You’ve doubtless heard of the many benefits attributed to cloud computing, such as the cost savings achievable from not having your own IT infrastructure to maintain and support, and reducing the number of your own skilled IT staff to keep you on the leading edge of technology. Add to this other factors like flexibility, scalability, accessibility, rapid deployment and much more. On the other hand, there are concerns or perceived risks over security, privacy, performance, and control of data that make you uneasy and contribute to your reservations about employing the use of cloud services.
What you need to keep in mind is that cloud computing allows you to focus on “what” you need from IT without worrying about the “how”.
Among the choices you have to consider are “public cloud”, “private cloud”, “hybrid cloud” and other variations. These options are meant to address concerns on security and control of data as well as issues on the use of shared resources and services. Only you can determine what risks are acceptable for your company and how much you can afford to pay to mitigate such risks. The sensitivity of your data and your typical workloads also come into consideration when making these choices.
Another classification of cloud services is based on the capabilities offered in three domains:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS): servers, storage and networking
- Software as Service (SaaS): business application functionality
- Platform as a Service (PaaS): application development environments
Stepping into the cloud can be a process of evolution and not revolution. There is no “one size fits all” when it comes to cloud computing. The key is finding a cloud services provider who can tailor-fit a cloud computing solution just right for you. Your choices will be determined by your own specific needs for specific services, and how well you can integrate these choices with your business objectives.