In 2018, mobile cloud traffic accounted for 88% of all global mobile data traffic, this included video streaming, audio streaming, online gaming, social networking, web browsing and online storage. And, according to Statista, in 2018 the global cloud application market had a value of 69.4 billion U.S. dollars and is expected to grow to $85.5 by 2021. In fact, revenues from the public cloud market were predicted to reach 258 billion U.S. dollars by the end of 2018.
But what is cloud computing? We’re talking about a technology that can send personal data like files and pictures to a cloud-hosted server that stores the information. This can then be accessed and shared with others at any time without it taking up extra storage space on a device. It utilizes remote servers to store, manage and process data. People and businesses are able to access large amounts of data over secure online network connections.
Public, Private and Hybrid Cloud Deployment
There are different types of cloud deployment options customers and businesses alike can pick from, this includes public, private and hybrid:
- Public: This is the most common way of deploying cloud computing. The public cloud is where cloud resources like servers and storage as well as hardware, software and cloud infrastructures are managed and operated by a third party cloud service provider and delivered over the internet. This is most often used for web-based email, online office applications and storage. There is no maintenance necessary because the service provider handles this task.
- Private: This is where cloud computing resources are used exclusively by a business or organization. The services and infrastructure are maintained on a private network. These are often used by government agencies and financial institutions. They are able to customize their cloud environment for their business needs and can acquire a higher level of control and security.
- Hybrid: This involves combining private clouds with public clouds so organizations can enjoy the benefits of both options. Data and applications can move and transition easily between both clouds.
Cloud Service Models
The cloud service market is then divided into 3 service models including infrastructure, platforms and software:
- Software as a Service (SaaS): This is considered to be the largest segment of cloud computing, generating more than half of the total cloud computing market revenue. SaaS is known as cloud application services using the internet and web browsers to deliver applications to users which are managed by third-party vendors. With this model, users aren’t responsible for any software or hardware maintenance and updates. The SaaS is hosted on a remote server which is accessible over the internet. Some common examples using this model include Google Apps and Dropbox.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS): This model provides a platform over the web for software creation. This is essentially a computing platform for application development. Developers are able to build software and customized applications without worrying about software updates and maintenance, storage and infrastructure. Some examples using this model include Windows Azure and Google App Engine.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): This model delivers cloud computing infrastructure to organizations like servers, networking, operating systems and storage. IaaS has the same capabilities as a traditional data centre minus having to maintain and manage everything. Resources can be purchased as needed and IaaS clients have control over the infrastructure. Some common examples using this model include Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Compute Engine (GCE).
Advantages of Cloud Computing
Now that we have explained in detail how cloud computing works along with its different models and deployment methods, this technology is actually quite beneficial for businesses in the sense that it provides them with a certain level of flexibility, efficiency and security.
Flexibility and Efficiency
One of the biggest advantages is people can access cloud services in real-time from anywhere in the world as long as they have an internet connection, giving them plenty of mobility. And, because of this, teams are able to collaborate together no matter their location, like with freelance or remote employees. This collaboration and increased engagement between colleagues becomes a simpler process when team members can view, edit and share files easily and securely across a cloud-based platform. There is also a consistency in the data shared because all documents are stored in one place under one format so people can keep clear records of any revisions and updates.
With the cloud always being available, people can access their files and documents at any time of the day from anywhere in the world. Their files are stored centrally and everyone can see one consistent version of a specific document. People can meet virtually and easily view information via shared storage. Cloud computing also doesn’t involve in-house server storage and application requirements, which means it is efficient on costs. And, resources like IT infrastructure updates, are maintained by the service provider.
Cloud computing is even environmentally friendly. It reduces your carbon footprint because it requires less physical servers, which means fewer resources are being used to maintain them. And, by being able to quickly and easily share files online with colleagues, it means fewer printouts and wasted paper for businesses.
Security and Loss Prevention
For cloud customers, there might be the concern that because data and files in the cloud can be accessed from anywhere at any time, that maybe cybercriminals can easily access them as well. Luckily, cloud computing ensures the security of information with the encryption of data and provides quick data recovery during incidents like power outages. As you can see, this technology is very reliable offering plenty of network backups and disaster recovery.
If your business isn’t using a cloud computing solution, the data is more at risk at being lost during local hardware or computer malfunctions. Cloud solutions offer more security than local servers. The information stored in the cloud is always safe and accessible even if a computer begins to glitch or break down. It doesn’t matter what machine you use. And, if there are any bugs causing problems, the service provider is in charge of immediately fixing the errors in a timely manner and there is no need to hire a tech support team to fix anything. Cloud service providers also perform regular security audits to avoid the loss of critical data.
The Top 6 Most Popular Cloud-Based Apps
Check out these top cloud-based apps being used by not only consumers but businesses alike.
Dropbox: Bringing Files Together In One Place
According to the team: “Dropbox is a modern workspace designed to reduce busywork—so you can focus on the things that matter. Dropbox brings your files together, in one central place. They’re easy to find and safely synced across all your devices—so you can access them anytime, anywhere. No more wasting the day tracking down work. Dropbox is built for creative collaboration. Share a big file—PowerPoint, Photoshop, Sketch—with anyone. You’ve all got the right version, and everybody’s on the same page. Finally.”
Google Drive: All Your Files Within Reach
According to the team: “Get started with Google Drive for free and have all your files within reach from any smartphone, tablet, or computer. All your files in Drive – like your videos, photos, and documents – are backed up safely so you can’t lose them. Easily invite others to view, edit, or leave comments on any of your files or folders. Google accounts get 15GB of storage free, shared across Google Drive, Gmail, and Google Photos.”
Flickr: Online Photo Management
According to the team: “Upload, access, organise, edit and share your photos from any device, from anywhere in the world. Put your free 1000GB to work – auto-upload all your photos and videos to your Flickr camera roll. They’ll be private until you choose to share them! Camera roll in the cloud – instant access to your entire Flickr collection, so you can free up your phone for everything else. Organization and sharing, simplified – browse with ease, select and organize hundreds of photos with one gesture, and share in seconds. Unleash your creativity – edit your photos, add filters, crop images and more, directly from the camera roll. And if you change your mind, just revert the changes! Engage with friends, family and explore the Flickr community – there are millions of groups and billions of photos out there to discover.”
Mega: Encrypted Cloud Storage
According to the team: “MEGA provides user-controlled encrypted cloud storage through standard web browsers, together with dedicated apps for mobile devices. Unlike other cloud storage providers, your data is encrypted and decrypted by your client devices only and never by us. Upload your files from your smartphone or tablet, then search, store, download, stream, view, share, rename or delete your files any time, from any device, anywhere. Share folders with your contacts and see their updates in real time.”
IDrive: Online Cloud Backup
According to the team: “Protect your digital life with IDrive! Securely backup your mobile data with private key encryption – the highest level of data security available – so only you can access your files. You can backup multiple devices to one account, and sync files across devices to access your data from anywhere.”
Box: Secure File Sharing, Storage and Collaboration
According to the team: “Securely store, manage and share all your files, photos and documents with 10GB of free cloud storage from Box.
With Box, you can easily:
Have all your files at your fingertips
Access your files online, from your desktop, and on your iPhone or iPad
Share important photos, videos, notes and other documents
Take notes and capture ideas easily on mobile
Review your latest project and leave feedback on the go
Stay in sync with your colleagues, friends and family”
We hope you enjoyed learning about cloud computing! Let us know if your business is using a cloud solution to their advantage or if you know of any other cloud-based apps that are worth mentioning and considering!