Have you ever wondered how your favorite websites and apps can run so smoothly? The answer is cloud computing. This blog will help you answer the question: “What is cloud computing?” if you want to learn more about what’s running under the hood of so many services we all use today.
We’ll explore the different types of cloud computing services available. We will also discuss the benefits of cloud computing, share examples of cloud computing in action, and let you know how online cloud training can help you boost your business and career.
What is Cloud Computing: Definition
Cloud computing is a way of storing and accessing data and programs over the internet (the “cloud”). Instead of storing data on your own computer or server, you store it on remote servers owned by a cloud computing provider. This allows you to access your data and programs from anywhere with an internet connection.
Cloud computing is made up of four main components:
- Compute: This is the hardware that runs the cloud computing services.
- Network: This infrastructure connects the compute resources to the internet.
- Storage: This is where the data is stored.
- Data management: This is the process of managing data, including tasks such as backup, recovery, and security.
Cloud practitioners can manage cloud computing environments using various tools and techniques to ensure everything runs efficiently and securely. These include:
- Cloud management platforms: These platforms provide a central place to manage all aspects of a cloud computing environment, including infrastructure, applications, security, and users.
- Cloud monitoring tools: These tools provide visibility into the performance and health of a cloud computing environment.
- Cloud automation tools: These tools can be used to automate tasks such as provisioning resources, deploying applications, and managing security.
Cloud practitioners can use these tools and techniques to ensure their cloud computing environments run efficiently and securely.
What is Cloud Computing, and What Are the Types of Cloud Computing
While cloud computing started with infrastructure, other services naturally sprung up soon after. These are still evolving. With that in mind, let’s review some of the more well-known types of cloud computing first and then point out some lesser-known cloud services.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
IaaS provides access to cloud-based computing resources, such as virtual machines, storage, and networking. This allows businesses to scale their infrastructure up or down as needed without investing in and maintaining their own hardware and software.
Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS provides access to cloud-based software applications. This allows businesses to use software without installing it on their computers. SaaS applications are typically subscription-based, meaning businesses only pay for their software.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
PaaS provides a platform for developing, testing, and deploying applications. This includes providing access to computing resources, storage, networking, and development tools. PaaS can help businesses reduce the time and cost of developing and deploying applications.
Other Cloud Services
In addition to IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS, several other cloud services are available. These include (but aren’t limited to):
- Database as a Service (DBaaS): Provides access to cloud-based databases.
- Business Intelligence as a Service (BIaaS): Provides access to cloud-based business intelligence tools.
- Machine Learning as a Service (MLaaS): Provides access to cloud-based machine learning tools.
- Container as a Service (CaaS): Provides a platform for running containerized applications.
Benefits of Cloud Computing
Now that you have a better answer to the question “What is cloud computing?” let’s talk about the benefits it offers over traditional on-premises computing, including:
- Scalability: Cloud computing is scalable, which means businesses can easily add or remove resources as needed. This can save businesses money, as they only pay for the resources they use.
- Agility: Cloud computing can help businesses be more agile by allowing them to deploy new applications and services quickly.
- Security: Cloud computing providers offer high security, which can help protect businesses’ data from unauthorized access.
- Cost-effectiveness: Cloud computing can be more cost-effective than traditional on-premises computing, especially for small businesses and startups.
- Global reach: Cloud computing can be accessed from anywhere worldwide, benefiting businesses with a global customer base.
- Efficiency: Cloud computing can help businesses be more efficient by eliminating the need to manage and maintain their hardware and software.
- Innovation: Cloud computing can help businesses innovate by providing access to new technologies and services.
Cloud computing may be a great option if you’re looking for a scalable, agile, secure, cost-effective, globally-accessible, efficient, and innovative way to run your business.
Real-World Industry Use Cases of Cloud Computing
Moving beyond the question “What is cloud computing,” let’s dig into how certified cloud professionals in different industries leverage cloud computing with examples.
The healthcare industry is one of the fastest-growing adopters of cloud computing. Cloud computing is being used to improve patient care, reduce costs, and improve compliance.
- Electronic health records (EHRs): EHRs are electronic versions of a patient’s medical history. They are stored in the cloud and can be accessed by authorized healthcare providers from anywhere. This makes it easier for providers to share information and make better decisions about patient care.
- Remote patient monitoring (RPM): RPM uses sensors and software to collect data about patients’ health from a distance. This data is then stored in the cloud and can be analyzed by healthcare providers to identify potential health problems early on.
- Clinical decision support (CDS) tools: Cloud-hosted CDS tools use artificial intelligence (AI) to analyze patient data and provide recommendations to healthcare providers. This can help providers make better decisions about patient care and improve patient outcomes.
The manufacturing industry is also using cloud computing to improve its operations. Cloud computing is being used to improve efficiency, reduce costs, and improve product quality.
- Product design and development: Cloud computing is being used to design and develop new products. This is because cloud computing provides access to powerful GPU resources, data storage, and intuitive shared management consoles. This allows engineers to collaborate on projects and share information effortlessly.
- Manufacturing execution systems (MES): MES systems are used to track and manage the manufacturing process. They can be used to collect data, analyze it, and improve processes and products.
- Supply chain management (SCM): Cloud computing is being used to manage supply chains. Cloud-based SCM platforms provide stakeholders with access to real-time data about inventory levels, demand, and shipping. This allows manufacturers to make better decisions about sourcing and distributing their products.
The retail industry is also using cloud computing to improve its operations. Cloud computing is being used to improve customer service, personalize marketing campaigns, and reduce costs.
- Customer relationship management (CRM): CRM systems are used to manage customer interactions. They can be used to store customer data, track customer interactions, and provide customer support. Cloud computing allows retailers to offer CRM services to their customers from anywhere in the world. Salesforce pioneered this market.
- Marketing automation: Marketing automation software automates tasks like email marketing, social media marketing, content marketing, and all related sales efforts. Retailers use cloud-based marketing automation software in coordination with cloud CRM solutions to reach a wider audience and improve ROI.
- Shipping and warehouse management: Warehouse management systems (WMS) are used to manage inventory levels, track shipments, and optimize warehouse and distribution operations. Amazon set the standard for cloud-based product ordering, sourcing, and distribution — and still is.
The financial services industry is also a major user of cloud computing to improve security, reduce costs, and innovate.
- Risk management: Financial institutions leverage cloud resources to perform risk management. In particular, they can leverage scalable and secure infrastructure to analyze massive amounts of data to identify and mitigate potential risks.
- Compliance: Companies use cloud resources to meet government compliance mandates, such as the Sarbanes-Oxley Act and the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.
- Innovation: Without the burden of capital expenditure and management of on-premises infrastructure and applications, cloud computing enables financial institutions to develop innovative products and services to meet their customers’ needs in today’s hypercompetitive digital world.
It’s no coincidence that the IT industry has been one of the biggest consumers of cloud computing services to date. Cloud computing was invented by IT, after all, and wouldn’t exist without the IT innovation — virtualization on inexpensive x86 servers — that was made possible by VMware in the early 2000s. Every corner of the IT industry leverages cloud computing today, and it continues to be the driving force behind any new cloud service in the works.
Wrapping Up and How You Can Get into Cloud Computing
Cloud computing is a powerful technology that is changing the way businesses operate. It offers a number of benefits, including scalability, agility, security, cost-effectiveness, global reach, efficiency, and innovation. If you’re looking for a career in cloud computing, getting certified through a comprehensive online cloud computing course is an excellent option to gain the necessary skills and knowledge. When choosing the right course, consider that practical experience working on real-world industry projects in an interactive bootcamp will help you stand out.