Cloud computing is a service which is increasingly being offered by web design & marketing agencies who are responding to the demand for easy access to shared IT services over the web. These hosted services include software, content and data storage which are then accessed from a variety of devices including laptops, servers, mobile phones and desktop systems.
Three types of cloud computing services
Cloud computing can be broken down into three categories:
• Software as a Service (SaaS)
• Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
• Platform as a Service (PaaS)
As a business you pay for as much or as little of these services as required which are managed by a provider. You can increase or reduce the number of services you need depending on personal use.
Infrastructure as a Service
If you choose to have IaaS then this means that your business pays for a set amount of server and storage space with the option to increase this as and where necessary.
Platform as a Service
Platform as a Service refers to a set of applications and other development tools which you access via website portals or gateway software which has been installed on your computers. But if you employ developers then they need to be aware of the limitations in regard to transferring their software to another computer.
Software as a Service
Software as a Service or ‘on-demand software’ is where a software application or technologies which support websites are made available in the cloud. They are hosted by a service provider who charges a monthly fee for this provision. The advantage of this is no additional security or maintenance costs: the provider handles all of these leaving you to focus on your business.
Advantages of cloud computing for your business
There are advantages of using Cloud computing which include:
• Easy access at any time and any place
• Fast, responsive service
• No need for in-depth technical knowledge
• Do not need to spend time updating software or website
Just think about the opportunity to access information or a software application when talking to clients or being able to access project documentation at any location in the UK or overseas. Doing so can reduce time and costs which are two major issues for any business.
Things to think about if using cloud computing
Cloud computing offers a great deal of possibilities but there a few things to be aware of such as making regular back ups of your data, having strict security measures in place to protect sensitive information and a Plan B if you are unable to access a document or a website for any particular reason.