There’s no denying that cloud computing is growing exponentially in 2020, with research predicting that 83% of workloads will take place on the cloud in 2021. The combination of technological advancements and the need for a more fluid and flexible working arrangement due to the enforced working from home conditions due to Covid-19 guidelines. With these guidelines still looking to be heavily enforced in 2021, remote working is likely to remain a wide scale solution to the issue, leading to higher usage of cloud computing across all industries. 

 

One of the major problems faced with cloud computing is a lack of awareness and understanding surrounding it all – there are lots of jargon phrases and even more information to take in and process, leaving people feeling confused and disengaged with the concept. This is evidenced in the fact that only 63% of businesses utilising cloud computing would describe their knowledge as ‘intermediate’ or ‘advanced’. This doesn’t have to be the case, however, and can be simplified in a way that’s easy to understand for everyone. Below, we look to provide a clearer understanding of what cloud computing is and then investigate the importance of cloud computing as we enter 2021 and beyond. 

 

What Is Cloud Computing?

 

Cloud computing means using a delivery model for computing and IT resources that utilises various servers, applications and other resources provided as a service over the internet, rather than running and accessing these services from physical on-site infrastructure. Through cloud computing, IT services are often delivered virtually. 

 

Cloud computing can mean the delivery of IT and computing services such as servers and storage, software, analytics, databases and more using the internet (or, simply, the cloud). This is being used by an increased number of businesses across the globe because of the greater flexibility, cost-effectiveness, innovation, and scalability of cloud computing. This allows you to only pay for the cloud services and IT infrastructure that you need, lowering costs and improving efficiency for businesses large and small. 

 

Phrases Related To Cloud Computing

 

Now, on to the jargon phrases that often cause a great deal of confusion surrounding the use and application of cloud computing. Below are the most common terms that you are likely to find relating to cloud computing along with their simplified definitions to help you gain a more thorough understanding.

 

Cloud – There’s not much point in learning about cloud computing without knowing exactly what we mean when we say ‘cloud’. In short, the cloud is a metaphor for an online global network of servers. The term was first used to describe telephone networks but is now more commonly used to describe the internet and that which is hosted on it. 

 

The cloud is not a physical entity, simply a large network or remote servers which are connected across the globe to operate as one network on which you can store and manage data, deliver content, run applications and much more. When your staff access files from the cloud, they are accessing them not from a local or personal computer, but online from any internet-capable device. 

 

Cloud computing – Cloud computing means using a delivery model for computing and IT resources that utilises various servers, applications and other resources provided as a service over the internet, rather than running and accessing these services from a physical on-site infrastructure. Through cloud computing, IT services are often delivered virtually. 

 

Cloud computing can mean the delivery of IT and computing services such as servers and storage, software, analytics, databases and more using the internet (or, simply, the cloud). This is being used by an increased number of businesses across the globe because of the greater flexibility, cost-effectiveness, innovation, and scalability of cloud computing. This allows you to only pay for the cloud services and IT infrastructure that you need, lowering costs and improving efficiency for businesses large and small. 

 

Cloud service provider – Simply put, your cloud service provider is a company that delivers you a cloud-based platform, applications, storage and infrastructure IT services for a fee. Different cloud computing service providers will deliver different features and benefits, so it is important to consider your provider first. 

 

Here at Cloud Geeni, we are a managed cloud computing service provider. This means that we deliver your cloud computing services – but also manage these for you as much or as little as works for you. We can host your IT infrastructure on our own highly secure and modern data centres, remotely managing your services to take the load off your own IT team and staff. 

 

Cloud storage – Cloud storage is a cloud computing service that allows you to store and host data by transferring it across the cloud to another network or off-site storage system, like a data centre. This is then, most commonly, maintained and managed by a third party. 

 

This is a common way of backing up data. There are many different options for cloud storage systems that range from business-wide storage to personal storage that can back up data such as emails, videos, personal files and pictures. Business cloud storage is often used as a commercially supported remote backup solution, allowing your business to transfer and store data files to a secure and remote location. 

 

Hybrid cloud – A hybrid cloud is one that combines both public and private clouds. These two separate types of cloud are brought together by technology that allows the sharing of data and certain softwares and applications between the two clouds. This can be of great use for some businesses because it offers improved flexibility and scalability when your processing and computing demands fluctuate. This solution allows businesses to scale on-site physical infrastructure to the public cloud, offering greater deployment options. This allows you to take the benefits of the public cloud whilst keeping whatever business-critical applications you want to keep private behind your own company firewall. 

 

IaaS – IaaS stands for infrastructure as a service. What does this mean exactly? Essentially, it is a virtualised computer environment delivered over the internet as a service by an IaaS provider. This cloud IT infrastructure can include software, servers, network equipment and more. This is an instant computing and IT infrastructure hosted in the cloud and managed online. This is one of the core types of cloud computing services, alongside software as a service (SaaS) and platform as a service (PaaS). 

 

One of the key benefits of IaaS is that it can be quickly and easily scaled up and down – meaning that, rather than paying for a hefty physical on-site infrastructure, you pay a more efficient cost for the exact infrastructure that you need. Each resource and service within IaaS is delivered separately, allowing you to only secure those that you need for your business. A cloud computing service provider such as Cloud Geeni can manage this infrastructure for you. 

 

Here at Cloud Geeni, we specialise in managed infrastructure as a service. It is a service that can completely overhaul and upgrade the way in which your business’s data is stored, transferred and delivered. With our managed IaaS solution, as much or as little of your existing physical IT infrastructure is moved in our own private and highly secure private cloud – where it can then be managed remotely by our own team of seasoned cloud computing technical experts, saving your business on time, money and resources. 

 

PaaS – Platform as a service, commonly referred to as simply PaaS, is a development and deployment environment within the cloud. What does this mean exactly? Well, it is delivered as a service over the internet with resources that enable the delivery of everything cloud-based applications, development environments and more. Paid as a sort of ‘pay as you go’ service, PaaS is designed to give you access to a platform as and when you need it. 

 

Much like infrastructure as a service, PaaS can include IT infrastructures like networking, servers and storage. But PaaS can also deliver development tools, business intelligence (BI) services, middleware, database management systems and more. PaaS is meant to enable and facilitate the full web application development process – delivering what is needed for building, testing, deploying, managing and updating. 

Platform as a service is a cloud computing service that allows businesses to avoid the expenditure and complexity of managing and purchasing different software licenses. Because the entire underlying application infrastructure is delivered as a whole, the entire process is made easier, cheaper and quicker. Through this kind of cloud service, you manage which services, features and applications you need at any one time. 

 

Private cloud – The private cloud refers to cloud computing services that are offered and delivered online or via a private network to selected users – and not the general public. You may sometimes hear this referred to as an internal cloud or a corporate cloud. In short, private clouds offer businesses the same benefits as the public cloud such as scalability, flexibility and cost-effectiveness – only with the added control and security offered by dedicated resources from a physical on-site IT infrastructure. 

 

The high level of security and privacy is a huge appeal for many businesses. By using internal company firewalls and private hosting, operations and sensitive data are kept protected against the general public and against any potential malicious third parties. 

 

One of the main drawbacks for many private cloud solutions is that the business’s IT team is still in charge of the cost and management of the cloud. But here at Cloud Geeni, our managed service works a bit differently. When you choose us, you’ll benefit from our private and highly secure cloud, alongside a managed service in which our expert technicians can manage as much of your infrastructure as you need – taking a huge weight off your IT department. 

 

Public cloud – The public cloud, in contrast to a private cloud, refers to computing services offered by third-party providers across the internet that are available to the general public. Essentially, anyone who wants to use or purchase computing services via the internet can do so using the public cloud. These services could be sold by usage or be made free of charge. 

 

Public clouds often function in a different way to most private clouds in that public clouds can save users and businesses from the costs of purchasing, managing and maintaining their own IT hardware and infrastructure. Public clouds are also very open, allowing for example every member of a business to use the same applications wherever they are using any device they choose as long as it is internet-enabled. However, many security concerns have been raised over public cloud environments. While the public cloud can be very secure, they are still open and widely used, leaving them vulnerable to malicious third parties. 

 

Private clouds offer much more safety and security when it comes to data loss and cybersecurity. It’s also worth noting that by using the Cloud Geeni private cloud, you will be able to avoid having to purchase, manage and maintain your own IT infrastructure if you wish – removing one of the main benefits businesses often see in public clouds over private ones. 

 

SaaS – Software as a service, commonly abbreviated to simply SaaS, is a cloud computing service that allows users to connect and use cloud-based applications across the internet. This is sometimes known as a hosted application. Because this software (or application) is hosted in the cloud, there is no need for users to purchase, install it or run it on their own computers. You may be familiar with the term ASPs (application service providers), which is what SaaS providers were previously known as. 

 

Common examples of SaaS services include emails, calendaring and other office tools such as Microsoft Office 365. SaaS is a complete software solution that can be purchased on a ‘pay as you go’ basis from specific cloud service providers. As a business, you essentially rent the use of an application. Then, your organisation’s users can connect to it using the internet in order to use it. 

 

With SaaS, all the underlying infrastructure, app software and data, and middleware are located in the service provider’s own data centre. The SaaS service provider is responsible for managing all the necessary hardware and software. Depending on your service agreement, they might be responsible for ensuring the availability and security of both the application and your data, too. SaaS enables your business access and start using a critical app with much lower upfront expenditure. 

 

Virtualisation – Virtualisation is a big part of cloud computing, but what do mean when we use it, exactly? Well, virtualisation is the act of creating a virtual computer environment rather than a traditional physical version. This can include everything from hardware, operating systems, storage and much more. This is a simulated and virtual computing environment that allows businesses to partition single physical computers into several virtual (or simulated) machines. 

Because it means creating several resources from a single computer or server, virtualisation can improve the scalability, costs and performance of your business’s IT infrastructure.

 

Why Is It Vital To Your Business?

 

The modern business is constantly evolving and adapting to new technological advancements, so naturally, the adoption of cloud computing is the next step in elevating your business to the next level. Cloud computing moves the focus away from physical hardware and instead starts to put the emphasis on software, where we have a much larger scope to develop, experiment, and progress our technology. 

 

During the Coronavirus pandemic, businesses have found themselves searching for ways to try to get staff working in a safe, yet productive way. Working from home has been an incredibly popular strategy, and has involved using cloud computing to keep businesses connected and efficient. Cloud services such as Google Drive, Office365, Slack, and Salesforce have all been used to great effect throughout 2020, allowing the workforce the fluidity and flexibility to work from home without feeling too detached from their work lives. 

 

Spending on cloud infrastructure has grown 38% over the past year, with even more aggressive growth predicted by experts for 2021, highlighting the true increase in demand for cloud computing services across the board. With such heavy demand, we are likely to see the market flooded with even more cloud services to utilise, offering a wider range of features and benefits than ever before. 

 

It is reported that 51% of UK business leaders have stated that cloud-based business models have directly contributed to the survival of their company in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic, which is testament to the importance that this technology has in the modern workplace. In addition to this, we’ve also seen that as many as 85% of staff have noticed an increase in productivity due to the flexibility of remote working.

 

Conclusion 

 

In summary, it appears that 2021 could be the year that cloud computing truly becomes the number one way that businesses choose to operate, whether that be through choice or necessity. By offering businesses the chance to cut costs, enhance productivity, and elevate the quality of work through remote working, cloud computing provides every business with the platform to grow, expand, and succeed in 2021.