Top 10 Advantages of Cloud Computing

cloud computing

In simple words, cloud computing may be called as computing that is based entirely on the internet. As in the past, where people needed to run programs or applications from software which would be downloaded from a server or a physical computer, cloud computing services help them to access those applications through the medium of internet. When you make any status update on your Facebook account, you make use of cloud computing. When you check your bank account balance on the phone, again you make use of cloud computing. We can say that cloud computing services are becoming the new common.

The most trending cloud computing services are the AWS Cloud Services (Amazon Web Services). It is an evolving and comprehensive platform for cloud computing offered by Amazon. It offers more than three others varied services including RedShift, DynamoDB, and Mechanical Turk etc.

According to the estimates, 90% of the businesses in the United Kingdom are using a minimum of one cloud service. Have you ever wondered why so many businesses are moving towards it? It is simply because there are several advantages of cloud computing. It helps in improving the cash flow, increases the efficiency and numerous others. Have a look at these top 10 advantages of cloud computing.

1. Less Costs
The services are free from capital expenditure. There are no huge costs of hardware in cloud computing. You just have to pay as you operate it and enjoy the model based on your subscription plan.

2. 24 X 7 Availability
Most of the cloud providers are truly reliable in offering their services, with most of them maintaining an uptime of 99.9%. The workers can get onto the applications needed basically from anywhere. Some of the applications even function off-line.

3. Flexibility in Capacity
It offers flexible facility which could be turned off, up or down as per the circumstances of the user. For instance, a promotion of sales is very popular, capacity can be immediately and quickly added to it for the avoidance of losing sales and crashing servers. When those sales are done, the capacity can also be shrunk for the reduction of costs.

4. All over Functioning
Cloud computing offers yet another advantage of working from anywhere across the globe, as long as you have an internet connection. Even while using the critical cloud services that offer mobile apps, there is no limitation of the device used.

5. Automated Updates on Software
In cloud computing, the server suppliers regularly update your software including the updates on security, so that you do not need to agonize on wasting your crucial time on maintaining the system. You find extra time to focus on the important things like ‘How to grow your businesses.

6. Security
Cloud computing offers great security when any sensitive data has been lost. As the data is stored in the system, it can be easily accessed even if something happens to your computer. You can even remotely wipe out data from the lost machines for avoiding it getting in the wrong hands.

7. Carbon Footprint
Cloud computing is helping out organisations to reduce their carbon footprint. Organizations utilize only the amount of resources they need, which helps them to avoid any over provisioning. Hence, no waste of resources and thus energy.

8. Enhanced Collaboration
Cloud applications enhance collaboration by authorizing diverse groups of people virtually meet and exchange information with the help of shared storage. Such capability helps in improving the customer service and product development and also reducing the marketing time.

9. Control on the Documents
Before cloud came into being, workers needed to send files in and out as the email attachments for being worked on by a single user at one time ultimately ending up with a mess of contrary titles, formats, and file content. Moving to cloud computing has facilitated central file storage.

10. Easily Manageable
Cloud computing offers simplified and enhanced IT maintenance and management capacities by agreements backed by SLA, central resource administration and managed infrastructure. You get to enjoy a basic user interface without any requirement for installation. Plus you are assured guaranteed and timely management, maintenance, and delivery of the IT services.

Even the few of these advantages of cloud computing might be enough to persuade businesses to move onto the cloud computing services. But when summed up all of these 10, it is accosting no-brainer domain.

Cloud Computing: Empowering Businesses of all Sizes

Cloud computing is now widely accepted as a solution that is here to stay for businesses looking to streamline, centralise and add value to their operations. Pavin argues that cloud, while not a game-changer for large companies, has brought forward a revolution for a huge number of businesses, in particular when it comes to adding enterprise-level capabilities on a small business budget.

In a business, it also offers an easy way to deploy tools, services and manage access. Pavin notes from his personal experience the ease of no longer having to ask the IT department in order to get access to specific tools, to get accesses validated for different systems, or having to ask an IT guy to come and actually install software on a laptop. Cloud allows for easier deployment and management in a controlled and secure environment.

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Cloud Computing in Banking Environment

Cloud is a distinct IT environment that remotely provides measured and scalable IT resources, and relies on a pool of shared physical and virtual resources rather than deployment of personal or local software and hardware. Cloud deployment offers great choice in choosing the management required and level of security, and hence is suitable for almost any business. Although there is no magic bullet that can meet all the requirements, cloud computing offers several advantages to the financial institutions. These benefits include:

Cost-saving– The large up-front capital expenditure can be turned into ongoing, smaller operational cost without any bulk investments in new software and hardware.

Business continuity– In cloud computing, the service provider manages the technology, and banking firms can have higher levels of fault tolerance, data protection and disaster recover. Cloud computing also offers a high level of back-up and redundancy at lower cost.

Usage-based billing– Institutions can pick and choose the services based on pay-as-you-go basis.

Business agility– As the cloud is available on demand, the infrastructure investment is minimized, saving the time for initial set-up. The development cycle for the new products is reduced, leading to more efficient and faster response to the customers.

Business focus– Financial firms can move non-critical services such as software patches, maintenance etc. to the cloud, and can focus on their core business areas, not IT.

Green IT– Transferring banking services to the cloud reduces carbon footprint and energy consumption, and there is minimized idle time with more efficient utilization of computing power.

Cloud Service Models

Cloud computing offers more flexible business models to the financial institutions which lowers operational costs. However, it is essential to select the cloud service model that best matches the core business requirements. These models are:

BPaaS– Business Process-as-a-service- Used for general processes such as payroll, billing, human resources etc.

SaaS– (Software-as-a-service) – Users can access the software and data from their browser, and business software and related data are housed by the cloud service provider. Accounting, enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relation management (CRM), human resource management, invoicing, service desk management and content management software can be delivered using this model.

IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-service) – Rather than purchasing software, servers, network equipment or data centre space, the businesses can buy these resources as fully outsourced services.

PaaS( Platform-as-a-service) – In this model, the cloud service provider offers a complete platform to the businesses to develop , run and manage their applications without engaging in the infrastructure complexities associated with application development and launch.
visual-model-of-cloud-computing
There are three types of commonly deployed clouds. Private cloud is operated specifically for a given company and is most secure of all options. The company may exist on or off the premises, and can be managed either by the company, or by a third party. Public clouds are for a large industry group or for the general public, and ownership lies with the cloud service seller. Hybrid infrastructure consists of two or more public or private clouds that are linked but remain unique entities.

Banking on the Cloud

Banking industry needs to address the ever-growing data input demands, and there is a need to explore the systems that do not rely on like-system migration so that infrastructure can be modified without any disruption. Banks have been slow in adopting cloud computing as there are apprehensions regarding lack of control and environment sprawl which can lead to reliability issues and security risks. Banks also want their financial data to be secured with controlled access. Public clouds come with the issues such as location, regulation, recoverability and liability, and this has led to slow adoption and deployment of cloud computing in the banking sector.

However, cloud computing can change the way consumers interact with banks, and migration to the suitable cloud computing model offer several benefits. Understanding the migration and entire process of migration can be quite beneficial in the long-term. The first step for the banking firms towards cloud computing adoption is opting for the private cloud as it gives banks more control, increased flexibility and reduced complexity. The banks can also alter their resource configuration to match the changes in the demand of their services. The risk of security breach in the private cloud is minimized as it is deployed within the firewall of the organisation. Using VPN (Virtual Private Network), the IT infrastructure of the company can be easily and quickly moved over a single private network. Using private clouds, banks can operate at high transaction volumes without slowing the processes and without overloading the network. The services become more efficient due to dedicated resources of each unit, improving the customer experience. Private clouds offer safety and affordability as the resources are rented, and not purchased. The total cost of ownership is reduced as the capital expenditure is converted to the operating expenditure. Private clouds are safe, affordable and enable easy transition in banking leading to long term success. Banking sector applications are very critical, private clouds provide increased security to ensure that the data is not misplaced or lost. Public clouds offer economies of scale, cost benefit and ROI, whereas private cloud offers high levels of security.

Given the concerns regarding control and security, banks can opt for incremental approach which involves using cloud computing to the non-core operations initially, and gradually move more and more operations and processes to the cloud depending on the benefits. Banks need to work on cloud reference architecture, and try to achieve business agility for business model transformation.

As there is no one-solution-fits-all option available, banks need to consider few key aspects. It is essential to thoroughly evaluate all the challenges and advantages associated with cloud computing with respect to their complete range of services- core and non-core. Additionally, geographic regulations, penalty clauses, business criticalities, interoperability and interface impact, audit requirement mandates, and technology are some of the aspects that must be thoroughly assessed. Choice of the cloud model must be evaluated based on the control of the governance and support provided by the service vendor. Non-core banking applications that do not need strict governance and stringent monitoring are suited for SaaS model, whereas IaaS is more suitable for the business critical applications that need to be closely monitored. Banks must keep in mind that the vendor must provide transparency in the security procedures and policies.

Conclusion

Banks these days offer a plethora of services, and hence they have varied requirements regarding the movement of applications to the cloud. Cloud computing can help banks create more agile and flexible business offerings for the competitive and growing markets, and help them transform their business processes. They can explore and grow into the new markets and sectors, and improve their services to the customers across different geographic locations, and integrate customer information and analytics.

Benefits of Cloud Computing – Idexcel Cloud Computing Roundup

1. Benefits of Cloud Computing

Based on Aberdeen Group’s Computer Intelligence Dataset, there are more than 1.6 billion permutations to choose from when it comes to cloud computing solutions.

So what, on the face of it, appears to be pretty simple is actually both complex and dynamic regardless of whether you’re in the market for networking, storage, servers, telephony, virtualisation or applications.

By making the right choices for your cloud computing technology you stand to benefit from improvements in profitability, improved time to decision, improvements in complete and on-time delivery and reduction in downtime. Read more…

2. The dirty dozen: 12 cloud security threats

Enterprises are no longer sitting on their hands, wondering if they should risk migrating applications and data to the cloud. They’re doing it — but security remains a serious concern.

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The first step in minimizing risk in the cloud is to identify the top security threats. Read more…

3. IoT revenues up 15%; cloud computing a big driver

A new report shows healthy revenues for 21 benchmarked Internet of Things (IoT) companies in the last quarter of 2015, with revenue growing by almost 15% to levels approaching $7 billion. Cloud computing and IT infrastructure are especially potent drivers of IoT revenues, as vendors help companies cope with ever increasing rivers of data. Read more…

4. Why banks are finally cashing in on the public cloud

The financial services industry has avoided entrusting its data to public cloud vendors, even as Amazon Web Services quietly acquired thousands of business users. Banks and insurance firms feared rigorous regulatory scrutiny should their data become compromised in a breach at one of their cloud vendors. Read more…

5. Jay Greene on Cloud Computing May Be Hampering Tech Spending

The transition to cloud computing – at the current snail pace doesn’t warrant ‘transformation’ rhetoric – may be getting a goose because of tightening finances in the corporate world. A time when the purported risks of cloud computing are moderated by companies hungry for cost-cutting. And that may be part of the slow-down in tech spending right now. Read more…