Have you ever struggled with installing and maintaining on-premise software? Cloud computing can optimize the work processes of your business, allow you to save on the software and manage such spheres as email, finances, human resources, sales etc. All your data will be safe and accessible anytime from any device. It’s easy to work with, there’s no need to monitor the software constantly and it really makes your life easier.
Thus, let’s look into what cloud computing is and how it can benefit your business in the best way.
What Is “Cloud Computing” Everyone Is Talking About?
Simply put, it is access to IT resources via the Internet, which are provided as a service through a cloud platform. Such services provide flexibility of resources and economy because you usually pay for a subscription and get the product you need. Your whole team has access to the programs or files any time – there is no need to install the software separately on each computer. You just need login, password and access to the Internet to get started on your work.
There are 3 models of cloud computing – Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Platform as a Service (PaaS).
- Software as a Service (SaaS). This is the most common service among the others on the list. The customer receives software products via the Internet. You can compare it to a virtual workplace fully equipped with the software. And yes, it’s accessible anytime and anywhere, desktop or mobile – it’s your choice.
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS). This service provides a virtual infrastructure for the customer (storage systems, virtual routers, servers). The great advantage of IaaS is that you pay only for a certain amount of resources you need (for example, disk space and server time).
- Platform as a Service (PaaS). Probably, the most essential service for software developers. It’s a full-fledged virtual platform for developing and testing. All tasks are performed in one integrated environment. By doing this, you reduce the cost of maintaining the separate environment for each stage of work, so why pay more?
How Does SaaS Actually Work?
When using SaaS, you get a software license: it usually works based on a subscription model and it is possible to pay monthly or annually. The provider is responsible for support and maintenance, and you get the tool that is absolutely ready for work. The most common examples of SaaS are Dropbox, Salesforce and Google Apps. SaaS is equally suitable for large and small companies, however, before making a choice you are to consider all the pros and cons.
Pros of SaaS
- Comfort and Accessibility. You can work using any device (mobile or desktop version), all your files are stored in your cloud storage. Leaving for a business trip, but still need to be in touch? It’s not an obstacle anymore if you have a smartphone and an internet connection. Even more so – your team also has access to the files and is able to view and edit them.
- Convenient Payment System. Just pay a subscription fee and have all your resources stored on the cloud. Yes, that’s easy! There is no need to pay a large sum of money at once, you can pay monthly, try different types of subscription plans and decide what’s better for your team and business.
Some services also provide free trials for certain periods of time. It is quite helpful since you don’t need to pay a subscription fee immediately when you are not sure if the service is suitable for you. Usually the provider includes all the basic features for a free trial so you will have time to explore everything.
- Provider’s Support and Constant Updates. You do not need to deal with software maintenance and solve problems with settings, the provider is completely responsible for it. Also you get constant updates so you always have the latest version of your software.
- Software Savings. Forget about installing everything separately on each computer and spending a lot of time and money on its maintenance. To get started, you and your team require only logins, passwords, access to the Internet and that will do.
Instantly after authorization your team can freely begin to carry out their work tasks. Unlike the on-premise software, you don’t need to spend a lot of time setting up and installing the programs.
- Customization. Would you like to customize workplaces, user interface, dashboards or task lists? Anything is possible with cloud-based systems that allow users to customize web-based software according to the user’s needs and preferences.
Cons of SaaS
- Data Ownership. Don’t worry, your data in cloud-based systems is still yours, but you should thoroughly review the service agreement to make sure you know how your data can be used. If the contract says that the provider wants to obtain the ownership of your data, do not sign this agreement.
- Updates. Sometimes updates don’t make your life easier. An update can lead to removing some of your favorite features, or even add some new bugs. But this problem is easy to solve. Do not install the update right away after the release. Wait about a month until the update is completely optimized and then feel free to install it.
Give SaaS a Try
SaaS is a perfect option for small and medium-sized businesses and companies with a limited budget that want to predict their expenses. Overall, SaaS has a large number of advantages over the on-premise software and can help you to optimize your business.
Since SaaS is being developed actively, it is worth paying attention to cloud-based systems. These systems will save your time and budget by storing all data and software in a safe and accessible place.