Cloud-Based Services: Explained

May 13, 2021

The (History of Cloud Computing)

While cloud computing has existed as a concept since as early as the 1950s, it wasn't called "cloud computing" until sometime during the 1990s, when cloud-based technologies began to be used by private companies, educational institutions, and a number of other organizations.

(Cloud service models) exploded in accessibility and popularity in the mid-2000s, when cloud computing infrastructure was developed by retail giant Amazon in an effort to expand its network of third-party sellers. Other competitors, including Google and Microsoft, followed with their own infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) models shortly thereafter, laying the ground for an explosion of cloud computing services—an explosion that was further enabled by the rise of smartphones.

Top (Cloud Computing Models)

Cloud computing is typically broken down into three distinct cloud computing models:

  • IaaS: Infrastructure-as-a-service is an on-demand cloud-based service that offers access to both physical and virtual solutions via the cloud. This includes the infrastructure that supports back-end operations for user-facing applications.
  • PaaS: Platform-as-a-service refers to application management platforms that are entirely housed on the cloud.
  • SaaS: Software-as-a-service cloud computing provides on-demand, cloud-based software applications to both individual and business users.

Depending on the solutions you're seeking through cloud computing, one or all three of these models may benefit your business needs.

Key (Advantages of Cloud Computing)

No matter what you're using cloud-based services and solutions for, your business can realize a number of valuable benefits of using (cloud computing platforms) and solutions. Some of the top benefits of using cloud-based services include:

  • Scalability. Cloud solutions are built to deliver the same experience no matter how many users are being served. This can help your business scale its operations by integrating software, platforms and other services that can seamlessly grow along with you.
  • Reduced IT demands. For some businesses, cloud-based services can help the company avoid IT hires that would increase its overhead. In other cases, cloud-based services simply reduce the amount of work tasked to your IT department, freeing up those professionals to focus on other projects that do require their time and expertise.
  • Flexibility in your work environment. Both businesses and employees understand the value—and, in some cases, the necessity—of supporting both office workers and employees working from home. Cloud-based business solutions make it easier to access secure business assets away from the company's physical property. It can also improve your coordination with other businesses, partners, and clients by connecting them to tools that don't require being in the same room.
  • Improved collaboration. The flexibility enabled by cloud-based technology also facilitates better, faster, and more consistent collaborations—even among employees working in the same office building. Real-time data sharing and communication improve your company's ability to be productive.
  • Software and platforms that don't become outdated. Purchased software and locally managed software can become outdated over time. Even when developers share software updates and patches, you still need confidence that IT will install those updates—especially any updates affecting business security. Because they're owned as a license to access the technology, cloud-based services are constantly updated to give you the newest features and security measures at all times.
  • Better business continuity and disaster recovery. If your office hardware is compromised—due to a natural disaster, security breach or other outage—you could lose valuable business assets that can't be recovered. Many cloud-based technologies offer automatic backups to the cloud, which makes it easy to recover from a disaster and enact your business continuity strategy.

Given the benefits of modern cloud computing solutions, it's no surprise many businesses aggressively integrate cloud-based solutions into their back-end operations—and even their front-end user experience. If you're interested in learning more about how cloud computing can benefit your business, seek out (cloud consulting services) that can help you match cloud solutions to your specific business needs. Contact us today to discover cloud-based services that will move your business forward.