In simple words, cloud computing may be called computing that is based entirely on the Internet. As in the past, where people needed to run programs or applications from the software that would be downloaded from a server or a physical computer, cloud computing services help them access those applications through the medium of the Internet. When you make any status update on your Facebook account, you make use of cloud computing. When you check your bank account balance on the phone, again, you make use of cloud computing. We can say that cloud computing services are becoming the new common.
The most trending cloud computing services are the AWS Cloud Services (Amazon Web Services). It is an evolving and comprehensive platform for cloud computing offered by Amazon. It provides more than three other varied services, including RedShift, DynamoDB, and Mechanical Turk etc.
According to the estimates, 90% of the Australian businesses are using a minimum of one cloud service. Have you ever wondered why so many companies are moving towards it? It is only because there are several advantages of cloud computing. It helps in improving the cash flow, increases efficiency and numerous others. Have a look at these top 10 advantages of cloud computing.
1. Less Costs
The services are free from capital expenditure. There are no enormous costs of the hardware in cloud computing. You just have to pay as you operate it and enjoy the model based on your subscription plan.
2. 24 X 7 Availability
Most cloud providers are genuinely reliable in offering their services, with most of them maintaining uptime of 99.9%. The workers can get onto the applications needed basically from anywhere. Some of the applications even function offline.
3. Flexibility in Capacity
It offers a flexible facility that could be turned off, up or down as per the user's circumstances. For instance, promotion of sales is viral; capacity can be immediately and quickly added to it to avoid losing sales and crashing servers. When those sales are made, the power can also be shrunk for the reduction of costs.
4. All over Functioning
Cloud computing offers yet another advantage of working from anywhere across the globe, as long as you have an internet connection. Even while using the critical cloud services that provide mobile apps, there is no limitation of the device used.
5. Automated Updates on Software
In cloud computing, the server suppliers regularly update your software, including the updates on security, so that you do not need to agonize on wasting your crucial time maintaining the system. You find extra time to focus on the essential things like ‘How to grow your businesses.
Cloud computing offers excellent security when any sensitive data has been lost. As the data is stored in the system, it can be easily accessed even if something happens to your computer. You can even remotely wipe out data from the lost machines for avoiding it getting into the wrong hands.
7. Carbon Footprint
Cloud computing is helping out organizations to reduce their carbon footprint. Organizations utilize only the amount of resources they need, which helps them to avoid any over-provisioning. Hence, no waste of resources and thus energy.
8. Enhanced Collaboration
Cloud applications enhance collaboration by authorizing diverse groups of people to virtually meet and exchange information with shared storage. Such capability helps in improving customer service and product development and also reducing marketing time.
9. Control on the Documents
Before the Cloud came into being, workers needed to send files in and out as the email attachments for being worked on by a single user at one time, ultimately ending up with a mess of contrary titles, formats, and file content. Moving to cloud computing has facilitated central file storage.
10. Easily Manageable
Cloud computing offers simplified and enhanced IT maintenance and management capacities by agreements backed by SLA, central resource administration and managed infrastructure. You get to enjoy a primary user interface without any requirement for installation. Plus, you are assured of guaranteed and timely management, maintenance, and IT services delivery.
Even a few of these advantages of cloud computing might be enough to persuade businesses to move onto cloud computing services. But when summed up all of these 10, it is accosting no-brainer domain.
5 Reasons Cloud Computing Is Key To Business Success
Although the Cloud in its current form is still a relatively recent development, interest in using cloud computing in the enterprise continues to grow. Cloud computing has several benefits, including cost savings.
Of course, we’re hearing more and more about Cloud computing these days – but what is cloud storage, and how can it benefit your business?
The fact is that you’re probably already using the cloud without even realizing it. If you use a web-based email provider such as Gmail or Hotmail, you are using the Cloud. If you’ve ever used Skype video calling or video interfaces like Vimeo or YouTube, you’ve used the Cloud. If you’ve ever backed up data on the Internet rather than an external device, you’ve used the Cloud.
Although the Cloud in its current form is a relatively recent development, cloud computing interest continues to grow. Cloud computing has a significant number of benefits — here are the top five:
1. Cost Savings
One of the most appealing reasons to switch to the cloud is cost savings. With cloud computing, the need to pay for large amounts of disk and storage space is instantly removed and the need for buying, installing and upgrading pricey software. With the Cloud, you’ll pay for applications only when needed, and many applications are included free of charge. Usage can easily be scaled to fit your needs and adjusted for peaks or troughs in demand.
This “a la carte” incremental way of paying can save your business a lot of money. Pay-per-use reduces (or in some cases eliminates) the cost of maintaining in-house servers. The savings apply to your desktop, too — with SaaS (software as a service), desktop software need not be installed, which saves your business both time and money.
2. Ease of Use
Quite simply, cloud computing is easy to get up and to run. Instead of having to download and install the software yourself in the Cloud, it is all done for you. The Cloud also offers virtually unlimited storage capacity relative to typical hard drive and server limits. The Cloud is also adaptable. If you need more storage, it’s instantly available for a slightly larger fee per month. Since your business data is stored in the Cloud, your employees will access software and data anywhere from nearly any device with an Internet connection.
3. Increased Storage Capacity and Automation
The Cloud offers virtually unlimited storage capacity compared to typical hard drive and server limits and is flexible — if your business needs more storage, you can upgrade at any time. The Cloud keeps software up-to-date with the latest versions, so you’ll never have to worry about doing software updates yourself. File sync with all of your devices, as well as file back-ups, are also fully automated. Your data will continually be kept consistent and current among all of your devices in use.
4. Agility, Flexibility and Scalability.
Cloud computing also offers far more flexibility and agility compared to past computing methods. Your employees will no longer be tethered to their desks and will be able to access files and data from wherever they are, 24 hours a day. You’ll also be able to scale your cloud usage up or down on an as-needed basis and only pay for what you are using. In the past, making changes to your service could take months. Now, with the Cloud, this can be done in minutes.
With the Cloud, your staff will be able to access information from home, from clients’ offices, on the road, or even from their smartphone. Your staff members can also work collaboratively on documents and files, even when they are not physically in the same room. Also, documents can be viewed as well as edited simultaneously from multiple user locations.
5. Freeing up Your IT Staff
Since the Cloud does almost everything for you, there is no need to use valuable IT staff resources on maintaining servers, fixing bugs or taking care of software updates. Your IT department will spend less time on maintenance and be free to spend more time focusing on strategic initiatives to increase your company’s bottom line.
What is cloud storage? It could very well be precisely what your company needs.
Top 10 tips: Why you should use the Cloud and how to do it securely
Everyone has an opinion on the ‘cloud’ and its effect on business – some believe it is dark and scary and fraught with unnecessary risk. In contrast, others would argue its silver-lined path to more excellent business performance and cost savings. The truth is that the Cloud undeniably has the potential to open up a whole new dimension of opportunities to businesses – but only if data security is adequately addressed.
First, let’s dispel any misperceptions you might have about the Cloud. It’s nothing mystical, nothing whimsical - nothing to be afraid of. The reason many fear the Cloud is its reputation as a dangerous or ‘risky’ place. And that is true. Anything beyond the organisation's physical perimeter is also, theoretically, beyond the physical protection of the organization. And let’s face it, there are dangers and risks out there, but that doesn’t mean you have to stay behind a locked door. Instead, by arming yourself with the right security, you can stay clear of danger and fully tap into the Cloud’s potential.
The Cloud and security are intrinsically intertwined, and only when both works in symbiosis can a business truly grow. There are five main areas where safety can team up with the Cloud to offer companies the most significant potential to thrive - and it isn’t hard to get it right.
Five reasons to use the Cloud
Data is critical, and possibly the most vital asset for organizations - a single breach or leak of sensitive data can cripple the entire business, so a data protection strategy must protect the data itself. The ability to move sensitive information into and throughout the Cloud is essential for companies to function and collaborate efficiently, quickly and freely - but a comprehensive data protection strategy must support this ability. The trick is to protect data at the moment of creation before it moves out of the enterprise or even enters the Cloud. Only by doing that can you ensure that any data source is comprehensively protected and the risk of potential exposure is minimized.
2.Regulatory compliance and data residency requirements
Sensitive data that is moved into and across cloud infrastructures can quickly introduce additional complexity and cost to regulatory compliance - potentially costing thousands in fines and damaging reputations. Companies that ensure sensitive data is comprehensively protected can significantly reduce cost, complexity and overall risk in meeting and maintaining regulatory compliance.
3.Scalability and flexibility
The Cloud has opened up previously unseen opportunities for organizations to grow and expand quickly, smoothly and with ease. With information immediately available wherever you are, the Cloud offers the flexibility and scalability that in the past was an insurmountable obstacle for businesses restricted by their on-site resources. The key to successfully harnessing this opportunity is a flexible data security architecture that is adaptable across multiple applications and systems while not adversely impacting the user experience. Failure to put a comprehensive, data-centric protection program can cause cloud initiatives to be delayed or fraught with hidden security issues.
This element is two-fold. First, reap the robust cost savings by only paying for what you use. The second element is that most cloud computing platforms provide the means to capture, monitor, and control usage information for accurate billing. A single, comprehensive data protection platform can eliminate the threat of risky fines from compliance breaches or data loss while also reducing the need to invest in multiple security tools.
5.Access to data anytime, anywhere
Enhancing the opportunity to drive business innovation, the Cloud provides remote access to your infrastructure 24/7 for your workforce. No longer will you arrive for a meeting only to find the materials on your USB stick are a previous version. Instead, you access the original file wherever you happen to be. Sales teams can check stock levels in real-time. An employee stuck at home waiting for a delivery or in an airport waiting for an ash cloud to disperse can still work effectively as in the office.
With so many critical business benefits of the Cloud depending on security, one would easily be misled into thinking that a whole host of restrictions have to be implemented to address safety issues. But the truth is, it all comes back to the data. A single framework that comprehensively protects all enterprise data from the point of creation and throughout its lifecycle can eliminate practically all potential security hazards that could threaten the Cloud.
Five tips for cloud security
1. Leverage data-centric encryption
By encrypting data (regardless of type or source) at capture and protecting it throughout the entire lifecycle wherever it moves, data can be used safely across the enterprise and in the Cloud without the need to encrypt and decrypt each time it enters different IT environments.
2.Maintain referential integrity
Format-preserving encryption (FPE) retains the data set's initial structure and format, encrypting the data while ensuring the design fits into existing systems without requiring changes in IT infrastructure. FPE also preserves the ‘referential integrity’ of the data, allowing the data to be
analyzed in a protected state without decrypting it first.
3.Ensure high-performance processing
High performance results from eliminating manual encryption and decryption processes as data moves through the enterprise, removing database performance bottlenecks. A data protection strategy that includes encryption and tokenization, which can be performed locally at the application, database, or web server level, allows an organization to dynamically protect terabytes of data without introducing complex procedures, other technology, or interrupt the current business process.
By giving users or applications permission to decrypt or de-tokenize directly - linking to enterprise data access rules and policies - the extension of enterprise controls into the Cloud can be enabled, and user management is simplified.
Tokenization is a way of substituting sensitive data with non-sensitive values and is one of the prescribed data protection methods recommended under industry regulations, including PCI DSS. Stateless tokenization eliminates the token database and any need to store sensitive data and the keys that map the tokens to the initial sensitive data. This allows organizations to efficiently address data residency and privacy requirements (nationally or internationally), as sensitive data can be maintained in a proper jurisdiction with only a representation of the moved data. In-scope data can be securely transferred and stored across cloud environments and only decrypted and used within jurisdictions where it is expressly permitted.
When utilized correctly, cloud-computing capabilities offer numerous opportunities to drive business innovation. Recent technology and social connectivity trends have created a perfect storm of opportunity for companies to embrace the power of Cloud to upgrade their existing business models. Could you join them?