Cloud computing has become an indispensable part of today’s digital landscape, owing to the unmatched level of convenience, affordability and scalability it offers to individual users and organisations alike. IT companies have especially been on the forefront when it comes to adopting the latest cloud technologies – all of which are based within the foundations of cloud computing.
Subscription-based software (also known as SaaS) has been one of the biggest adopters of cloud computing, as users need simply purchase a monthly or annual subscription to enjoy services with no hardware setup. With platforms such as Google Workspace and Netflix being household names, the cloud has facilitated all this and much more (think generative AI and virtual reality).
As a software development company, our teams here at EFutures have always kept a keen eye out on where cloud computing is heading – and what’s in it for all of us going forward. With intelligent automation and IoT spearheading cloud computing use cases, much potential lies for enterprises of all sizes.
In this guide, we go back to the basics in order to get a clear understanding of what cloud computing is, the capabilities it can offer, and how it can be implemented for your business to leverage trending technologies such as AI and machine learning.
Cloud computing is the virtualization of IT resources such as infrastructure, application development platforms and data storage. While most individual users associate the cloud to personal storage platforms such as Google Drive or Dropbox, cloud computing extends far and beyond, with modern product portfolios even offering bot training, game development and cybersecurity.
As a result, software companies in Sri Lanka and internationally have long since made cloud-based application development a norm, thereby eliminating the need for on-premise servers (with certain exceptions, of course). From trigger-based events to microservices, the capabilities offered by the cloud are too convenient to miss out on, which makes services offered by leading cloud vendors vital to business operations today.
Shared clouds are by far the most common cloud environment types, as they are the most affordable option for individual users and organisations alike to avail cloud-based services. In a shared cloud, the platform is shared by all users who have subscribed to the service, while the vendor facilitates data storage, retrieval, backup and security.
A private cloud is a more expensive yet secure option than its shared counterpart, as organisations purchase a dedicated platform from the vendor that is then reserved solely for their use. While private cloud owners can control and manage resources within the private cloud space on their own, the vendor can do this on their behalf as well, if needed.
A multi-cloud platform combines cloud resources from more than one cloud service provider. This can be advantageous in cases where organisations may want to leverage a specific technology or price model across one cloud provider that the others do not possess, or simply to establish a disaster recovery strategy.
As its name suggests, a hybrid cloud combines cloud and on-premise resources. Hybrid clouds may be adopted by organisations that have complications when migrating all of their data from on-premise servers and to the cloud, or there is a need to adopt stronger security or proprietary ownership of some business assets over others.
Use cases for compute resources across the cloud range from application development, to reporting and analytics. Storage also features a wide variety of use cases; from data stored in files and folders, to application components such as microservices.
Leading cloud service providers offer database management capabilities that can enable organisations to rapidly scale engagements and transactions across their digital platforms and user bases.
Cloud computing providers facilitate business intelligence through stringent data processing across virtual databases, as well as by training algorithms through AI and machine learning for forecasting trends and other insights.
Cloud service vendors also accommodate CDNs for websites and applications that need localised caching in order to improve performance and usability. This ensures users get a smooth experience, while also keeping security breaches to a minimum.
Train bots and algorithms with big data sets and machine learning subsets such as deep learning and Natural Language Processing (NLP) models to identify trends within data, and make accurate forecasts.
Cloud computing is an industry of its own, thanks to its varied service offerings and its deep proliferation into all things digital. It’s fair to say that our modern digital landscape finds the services provided by cloud vendors highly indispensable, with individual users, SMBs and large organisations relying on virtual infrastructure, mobile applications and SaaS solutions on a daily basis.
Therefore, knowing which cloud services to adopt and scale is a key decision for business leaders – and one that needs to be taken collectively with other relevant team members from across the organisation.
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