Impact of Cloud Computing on Technological Development
Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage (cloud storage) and computing power, without direct active management by the user. Large clouds often have functions distributed over multiple locations, each of which is a data center. Cloud computing relies on sharing of resources to achieve coherence and typically uses a pay-as-you-go model, which can help in reducing capital expenses but may also lead to unexpected operating expenses for users.
What Is a Cloud Platform and how does it work?
A cloud platform refers to the operating system and hardware of a server in an Internet-based data center. It allows software and hardware products to co-exist remotely and at scale.
Enterprises rent access to compute services, such as servers, databases, storage, analytics, networking, software, and intelligence. Therefore, the enterprises don’t have to set up and own data centers or computing infrastructure. They simply pay for what they use.
According to International Data Corporation (IDC), global spending on cloud computing services has reached $706 billion and expected to reach $1.3 trillion by 2025. While Gartner estimated that global public cloud services end-user spending would reach $600 billion by 2023. As per a McKinsey & Company report, cloud cost-optimization levers and value-oriented business use cases foresee more than $1 trillion in run-rate EBITDA across Fortune 500 companies as up for grabs in 2030. In 2022, more than $1.3 trillion in enterprise IT spending was at stake from the shift to the cloud, growing to almost $1.8 trillion in 2025, according to Gartner.
Types of Cloud Platforms
There are several types of cloud platforms. Not even one works for everyone. There are several models, types, and services available to help meet the varying needs of users. They include:
1. Public Cloud: Public cloud platforms are third-party providers that deliver computing resources over the Internet. Examples include Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, Alibaba, Microsoft Azure, and IBM Bluemix. This type of cloud is used usually for B2C (Business to Consumer) type interactions. Here the computing resource is owned, governed, and operated by government, an academic or business organization.
2. Private Cloud: A private cloud platform is exclusive to a single organization. It’s usually in an on-site data center or hosted by a third-party service provider. Here, computing resources are deployed for one particular organization. This method is more used for intra-business interactions. Where the computing resources can be governed, owned, and operated by the same organization.
3. Community Cloud: Here, computing resources are provided for a community and organizations.
4. Hybrid Cloud: This is a combination of public and private cloud platforms. Data and applications move seamlessly between the two. This gives the organization greater flexibility and helps optimize infrastructure, security, and compliance. This type of cloud can be used for both type of interactions – B2B (Business to Business) or B2C (Business to Consumer). This deployment method is called hybrid cloud as the computing resources are bound together by different clouds.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
The potential for cost saving is the major reason of cloud services adoption by many organizations. Cloud computing gives the freedom to use services as per the requirement and pay only for what you use. Due to cloud computing it has become possible to run IT operations as an outsourced unit without much in-house resources.
Below are the benefits of Cloud Computing.
1. Lower IT infrastructure and computer costs for users
2. Improved performance
3. Fewer Maintenance issues
4. Instant software updates
5. Improved compatibility between Operating systems
6. Backup and recovery
7. Performance and Scalability
8. Increased storage capacity
9. Increase data safety
Major Cloud Computing Offerings
· Software as a Service (SaaS)
· Platform as a Service (PaaS)
· Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Different business use some or all these components according to their requirement.
SaaS (Software as a Service):
SaaS or software as a service is a software distribution model in which applications are hosted by a vendor or service provider and made available to customers over a network (internet). SaaS is becoming an increasingly prevalent delivery model as underlying technologies that supports Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) or Web Services. Through internet this service is available to users anywhere in the world.
Traditionally, software application needed to be purchased upfront &then installed it onto your computer. SaaS users on the other hand, instead of purchasing the software subscribes to it, usually on monthly basis via internet.
Anyone who needs an access to a particular piece of software can be subscribe as a user, whether it is one or two people or every thousands of employee in a corporation. SaaS is compatible with all internet enabled devices.
Many important tasks like accounting, sales, invoicing and planning all can be performed using SaaS.
PaaS (Platform as a Service)
Platform as a service, is referred as PaaS, it provides a platform and environment to allow developers to build applications and services. This service is hosted in the cloud and accessed by the users via internet.
To understand in a simple term, let compare this with painting a picture, where you are provided with paint colors, different paint brushes and paper by your school teacher and you just have to draw a beautiful picture using those tools.
PaaS services are constantly updated & new features added. Software developers, web developers and business can benefit from PaaS. It provides platform to support application development. It includes software support and management services, storage, networking, deploying, testing, collaborating, hosting and maintaining applications.
IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service)
IaaS (Infrastructure As A Service) is one of the fundamental service model of cloud computing alongside PaaS(Platform as a Service). It provides access to computing resources in a virtualized environment “the cloud” on internet. It provides computing infrastructure like virtual server space, network connections, bandwidth, load balancers and IP addresses. The pool of hardware resource is extracted from multiple servers and networks usually distributed across numerous data centers. This provides redundancy and reliability to IaaS.
IaaS (Infrastructure as a service) is a complete package for computing. For small scale businesses who are looking for cutting cost on IT infrastructure, IaaS is one of the solutions. Annually a lot of money is spent in maintenance and buying new components like hard-drives, network connections, external storage device etc. which a business owner could have saved for other expenses by using IaaS.
Cloud computing is recently new technological development that has the potential to have a great impact on the world. With cloud computing, teams become more efficient and reduce time to market as they can rapidly acquire, scale services, without the considerable effort that requires managing a traditional on-premises infrastructure.