What Is Cloud Computing? A Basic Definition of Saas – Pros And Cons
“The Cloud“, “in the cloud” has become very popular words recently and this is not accidental. Have you ever wondered what “moving to the cloud” means … going to the paradise, maybe? Yes, probably, but as far as this site stays business oriented, we won’t consider it in this aspect :). OK, let’s move to the matter… cloud computing has nothing to do with angels and paradise, except that, they will probably use it soon, too. Yes, this appears to be the next hot sector of the IT industry in the world. Everything has been moving to the ‘cloud’ for the last several years and this is why extremely important for everyone to know its basics.
Cloud Computing Explained…
Okay, “cloud” means a server located anywhere on the globe, maintained by a team of good professionals, and giving you the chance to use it from your own computer (no matter if it’s a desktop, mobile or anything else). It’s accessible through the Internet from everywhere, from any device, it’s fast, it’s reliable and the most important – It’s CHEAP. Cloud computing has put a new age in software industry called Saas, or Software As A Service. Moving just the hardware on a remote server is just half of the game. Moving the software working on the ‘cloud hardware’ is what actually Saas is. So, using the cloud simply means using remote hardware and software through the Internet. Usually, you don’t buy the remote hardware and software, but you pay for them on a monthly basis, just like you are renting them.
Why should one use remote software and hardware instead of installing everything on her computer?
This is probably the following question after reading all from above. Well, the answer is simple. You should use the cloud because it has so many advantages.
Pros and Cons of Cloud computing (Advantages and Disadvantages)
1. It’s cheap – a license for a software may cost really much and it may be really expensive to buy it. If you use it in the cloud, you actually pay a monthly rent for it which is substantially cheaper option in the short run. Also, you don’t need to pay for people to administer your server or maintain your software. it’s all included in the rent and you get high skilled professionals doing that. You don’t but hardware, too. Cloud computing lets you start using cutting-edge software and hardware with extremely low starting budget, but in some cases, it may be the more expensive option (see the cons).
2. You pay for what you use – cloud services can easily be expanded or collapsed. If you need another license of a software, you can just pay the additional rent for it. You don’t have to buy it and pay its full price. If you need to reduce your licenses, you just stop renting them and pay for just what you use.
3. It’s accessible – you can use your ‘cloud’ from everywhere with an available Internet connection. You can use it usually from any device and operating system.
4. It’s secure – the administrator of the cloud services are highly skilled and professionally focused guys and gals. If you want to achieve such a security for your in-home/in office server, you need to pay big time for good employees and other devices such as UPSes to achieve it. all of this is included in the rent of a cloud service and it’s much more affordable.
5. You are always up to date – cloud services usually use the latest version of software and hardware components to stay competitive. If you have to this in your office, it will be much more expensive.
1. You don’t have full control over your server and software – you may want to use an old version of the software, but your cloud vendor will upgrade it without asking you. They will do this for good, but no every time their good is your good. You always have to conform and adapt to some things
2. It’s more expensive in the long run – in the long run, cloud computing can be more costly than buying and maintaining everything yourself, but this is just in some cases.
3. Risk of unauthorized access – as all your files and data are in the cloud and managed by other people, there is always a risk for someone having unauthorized access to them. It’s small, but it’s there.
4. You need the Internet – if you don’t have an Internet connection, you will not be able to use your Saas/cloud service.
So, these from above are some of the main advantages and disadvantages of cloud computing and Saas. You can browse the internet to find some more if you need to.
If you are having a server with your software in the office, you also have to pay for a whole team of IT specialists to configure, maintain, repair and update the software. Also, the software itself could be really expensive, especially if we are talking about an ERP system for instance. And if all of this stuff is not organized well, this could turn into a nightmare for the company…
Here comes “the cloud” as a solution to all of these problems! You will never need to take up any more of your time with hardware and software! You will just use them as intended! Also, applications based in the cloud can be up and running for months and even years, they will always be updated on time and secured properly.
As you see there are many benefits from cloud computing services. They are most commonly used with ERP and CRM apps, and other specialized programs, which are relatively expensive, but soon even notepad will be used in the cloud. This is really important for smaller companies, which can not afford ERP software. According to some forecasts, during the next five years, there will be a boom in cloud services around the world. The “cloud market” is expected to increase 5 times in some countries!
Experton Group, a company making market researches, expects the German cloud market to reach more than 8 billion in 2015, from 1,13 billion in 2010.
MarketsandsMarkets expect that the cloud-computing market will more than double in 2015 reaching more than $121 billion, from $37 billion in 2011.
In the UK, the market is also expected to double in the next five years, by the company TechMarketView
Gartner, another researching company, predicts that the average growth of the SaaS ( software as a service ) world market will be around 16% for the next several years!
Also just have a look at the increase in the number of searches for “cloud computing” with Google!
It is going to be a hot business idea for the next several years. If you haven’t thought about such a business, I think you should! This market has already started to grow rapidly and is expected to do so for at least five years.
Read more about cloud computing here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloud_computing