Every business has heard buzz about the “cloud.” What is it? – a single location in the Ethernet, a load of energy floating around the atmosphere, or perhaps the cloud is found in a satellite in the sky that is orbiting the earth? Nope, the “cloud” is none of these. The cloud is a place with many servers available for your company to lease monthly to host your data and programs. Providers of cloud services are sometimes called “server farms” as they have racks and racks of servers. However, the cloud now includes a number of services that are best described as being in the *aaS (*item as a Service) realm.
Now that the definition of the cloud is solved, the question to ask is why has cloud computing become such an important thing?
As data collection evolved, a lot of data became “big data” and the amount became so large that the companies collecting the data turned to cloud providers to store the data until it could be analyzed. From this humble beginning, cloud services grew. The services provided range from storage only, to running a business entirely in the cloud. Following are some of the reasons why this is so.
Cloud providers have a smorgasbord of services available that range from safe and secure storage of data all the way to running an entire company on the cloud. The draw of software as a service is that your business is charged a monthly fee for the services from the cloud provider. In most cases, small and medium-sized businesses can arrange for services on a month-to-month basis without a contract. Of course, this leads to a subscriber to expect and receive top-quality services or they leave – giving client companies an edge in the relationship.
Software is not purchased when delivered in an “as a service” (*aaS) mode and instead of amortizing the cost of software it can be expensed as the monthly fee. Since your business needs to access the internet, even the smallest company needs computers, printers, Ethernet or Wi-Fi connections and the like. These are likely to be amortized as a capital expense. However, there is no need for servers and supporting hardware, and those costs too are part of the monthly fee – all of which is expensed as it occurs.
Keeping a company computer system safe from malware and ransomware is an ever-increasing time-consuming task – with no guarantees of success. When you subscribe to an *aaS type of service there are normally loads of safeguards including:
Another advantage of using web-based *aaS services is flexibility to only subscribe to those services your business needs, and choosing not to subscribe to those you don’t. With *as a Service providers, you can add and delete services as needed which helps keep your costs down.
As new technology becomes available, deploying it on your own is slow and may not happen if your company recently updated its systems – at the very least, a cost-benefit analysis needs to be done. When using *aaS this is not the case and new technology is rapidly deployed.