Entrusting the success of your business to a clouding services strategy

20/04/2022

More and more companies are relying on cloud services to optimize costs and processes: let's discover together the characteristics of these high-performance technologies.

Facilitated access, sharing, energy and computational savings: the future of services and processes lies in clouding. Let’s find out how to implement a good strategy in your processes.

If more and more companies are choosing to rely on cloud computing services, there must be a reason.

Beyond the savings, in terms of both costs and processes, we’re talking about solutions that can help small and medium-sized companies optimize processes and workforce selection so that they can focus as much as possible on their services and growth.

But what specifically are cloud services? There are multiple types of delivery and support, each with its own benefits and specific purpose. Choosing them carefully is critical in the design of one’s strategy to avoid incurring higher costs than necessary or, worse, relying on providers far removed from one’s mission.

How cloud services work.

The lexical choice of a “cloud” to talk about these kinds of services is not accidental; used in computer science as a designation for a specific architecture, it nevertheless renders well the idea of an intangible reality, which always remains on top and always present, from which, however, a mass of data and services arrives at the time they are needed.

These are technologies that enable the use of software and hardware resources through remote servers, the use of which is offered by providers as a service, almost always on a subscription basis or with terms of use agreed upon with the customer. Basically, cloud computing is the provision of computing services such as servers, storage resources, databases, networks, software, analytics, etc. over the Internet.

Vendors and companies that offer cloud computing services over the Internet with monthly or annual subscription plans are called providers. But what is this technology used for? Basically, almost all of us use cloud computing services every day, even if not consciously: we do it to send e-mail, stream movies, listen to music, store photos in the cloud.

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Different types of cloud services: which is the best fit for your business?

Among the hundreds of specific services in clouding, some are commonly and daily used: email, streaming, cloud-boxes. Listing them all would be time-consuming, but we can divide them into 4 macro-categories:

  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)-providers offer their software running on the cloud infrastructure to enable extended distribution and access to applications. Common types of enterprise technologies hosted by SaaS providers include productivity suites, customer relationship management (CRM), human resource management (HRM) and data management software. Users can access the application for use only, either through a program interface or a thin client such as a Web browser. Providers retain the management and control of the network, servers, operating systems, storage, virtualization, data, middleware, and even individual application functions;

Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) – using a PaaS service, users have more control compared to the SaaS model because they can access a framework from within the operating system. PaaS services allow users to install applications on a cloud infrastructure with vendor-supported programming languages, libraries, services, and tools, while customers will have control over the applications, the data provided, and possibly the configuration settings of the application hosting environment;

Infrastructure as-a-Service (IaaS)-here users are allowed to architect an entire environment and configure a virtual network segmented by other networks; here they run an operating system and provide the processing, storage, networks and other critical computing resources needed to run software on the cloud infrastructure. Through an IaaS service, the customer may have limited control over some network components, such as host firewalls. Some providers also offer monitoring, automation, security, load balancing and storage resiliency services.

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What are the benefits to the SMB?

Security, growth, business continuity and agility in managing resources and backups are the four areas of improvement that choosing a cloud service can provide.

By relocating part of one’s IT activities, one can have a higher level of security to possible cyber attacks, preventing unpleasant shielding and recovery situations. The latter, moreover, is facilitated by the continuous backup and monitoring that is provided by the providers themselves, so that archiving and recovery are easy and at hand. The savings, in relying on cloud services, has led more than 75 percent of SMBs (between 50 and 250 employees) to reduce management, storage and scheduling costs.

What definitely needs to be implemented is a workforce that includes an IT specialist who knows how to interface with both services and provider requests and offerings. In addition, an eye on IT security, in these cases, becomes a not insignificant plus to include in the skill package of the figure we are talking about.