The benefits of cloud migration are generally well known: increased cost-effectiveness, flexibility and agility, improved security and quick access to the latest apps and platforms. But what are enterprises actually using the cloud for and how does it help them achieve their company’s goals? Here, we look at eight of the most popular ways that enterprises use cloud technology today.
1. Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS)
Infrastructure is expensive to buy, house and maintain and as enterprises constantly need more computing resources to achieve their goals, the expanding cost of in-house systems has become a significant financial burden.
Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is a popular cloud product that offers the ideal solution, providing enterprises with all the storage, compute and network resources they need, available on-demand and charged for on a more manageable and predictable pay-as-you-go basis. With the ability to scale resources up and down as needed, it is the most cost-effective way to build company infrastructures.
2. Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS)
Platform-as-a-Service goes even further than IaaS, providing not just the infrastructure but the applications as well, giving enterprises an entire platform to manage, run and develop their apps. Not only does this provide the same cost-effectiveness, agility and speed as IaaS, it also removes much of the complexity of creating platforms in-house.
Open source and proprietary platforms are constantly being developed. Cloud-native and almost instantly deployable, they offer speedy access to some of the most useful tools and technologies currently available. From AI and ML to automation and remote working and with industry-specific apps, like Fintech, many enterprises see PaaS as the way forward.
3. Big data analytics
Data underpins business decision making in today’s market and when it comes to analysing big data, the cloud is the go-to solution. Providing both the advanced analytics tools and the ability to store, manage and process huge quantities of data, the cloud enables enterprises to benefit from the insights that big data analytics has to offer.
Indeed, big data is being used across all industries to improve many areas of company operations, including customer experience, logistics, manufacturing and processing, procurement, energy usage, carbon footprint management and more.
4. Creating multi-clouds and hybrid clouds
Cloud technology has evolved considerably and today, enterprises can benefit from both multi-cloud and hybrid cloud infrastructures. Multi-cloud, for example, enables companies to use a variety of different cloud providers, choosing the most appropriate vendor for each workload. Hybrid cloud, meanwhile, is a combination of private and public cloud services often used to increase data security by storing personal data in a single-tenancy private cloud while housing applications in the public cloud. Both multi-cloud and hybrid cloud set-ups can be managed from a centralised platform to deliver a unified system.
5. Testing and development
Cloud provides enterprises with exceptional environments in which to test and develop. With environments customised for specific purposes being readily available for deployment, businesses can significantly reduce both the cost and time it takes to bring projects to fruition and boost speed to market.
6. Cloud storage
Cloud storage brings with it online access and data unification, removing the barriers of departmental silos and improving data security by ensuring all data is stored in a single repository and protected by logical access and encryption.
What’s more, as an enterprise’s storage requirements grow, cloud storage can be expanded as required without the risks involved in exporting and importing between solutions. Add to this the high availability and speed of cloud storage, its pay-as-you-go fee structure and the convenient way data is uploaded and accessed, it is easy to see why cloud storage has become such a popular service.
7. Backup solution
Backups are essential for enterprises, ensuring that the company can restore data swiftly in the event of a disaster. Done in-house, the process can be complicated and laborious, with many businesses still relying on outdated and potentially risky storage technologies, like portable disks.
Cloud-based backup solutions are light years ahead. There is no limit to the amount of data that can be backed up, it is stored in a single repository remotely from your server, it is blisteringly fast, always available, can be scheduled to take place automatically at the intervals a business needs, is encrypted for security and tested for integrity to ensure that there has been no corruption during the backup process.
8. Disaster recovery and business continuity
The other advantage of a cloud backup solutions is that it makes restoration much swifter and less of a burden, two things that are vital for disaster recovery and business continuity in the digital age. Capable of backing up data from across an enterprise’s different locations, it is far more cost-effective than creating an in-house DR system.
Enterprises are deploying cloud technology for a wide range of uses. It provides speedy access to state-of-the-art infrastructure and platforms, bring the benefit of modern technologies like AI, ML, automation, IoT and big data analytics, it enables companies to mix and match hybrid and multi-cloud and provides the most effective solutions for storage, backups and disaster recovery.
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