Resource allocation can play a vital role in determining a company’s competitive edge. For this to happen, it’s important to first realize what your most valuable resources are. For modern business, data is a primary resource in this regard.
Today, data is digitally managed and kept. This is because of the improved efficiency brought on by technology, such as the use of the internet. To manage all of this data preserved digitally, cloud computing exists as a viable tool.
In cloud computing, the internet is used as a medium to store and process information. While traditional methods required users to keep a physical system to manage data, cloud computing removes this need. The users are provided with a virtual space to process and store data. Meanwhile, it’s the concern of the vendor on how to manage the physical system that supports the cloud.
On the backend, data centers host servers that keep the cloud running. For small businesses, cloud computing provides an extremely cost-effective and efficient method of storing information. Businesses can even save time and resources that would have been required to manage the data management infrastructure.
The Many Models of Cloud Computing
To fully utilize cloud based computing within your business, it’s very important to know the many models that exist. Generally, cloud computing models can be categorized into three types. These are:
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
All three models hold different benefits, and their intended use is different based on the company’s requirements. To understand better what your business specifically needs, let’s look at a brief overview of all three types.
The Software as a Service (SaaS) is a model of software distribution usually handled by a third-party vendor. Here, the vendor provides a wide range of customers with software. These are software that are made available through a cloud platform. The underlying design of the software is generic and same for all customers.
The Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a model of cloud computing where virtual resources are distributed over the internet. These are computing resources that eliminate the need for physical on-site management systems. These can be virtual machines where processing speed, storage space and other such things are facilitated by the cloud service provider.
The Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a model of cloud computing where hardware and software are provided by the vendor. These tools are then used on-site by the business and exist on a cloud platform. An example of this could be a need for a business to develop an application. To do this, the PaaS provider facilitates the business with all the necessary resources to do so.
Cloud services including Amazon Web Services (AWS) or Microsoft Azure are examples of IaaS, PaaS or SaaS providers.
What Small Businesses should look for?
Choosing a cloud service that exceeds in performance can be a hassle. This is because of the large number of alternatives present in the market today. To choose the best fit, start by analyzing your own needs. This means ensuring that the cloud service does not overuse or underuse your resources. This requires knowing the difference between a cloud storage service and cloud backup service provider. While both exist over the cloud, their use cases are different. Cloud backup services usually are dedicated to ensuring all of your data is backed up. These are usually intended for use in business. Meanwhile, cloud storage services usually deal with smaller volumes of data. Cloud storage services mainly cater to personal users.
While such cloud services provide a number of advantages, it’s important to know what to look for. This means keeping a number of general factors in mind that would prove to be important for small businesses.
Here are a number of factors that small businesses should look for when choosing a cloud service:
- Know whether your business requires a public, private or hybrid cloud. A public cloud is handled offsite by the vendor. It is usually a shared resource by a number of other businesses as well. Meanwhile, a private cloud is usually handled by the business itself. The infrastructure is the responsibility of the business IT team. A hybrid cloud mixes both private and public clouds, depending upon where it’s needed.
- For small businesses, the last decision usually comes down to cost. Keeping in mind your requirements and the cloud services available, choose an affordable service. Most services today offer a range of prices depending upon what you can afford.
- Although often overlooked, security should be considered first and foremost. A small business cannot afford a loss or compromise of data. It could cost the company actual financial damage. This is why a cloud service that guarantees security and privacy should be chosen.
- Backup plans should always be integrated with your business needs. This is why a cloud service should be chosen that can preserve your company’s data in backup storage space.
- Ease in data management is extremely important. This is why businesses should choose a cloud service that provides an easy to use interface.
Best Cloud Service in the Market
Calling any one cloud service as the best is not an easy task. Most cloud computing services often compete and provide similar results. This is why naming any one service can prove to be unfair to the other. Keeping in mind the factors that are required of small businesses, here are our top three choices that compete hand in hand.
- BackupEverything provides users with a wide range of cloud computing services. It proves to be excellent in terms of performance. It also provides specialized services for small businesses.
- Amazon Web Services (AWS) is one of the most used cloud services today. The company provides a wide range of services. It has one of the largest infrastructures in the market today for data storage and management.
- Microsoft Azure also provides cloud services catering mainly to businesses. Coupled with the first two choices, it also provides excellent performance and features.