Business operations happen all day – and in some cases, all night. The result is the production of copious amounts of data that become too large to handle over time. This and other issues, such as the availability of applications and resources right when you need them, are a challenge that cloud services aim to resolve.

The cloud has quickly become an integral part of business operations, and now more companies are hiring cloud service providers for day-to-day functions.

If you are new to cloud services or simply want to be enlightened, here is a guide to what it is, why you may need it and what it could be worth for your business.

What are cloud services?

Cloud services are services that can be accessed via the internet and made available to users on demand. Cloud services enable easy access to resources, services and applications that are scalable to meet business needs.

These are delivered by third-party providers. This means that the cloud does not require dedicated hardware inside the company premises to work. Cloud services can be accessed via a mobile device or browser, making it very convenient for end-users.  If such services are no longer necessary, the user can discontinue the service without hassle.

Some examples of cloud services offered by service providers include cloud computing functions such as website browsing, email, social media and teleconferences. Additionally, back-end software and key information are also made available to clients through remote servers provided and managed by the third-party vendor.

Gone are the days when equipment for a company’s IT system must be in-house. These days, IT infrastructure and human resources can be outsourced, enabling systems and software to stay up and running at all times without the need for an in-house employee to monitor the state of things round the clock.

What are the types of cloud services?

In general, cloud services are classified according to type. These types encompass aspects including software, platform and infrastructure.

Software as a Service

Software as a Service (SaaS) is a model of software distribution that gives access to applications hosted over the cloud provider’s servers. This is the most visible type of cloud service and is used by virtually every size and type of business.

The most common examples of SaaS are Office 365, Google Docs, WebEx, and other software that target consumers and businesses alike.

Platform as a Service

Platform as a service (PaaS) includes operating systems and other related services that do not need internet access to be downloaded and installed. This type of cloud computing allows a user to create and run applications without having to set up an on-premises infrastructure.

Examples of the PaaS are Microsoft’s Azure, Amazon Web Services, IBM SmartCloud and more.

Infrastructure as a Service

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is another type of cloud computing that is delivered by outsourcing various equipment that is used in operations. These could be in the form of hardware, storage, servers and components for network requirements.

Some well-known examples of the IaaS model are OneDrive, Rackspace and Dropbox.

Benefits of Cloud Services

Cloud services have found great reception from many businesses because of their many benefits. In the age of web-enabled services, the cloud is now an important and even necessary part of business operations.

Here are the benefits you can get from moving your company’s data and systems to the cloud.

Reduced IT expenses

IT systems are effectively managed and maintained with cloud services, which in turn lessen overhead costs for the client. By enlisting the services of cloud computing providers, you no longer have to purchase equipment and build costly systems for your company.

Cloud services also remove the need to hire an expert and pay their wages and benefits as a regular employee. You can outsource IT consultants or providers and pay for only the services they render. Energy expenditure on the premises can be lessened.

Service Scalability

Flexible storage and operation requirements can be scaled down or up depending on your business needs. The service provider can handle upgrades you otherwise have to take care of if you are not in on the cloud.

Efficient Communication

Cloud services improve communications from employee to employee and business to clients. This is made possible by giving various stakeholders access to data within the cloud computing models that make it easier to collaborate business efforts.

Additionally, nontraditional communication methods such as instant messaging and social media that fall under cloud services foster better communication, which consequently result in improved productivity and efficiency.

Are cloud services worth it?

Does your business need to acquire cloud services? The quick answer would be yes! The cloud and everything related is here to stay and will continue to be relevant for many businesses that utilize IT services.

Such services are not a one-size-fits-all option. The best course of action would be to research your options. We at NST can help you weigh the benefits and risks of adopting cloud computing to your business. Contact us today to learn more.

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