Cloud services have become a trend in the modern business environment. Gartner predicted that the total global final-user spending on public cloud services will rise by 20.7 percent to $591.7 billion in 2023, compared to $490.3 billion in 2022. Therefore, despite the universal adoption, cloud solutions will continue to grow.
But why is there an increasing trend in cloud usage?
- Improved disaster recovery, regulatory compliance, and security
- Scale and modernize services and infrastructure without purchasing, developing, and maintaining costly on-premise IT assets
- Mobile access to applications and data regardless of your location
- Benefit from high-end services and technologies, which were initially accessible only to large companies.
It’s no secret that cloud services offer better results than on-premise IT services. Cloud usage has significantly transformed the computing world from enhancing scalability and flexibility to improving access to company data.
However, one major challenge enterprises face when migrating to the cloud is deciding which solution best fits their business. But worry not, as this article brings you the crucial details you need to know about cloud models and how to choose the ideal cloud solution for your business.
Main Cloud Solutions
There are 3 different cloud computing solutions, each specially designed to meet specific business needs. These solutions include:
- Software-as-a-Services (SaaS)
- Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
- Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
Software as a Service (SaaS) is a cloud model that provides software apps over the Internet. These apps are often known as web services. A user can access SaaS services and applications from anywhere using a mobile device or PC with internet access.
SaaS services and applications can be developed by third parties, provided directly by the software vendor, or hosted by the cloud service provider. This modern cloud solution offers a cheaper option to the high initial cost of configuration, infrastructure, and software. The cloud service provider takes care of the cost of ensuring that the software is running efficiently, securely, and is up-to-date.
The billing part is perhaps the most interesting SaaS feature. The cloud service provider charges enterprises based on the number of users, type of software, usage time, and amount of data stored. Some cloud providers charge a standard fee or provide packages of capabilities and features with the software.
Examples of SaaS products include:
- Google apps
PaaS cloud computing solution provides development platforms and applications to enterprises using virtualization technologies. This platform may be shared or dedicated system processing power, software for app development, storage, or memory.
Platform as a Service provides your business with a framework from which you can develop and build tailored apps. Since the cloud service provider manages the software, networks, and storage, you shouldn’t worry about operational and downtime issues.
With minimal investment, businesses can design and develop apps with particular components provided by the PaaS. Your enterprise can build robust, easy-to-use apps and deploy them quickly with minimal coding. These applications are often called middleware and can handle most cloud computing features, including high flexibility and scalability.
Examples of Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- Google App Engine
- Windows Azure
- Apache Stratos
- AWS Elastic Beanstalk
As the name suggests, IaaS offers you IT infrastructures, such as storage facilities, networks, and services on-demand over the Internet. Typically, IaaS products are delivered on a pay-as-you-use basis. As a result, businesses only pay for the services used, cutting down unnecessary and standing fees.
IaaS providers supply virtual servers, storage, and APIs (application programming interfaces), allowing users to migrate workloads to virtual machines. With IaaS, you get the fundamental building blocks for your cloud IT. Also, this cloud solution offers the highest flexibility and management of your company’s IT resources. It closely resembles the existing IT resources used by most developers and departments.
Of the three cloud solutions, IaaS is the latest. It emerged and became famous more than 10 years ago as virtualization technologies advanced. This cloud model started with the introduction of container and serverless computing.
Examples of IaaS
- Cisco Metacloud
Which Cloud Solution is Best for Your Business?
There’s no one-size-fits-all cloud solution. Specific business requirements are best served by a particular cloud solution and not others. If your business looks to avoid high software costs and prefers subscription-based payment, SaaS is the best cloud solution.
On the other hand, larger companies looking to build their own software and tools will find PaaS as a more robust and better cloud solution. Lastly, for anyone looking to develop virtualization technology and requires enterprise-level services and resources, IaaS will offer the best cloud solution.
How Do You Choose the Ideal Cloud Solution for Your Business?
It all starts with one aspect; assessing your current IT environment. Architecting the perfect cloud solution requires digging deeper into your existing IT infrastructure and environment to determine how it works. For instance, how much bandwidth does the user use? What essential apps do users run from their devices, and how are they used? What’s the nature of your workload? Do users save files locally?
Secondly, evaluate specific services. For example, what video conferencing services are used frequently? Do remote employees need remote printing capabilities?
Finally, evaluate and inventory your security services and tools. Outlining your specific services and assessing your in-house IT environment helps you determine what cloud solution best fits your business needs.
In the end, partner with the right cloud service provider. Evaluate the experience in your industry to ensure they can handle your security and compliance requirements. Your cloud solution provider should have SOC2 certification because they will manage your crucial and sensitive data. Cloud platforms, such as Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services, have proven secure, reliable, compatible, and supportive of your mission-critical business apps.
Selecting the right cloud solution is the first step to harnessing the power of the cloud. It starts with evaluating your current IT infrastructure and environment to determine your business needs. Whether your chosen solution is SaaS, PaaS, or IaaS, you must select the right cloud service provider to help you through the journey of cloud migration and adoption.