Cloud computing at service of enterprise
Informational-technological concept of cloud computing is very popular among global corporate clients. Due to efforts of leading IT-companies this technology become mature, its costs reduced and solutions based on cloud computing now available to clients from small and medium enterprises. First cloud ERP system for small and medium enterprises, Clobbi, appeared on the market recently. This blog will focus on a quintessence of cloud computing technology and on prospects of practical implementation of this technology in SME environment.
A study conducted by agency Version One found that about 41% of IT-professionals from large enterprises sector don’t know what cloud computing is. Two-thirds of financial-economical staff of enterprises doesn’t understand this concept either.
Despite cloud computing technology remains unclear for some of us it’s impossible to ignore it anymore – benefits of its practical application is too obvious. According to research conducted by Aberdeen Group, companies using cloud computing reduced their IT-related expenses by 18%. Furthermore, they reduced their power expenses by 16% on average.
The term “cloud computing” was inspired a cloud symbol that was frequently used to represent the internet transport in different types of flowcharts. Cloud computing can be described as a technology that uses remote servers to deploy and maintain applications and that uses the internet as a transport medium for client’s data. With this technology users get all the functionality they need while they get rid of the necessity to install and maintain software and information infrastructure. At the same time, users can access their data from any device connected to the internet, which is very comfortable. This technology can significantly reduce costs related to IT by centralization of storage and computation systems as well as transport infrastructure optimization.
Today, cloud computing is finding new areas of application, including Software as a Service (SaaS) – a method of software leasing first used by salesfroce.com. The technology of cloud computing includes a newer concept, such as Hardware as a Service (HaaS) – a way to rent of computational and storage resources marketed by Amazon and some other cloud computing providers. Main common characteristic of different cloud computing services is the provision of services on demand via the internet and working on the base of a powerful data centers. Software and services are provided in the form of rent of the server’s resources, which are accessed via the internet.
In general, the user of cloud computing services gets rid of capital expenses related to the purchase of computing resources and physical infrastructure of data transmission. Those resources now are leased from a cloud computing services provider. Client companies reduce their expenses and get only those amount of IT-resources (computational, transporting and storage), which are necessary at the moment. Some cloud computing services providers charge their clients on the base of actually used resources. The business model of other companies is based on the payment of the subscription.
Cloud computing concept assumes the presence of one or many data centers. Clients connect to them via the internet. Data centers and their clients are parts of the cloud. An old client-server architecture assumed that client owned, maintained and control of his computing, networking and storage infrastructure and required significant expenses for operation and maintenance. Using computing and networking resources of cloud computing services provider – is a good way to reduce expenses and to increase of scalability and responsiveness.
Cloud computing providers market one of the following types of business applications: Software as a Service (SaaS), Web services, Platform as a Service (PaaS), Managed Services Provider (MSP). All of these applications are available via the internet and can be accessed with any Web-browser. All used software and client’s data are stored at the remote data center.
Clients use servers and business applications deployed in the data centers. This configuration is very attractive for business clients, as it allows them to reduce capital costs while increasing responsiveness. However, this situation is profitable for both sides: the service provider charges its clients for resources used while clients reduce their expenses and pay only for actually used resources. No matter what business model is used by the service provider, quality of services provided to clients is defined by Service Level Agreement (SLA). Therefore, the client always serviced at the required level and reduce his expenses for IT-resources.
By ordering cloud computing services, the client can flexibly choose to buy or rent computing, storage and transportation resources from the data center. The users of the cloud should only know how to connect to resources and how to run required applications. They should not know the specific location of the data center or how cloud resources work and maintained. This creates the impression of simplicity of used technology.
The computer in the cloud runs user interface. It is a “window” to the application, but it does not run this application. Actually, the application is running on the server of the data center, which resources are shared among customers. Such structure assumes centralization of data center resources and reduces requirements to the hardware of the client computer (computational power of the central processor, memory volumes etc.)
Different kinds of cloud computing
Traditionally, cloud computing services are from one of three segments: Software as a Service, Platform as a Service and Infrastructure as a Service. SaaS market segment has the largest market share. It provides the largest profits and the highest prices per seat.
Software as a Service (SaaS) – it’s a service of providing software on demand. Services of providing software on demand can vary on the base of the payment model and on the base of the way of delivery software to the clients. Such model is used by salesforce.com, Google and NetSuite. Companies that provide software on demand charge their clients the price of the subscription to the service. This service assumes deployment of the software on the data center servers . This software is available to remote users via the internet. Companies that supply software on the base of the traditional model, selling licenses to their clients. Then clients should deploy this software on their servers and maintain it. Approximate volume of the market of SaaS 2012 year was 21 $ bln.
Platform as a Service (PaaS) – PaaS includes management and service levels of the cloud computing model. This concept is now rapidly developing, and gradually includes such services as intellectual resources supply, as well as management on the levels of application and network. This technology is for the products that can be deployed via the internet. Many companies that started as providers of software on demand developed their own platform for providing services. Amazon, Google and Microsoft developed platforms that allow their customers get access to the applications deployed on centralized data centers. Approximate volume of the market of SaaS 2012 year was 9 $ bln.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) – the third segment of cloud computing technology market, the infrastructure, is the base of whole concept of cloud computing. Infrastructure as a Service is the base level of cloud computing. Resources for storage, computing, backup, disaster recovery, databases and security are parts of cloud infrastructure provided by the infrastructure provider. Cloud data storages, such as Amazon S3, are also considered as an infrastructure. Approximate volume of the market of SaaS 2012 year was 2 $ bln.
Today, small and medium-sized companies can choose from a wide range of IT solutions based on cloud technologies. Learn more how your businesses can reduce IT costs by using the most modern tools of business management on our website.
In particular, we suggest familiarizing with the modern cloud-based tool for recruiting – Clobbi.Recruiting, that freeing your HR-specialists from routine operations and let them focus on their core functional tasks.