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One Size Does Not Fit All: Choosing the Cloud for Your Business

| Blog | July 10, 2013

Laptop with CloudsCloud computing promises to take IT infrastructure and management out of enterprise hands, which is a relief to businesses that want to focus on customers instead of IT. Vertical markets want to jump into the cloud, but predicting how it will develop in the next five years is essential.

Corporations in education, manufacturing, retail and healthcare all have different cloud computing needs. This means we’re in for a huge cloud computing playing field. Already, OpenStack, the cloud collaborative group, boasts over 150 members. It’s just the beginning.

The right cloud for your business

The best cloud for your business depends on your company’s need for scalability, customization, security and cost. Just as your business will change in the future, so will your cloud computing needs. Below are the main types of cloud technologies for your enterprise to consider.

SaaS cloud computing allows companies to access applications from the Internet, which may include online banking, document creation and email. The downside is these applications are controlled by the provider and provide little to no customization.

PaaS cloud computing is great for developing applications without. These applications can be developed, tested and deployed without purchasing hardware, software and hosting. The downside of Paas is customers have no control of underlying infrastructure, making audit requirements in some industries difficult, if not impossible.

IaaS clouding is a complete outsourcing of operations infrastructure. One of the strongest advantages of this type of cloud is its accessibility and flexibility. You don’t have to pay for an entire cloud infrastructure deployment, either. You can get pure cloud storage or computing power; you can also mix and match based on your needs. The downside is this system is heavily reliant on an experienced IT administrator.

The battle of public, private or both

Public clouds are beneficial in that enterprises share resources and only pay for usage. If your enterprise should evolve its business, it’s simple to change systems, as long as your provider uses a non-proprietary deployment.

A private cloud requires a greater investment, as the company has to purchase and deploy its own hardware and software. This gives your company the freedom to completely customize your system and design security procedures and features specifically for itself.

A hybrid cloud brings enterprises a combination of public and private. Some companies need different levels of security and customization for various departments. A combination of public and private may work best.

There are so many options that vendors from all industries are collaborating to stay one step ahead of customer needs. The IEEE World Congress on Services hosts a cloud conference alongside four other technology seminars to help the industry remain updated on the latest developments. No technology works in isolation and your corporation will benefit from ongoing innovation.

The type of cloud computing most beneficial to your business will require assessing and prioritizing your company’s needs. For example, a manufacturing company would need to assess whether a SaaS cloud would be workable depending on its invoicing and order processing needs. A university perhaps would benefit from hybrid cloud computing, using SaaS clouds for document sharing and PaaS for researchers and data analysts.

Whatever your corporation’s needs are, make sure you go with a flexible cloud solution. In IT, very little remains the same. The cloud industry will see more vendors, more brokers, more options. A larger playing field is great news for companies that want to return to their core business focus.

Image credit: bplanet on Freedigitalphotos.net

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