Understanding the Strategic Benefits of Cloud Computing for your Business

Cloud computing has become a fundamental requirement for organizations. Cloud computing on the rise in today’s working environment, with 81% of companies with more than 1,000 employees using a multi-platform strategy. Consequently, this number is to rise to more than 90% by 2024. Between 2018 and 2021, worldwide spending on public cloud services is expected to grow 73%, from $160 billion to $277 billion. Organizations are expanding their understanding of the strategic benefits of cloud computing, and are more willing to conduct workload tests and migrate entire applications to the cloud. In 2006, Amazon joined the competition by introducing Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2). In 2008, Google entered the cloud industry by launching Google App to serve as an entry point to their cloud computing services.

Business Services Cloud

  • Cloud computing and deployment business solutions allow companies to leverage resources that cloud service providers manage and store in private, secure servers and networks, to back up and mobilize network resources and data.

Cloud Computing Solutions

  • Web-based services allow a business to select different web functions instead of full-blown applications. Using XML, UDDI open standards and other languages over a protocol backbone, web-based applications integrate with other parts of a business.
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) cloud computing provides multiple cloud tenants access to a certain application- solution owned and managed by an IT services provider.
  • Office 365 is a form of SaaS where anyone can open a monthly subscription to Microsoft’s suite of Office products.
  • Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) includes necessities for the cloud and offers access to network functions, virtual machines, dedicated hardware and storage space, as a foundation for business operations, SaaS and other cloud-based services.
  • Windows Azure and Amazon Web Services are two common IaaS providers enabling companies to outsource infrastructure (backup and storage space, space needed for testing, etc.). Azure offers access to virtual networks, service buses, message queues and non-relational storage platforms.
  • Platform as a service (PaaS) includes the hardware and operating systems needed to deploy and manage cloud applications- PaaS and IaaS go hand-in-hand because businesses need a platform to manage their IT infrastructure.
  • Windows Azure cloud services is a PaaS provider that supports .NET, Node.js, PHP, Python, Java and Ruby. With software development kits and Visual Studio, developers can easily create and deploy applications. For storage, developers can choose from a SQL Database, Tables and Blobs.

Cloud Deployment Solutions

  • A hosted cloud is a complete cloud deployment with all the applications and services needed and is managed, owned and maintained by a managed services’ provider requiring monthly subscription fees.
  • On-premises solutions offer dedicated resources used to set up a frontend interface for clients and potential customers through accessible portals while keeping sensitive resources private.
  • Hybrid cloud deployments involve a combination of on-premises infrastructure with hosted applications.

25 Most Commonly Used Cloud Services, Organized by Function, Within an Enterprise

Leaders in the Business Services Cloud Space

  • The following companies are leaders in the Business Servies Cloud space: Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Alibaba and IBM.
  • Amazon’s AWS has significantly more services and features within those services, than any other cloud provider- infrastructure technologies like compute, storage, and databases, and emerging technologies like machine learning and artificial intelligence, data lakes and analytics, and Internet of Things. Consequently, the largest market share has gone to AWS as the go-to cloud service provider in 2020.
  • Microsoft offers an array of cloud based solutions including Secure Azure SQL, Virtual Machines, Azure Cosmo DB, Windows Virtual Desktop, App Service, PlayFab, Azure Kubernetes Service, Azure Functions, Azure Cognitive Services and Azure Quantum.
  • Secure Azure SQL database services make it easy to: migrate SQL workloads with SQL Server on Azure Virtual Machines, modernize existing applications with Azure SQL Managed Instance, support modern cloud applications with Azure SQL Database, use existing SQL skills in the cloud on the same SQL Server engine, and make the most of current license investments.
  • Google’s featured products for cloud services include API and Machine Learning, API Management, Compute, Containers, Data Analytics, Databases, Developer Tools, Healthcare and Life Sciences, Hybrid and Multicloud and Internet of Things solutions.
  • Alibaba’s cloud services include Data Migration, IT Service, 1688 Cloud Hub, AI Conversational Chat, Backup and Archive, Owner IP Addresses, Business Mid-End, China Gateway, Cloud Business Enabler Suite, Cloud Migration, Cloud+Fare Alibaba Cloud OSS, Containers, Cross-Border Network, Database Migration, Data Security, DevOps, DingTalk Solutions, Domain Registration, End-to-End Enterprise Security, Enterprise IT Governance, Global Application Acceleration, Hybrid Cloud, ICP Support, IT Services, Intelligence Brain, Internet of Things (IOT), MLPS 2.0 Compliance, Omnichannel Data Mid-End, Organizational Data Mid-End, SAP on Cloud and Web Hosting.
  • IBM offers the most open and secure public cloud for businesses with a next-generation hybrid cloud platform, advanced data and AI capabilities, and deep enterprise expertise across 20 industries. These services are offered through public Cloud, Hybrid Cloud, Data and AI and IBM Cloud with a full stack cloud platform of over 170 products and services covering data, containers, AI, IoT, and block chain.
  • IBM and Red Hat shown as leaders in The Forrester Wave: Multicloud Container Development Platforms, Q3 2020. IBM Cloud Satellite, now in beta testing, introduces a consistent, on-demand, fully managed set of core application services that run across your on-premises, edge, and public cloud environments.
  • Although not listed as a leader in the space, Oracle has moved into cloud computing offering Oracle Cloud Database Services: Autonomous Data Warehouse, Autonomous Transaction Processing, Database Cloud Services- Bare Metal and Virtual Machine, Database Exadata Cloud Service, Database Exadata Cloud at Customer and NoSQL Database with zero downtime.

White Space Opportunities

  • The cloud as a digital transformation engine and technology to improve business continuity is becoming the go-to market strategy.
  • Multi-cloud is a selling point for enterprises- Companies are aware of vendor lock-in and want to abstract applications so they can be moved across clouds. Consequently, legacy vendors that create platforms that can plug into multiple clouds to integrate with VMware or Red Hat will see higher return on investment.
  • For cloud computing vendors, Artificial intelligence, analytics, IoT, and edge computing will be differentiators among the top cloud service providers -as will serverless and managed services.
  • The total number of hyper-scale companies worldwide is now at 541, up from 500 in October 2019, meaning capability gaps between hyper-scale cloud providers will cause fierce competition for enterprise workloads extending to secondary markets worldwide.
  • Cloud service providers should ensure that any UPS deployed in the white space offers modular architecture — featuring multiple modular power units that share common electrical feeds, power supplies, and cabling.
  • Quantum computing research indicates very early theoretical advances that will take many years before it is available to the public.
  • The time and energy spent on foundation infrastructure requirements will be significantly offset by the core capabilities available immediately via cloud computing resources.

Changes in the Coming Years

  • Cloud computing companies must choose UPS’ technology and services that reduce TCO, boost deployment flexibility and streamline management.
  • As cloud computing becomes mainstream, organizations are now moving toward adopting it into in-house processes; therefore, there is opportunity for cloud vendors to invest in developing advanced products and offering services to all industries.
  •  Marketing cloud platforms will help develop a great marketing strategy, improve customer engagement, and increase return on investment.
  • Changes to AI and the Internet of Things applications will ensure digitally-enabled classrooms allow students to create and submit presentations online, attend classes remotely through web conferencing, and collaborate and participate in globally distributed projects.
  • Cloud computing in the Healthcare industry will become an easier regarding information sharing and access among all relevant stakeholders (medical professionals and insurance).
  • The concept of cloud computing will change the way the world works– the level of business performance rises when a five-pronged cloud computing phenomenon that leverages flexibility, agility, security, mobility, and scalability combines with existing processes.
  • Companies will continual operate in a launch-and-learn environment, while working on continuous integration of processes and delivery and publishing much open-source software.
  • Security and document sharing will continue to be of great concern for data and online security firms.
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