the plant maintenance experts from another remote location. This whole process would be monitored by the management team from their individual laptop systems across the globe. If the organization opts for a VPN, the cost of deployment and maintenance can reach sky high. On the other hand, they can opt for a private cloud that offers
- Maximum data and system security
- Options for customization and expansion of software and hardware infrastructure
- Deploying alternates to client server applications
- Streamlining of HR and process management services
- Accurate and timely connectivity between its multiple departments, enabling smooth transfer of data and files.
When is Cloud Computing used?
If you are an SME looking for enhanced software and hardware resource utilization at economical costing, you can certainly opt for cloud computing. But before you jump on the wagon, you need to look at the following checklist. If your answer is Yes to at least two of the elements in the checklist, you can take it for granted that you Must go for cloud computing.
- Are you finding it difficult to deploy the multiple types of software applications required by your workforce?
- Are you finding it difficult to scale your hardware infrastructure regularly?
- Are your mobile employees finding it difficult to communicate and share data with your management?
- Are you hell bent on reducing infrastructural deployment and maintenance costs?
- Are you interested in automating software and hardware maintenance from remote locations?
- Are you bothered about securing your data and information through distributed network security?
Once you have gone through this introductory session, you will be able to get a basic idea about cloud computing benefits to business as a whole. Now you can start looking at “Who is the best in cloud computing” in terms of complete service provider for your organization.