Cloud computing is one of the most omnipresent and all-pervasive modern technologies that is subtly influencing communications and information exchange in our day to day lives in the form of apps and wide spectrum of cloud assisted services. These technologies and associated services are driven by remotely positioned servers and an array of computing devices.

In order to implement cloud based solutions, we need massive compute power, blazing fast and incessant network connectivity, in addition to huge storage space. The cloud based services are usually delivered in the form of consumable utility and billed on pay as use basis.

           

Leveraging cloud models for improving business processes

Majority of enterprise IT professionals implement diverse spectrum of applications to facilitate business processes by adopting public, private, or hybrid cloud infrastructure. These cloud models facilitate easy management and migration of applications.

Public cloud hosting services operate in multi tenant environments and hence these are highly economical. Infrastructure as a Service is the most commonly implemented service model due to excellent cost effectiveness due to shift from CAPEX to OPEX and greater returns on investment. It also offers predictability of cost of ownership. 

The public cloud services offer remarkable scalability and flexibility. Users can also benefit from automated and swift deployments by leveraging cloud services. Cloud service provider can offer practically every service that is available in traditional data centers or on-premise IT infrastructure.

It is not advisable to deploy all workloads in public cloud. Applications that need to be handled securely due to sensitive nature of information are deployed in private cloud environment. It is a perfect infrastructure for managing data that needs compliance with security regulations. Private cloud is also preferred for ensuring assured and high performance access to critical information. These solutions are normally deployed at on-premise data centers for elevated security.

Complexity of enterprise architecture and presence of diverse business processes encourage use of hybrid cloud infrastructure that combines public as well as private cloud. Enterprises are slow to adopt cloud services because of security and cost concerns. However with maturing of private and hybrid cloud infrastructures and greater economy of public cloud, there is an accelerated shift to cloud from on premise facilities.

Understanding business benefits of cloud computing

Cloud computing is also able to reduce need to employ large number of employees to look after legacy equipment since unlike traditional IT infrastructure, cloud is managed remotely by service provider. There is a plethora of advantages offered by cloud solutions that improve organization efficiency.

         

Following attributes of cloud services can enhance an organizations performance:

- Availability of the latest software- Thanks to Software as a Service model of cloud service, enterprises can instantly acquire the latest version of software application no sooner than the same is released. This backed by facility of instant and frequent upgrades for the enhancement of productivity. In contrast, traditional software are seldom updated and therefore users are forced to continue with older versions in spite of developments.

- Unrestricted accessibility- With extensive availability of internet connectivity across all geographical regions as well as C class towns and emergence of smart phones, users are able to access cloud services from anywhere. Most of the cloud applications are mobile optimized for greater convenience. Cloud has been providing freedom to employees for working from their homes for enhanced productivity through a better work-life balance.

- Fast, economical, and efficient backups- Enterprises can leverage efficiency of cloud to execute instantaneous backups without need for huge investment and third party support as in case of traditional hosting services. Cloud based backup reduce need to acquire large number of physical servers and improve IT capabilities with reduced expenditure of maintaining on site hardware equipment. It is also possible to gain total freedom from on site infrastructure by eliminating data center footprint. 

- Cost flexibility- Cloud costs can be highly flexible in comparison with legacy hosting methods. Enterprises need to pay only for the resources that are being used. This reduces need to avail redundant resources for meeting challenges of peak traffic. Cloud services can always be accessed for instant and dynamic provisioning of resources whenever these are required. In the event of a slow-down or recession, users can leverage flexibility of cost structure to limit exposure.

- Flexibility to accommodate businesses changes- These are times for mergers and acquisitions. Every business must acquire flexibility to facilitate changes in business structure to suit different strategies and policies of other business entity. Cloud can accelerate transition by easy migration of applications and so forth.

- Enhanced collaboration- Cloud applications facilitate diverse and geographically dispersed groups to collaborate with each other in real time for greater efficiency and better productivity. Effective collaboration can lead to faster completion of projects. Different members of group are able to add, edit, delete, share and exchange information. Enterprises are able boost product development efforts and hasten marketing of products for faster returns on investments.

- Low carbon footprint- Last but certainly not the least, cloud helps enterprises conserve energy by reducing number of physical servers. Cloud computing is regarded as green technology since users are sharing resources and using virtualization technology.

Takeaway

Cloud computing has transformed business processes by enabling small and medium enterprises to acquire high end capabilities at reduced expenditure. Cloud is expected to provide a level playing field to small enterprises by giving then edge to compete with large organizations.

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