Why is cloud computing so crucial for most businesses today? When databases are in the cloud, it helps companies scale up as they grow and puts access at everyone’s fingertips. It becomes easier to reach customers, more enjoyable to work with remote employees and more intuitive for technicians in the field.
Although the general concept of a shared system people can access from anywhere makes sense to most businesses, employees and clients, there are some core concepts tied to cloud computing that leadership sometimes misses taking the most advantage of.
What Are the Different Types of Cloud Computing?
There are four basic types of services tied to cloud computing, including infrastructure service (IaaS), software as a service (SaaS), business process service (BaaS) and platform service (PaaS).
Most brands are most familiar with SaaS and utilize various programs to run business on a daily basis.
Cloud-based providers run the gamut from companies specializing in only cloud services to those offering hosting for websites, databases and everything in between. Providers specializing in big data may be the best fit for companies relying on data storage and SaaS platforms.
What Are the Major Concepts of Cloud Computing?
Gartner predicted public cloud services will grow 20.7% to $591.8 billion in 2023. As more and more brands get on board with putting their data in the cloud, the benefits will expand.
Some of the major benefits of cloud-based technology include:
- Preventing loss of data
- Collaborating more effectively
- Saving money
- Speeding up time to market
There are many other advantages, depending on what brands hope to gain from the cloud. Technologies such as AI grow based on how much brain power they get from the machines they’re programmed on.
Cloud computing is the driving force behind systems such as ChatGPT and many of today’s top social media sites.
What Core Cloud Concepts Do Businesses Miss?
The answer may be different for each business. Some industries may miss the importance of leveraging PaaS for their operations. Another could forget a key result of adapting to new technology, such as implementing artificial intelligence (AI) into daily operations.
It’s impossible to know every single area a company might miss because each brand is unique. What works for one might not work for another.
Still, having a loose understanding of the potential missteps is valuable information. Here are a few core concepts to consider as a company grows.
1. Beef Up Security
One area companies sometimes miss is securing the online databases. If the business hosts the cloud via a third-party service, the hosting company may have the needed security in place to protect the database from outside attacks.
However, brands still need to consider internal security and training for employees. Add rules to ensure passwords don’t fall into the wrong hands.
Train workers to not fall for phishing attempts. Install antivirus software on all machines accessing the cloud from any location.
Now that more companies keep sensitive information online, cybercrime is on the rise. It’s easy to forget how vulnerable a cloud-based system can be without the proper safeguards in place.
2. Save Money
When a brand is spending too much money on IT, it’s probably time to take it to the cloud and let a third-party handle some of the tasks eating up time from the technology department. Businesses can only afford to hire so many people and pay their benefits.
When they invest in cloud infrastructure, they reduce the need for full-time employees and save thousands and perhaps millions of dollars, depending on the size of their operation.
One core concept companies sometimes miss, however, is the variety of ways a cloud provider can help them save money.
For example, an organization might start with less storage and scale up as needs increase. Talk to several providers to figure out where the company pays too much and how to fix ongoing expense issues.
3. Migrate Effectively
When a brand decides to go to the cloud, figuring out how to get years worth of files in the right place can be quite complicated.
Not only does staff have to move all the files, but they need to ensure everything works and is accessible. Backing everything up is crucial to avoiding lost data.
Look for a cloud provider that will help with migration. It may even be worth it to pay someone to double-check files and ensure everything works correctly.
A problem companies don’t always consider is that some data may have been created on now defunct software and versions. All that information must be converted to a more modern format before being migrated to the new databases.
4. Go Green
Among the many core reasons to use cloud technology is reducing your carbon footprint. It costs less energy to go with a green company offering cloud-based services than to run multiple powerful machines.
If systems previously were kept on paper, a brand can also reduce their paper usage by going completely digital. Seek out a hosting company that takes green energy seriously.
Another consideration is putting management in the hands of a third party reduces the number of people commuting to and from the office.
Less space is needed as fewer people work in the building. Brands reduce everything from water usage to energy because those people are not heating up their lunch in the break room microwaves.
5. Consider Downtime
No matter where data goes, there’s always a risk of downtime. Even the very best hosting companies have occasional outages or times when they’re updating the system and their clients won’t be able to access files.
Most boast a 99.9% uptime, but the number isn’t fully accurate as intentional outages due to updating software or systems is often discounted.
Talk to the provider about the times updates occur to ensure they won’t interfere with peak business hours for clients.
Have a backup plan for how to access crucial information during down times. What happens when they must do an update? Is there notice prior to the event?
Companies with workarounds can deal with downtime without missing a beat on the rare occasions it occurs.
Understanding the way the provider handles downtime helps companies figure out a backup plan. Even a natural disaster might impact remote access.
6. Seek Excellent Support
If one of the major benefits of moving to a cloud-based system is having a 24/7 IT department on hand, make sure the provider also has 24/7 customer support.
Some issues may not require an IT expert to fix. Instead, seek out a company that offers troubleshooting when it’s needed most.
Management may have to mitigate an issue in the middle of the night while their family sleeps. Seek multiple options for support, such as live chat, phone and email.
Not only should support be available but agents must be highly trained and able to troubleshoot on the spot. Read reviews carefully before choosing which company to do business with.
7. Find Flexibility
With the ability to tap into data anytime and anywhere, companies sometimes forget just how flexible their businesses become. Top rated employees can work from anywhere in the world. Allow trusted individuals to work from home.
When someone transfers to another state, there’s no need to lose a well-trained individual. Let them plug into the network from the new location and keep them on the payroll.
By the same token, cloud computing allows customers to tap into the network day or night. A client who is on the night shift can pull up their account even when the office closes and gather basic information on the services they pay for.
In a world where finding excellent people for open positions is difficult, allowing workers to choose their hours and work longer some days and take off other days may keep the best talent on the payroll when they’d otherwise leave and start their own businesses.
8. Utilize Analytics
Digital data offers some advantages when it comes to marketing that many businesses overlook. Tap into the power of cloud-based analytics to figure out customer patterns and what they might respond best to.
Because cloud technology is so much quicker than older methods of processing data, researchers can find the answer to just about any question imaginable in a matter of seconds. Armed with valuable insights, the marketing department can help a company grow faster than ever before.
Target the exact audience most interested in what the company sells. When new products arrive, pull up who might be interested in hearing about the latest arrivals and most likely to purchase them.
What Core Concept Are You Missing?
The core concept one company misses may be different from another’s. Understanding the things that make cloud computing so beneficial to businesses allows brands to make the most of their investment and grow their companies without major hiccups.
Make sure those who work in the cloud fully understand how the system works. Onboard new employees thoroughly.
Take advantage of every bit of information that benefits the organization and leads to new growth. With a bit of effort, a company can utilize the cloud to take them to new heights.
About the Author!
Eleanor Hecks is editor-in-chief at Designerly Magazine. Eleanor was the creative director and occasional blog writer at a prominent digital marketing agency before becoming her own boss in 2018. She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and dog, Bear.