Cloud computing is the common term used for the on-demand delivery of a range of computing resources over remote networks. It removes the need to run and manage physical hardware on-site, allowing businesses to work more flexibly and scale up their infrastructure easily and affordably.

Cloud computing is increasingly important and popular thanks to the agility it offers – we will be exploring the following advantages:

  1. Cost savings
  2. Advanced security
  3. Improved flexibility
  4. Decentralised collaboration
  5. Mobility
  6. Increased scalability
  7. Environmental efficiency
  8. High performance
  9. Disaster recovery

In an age of increasing cyber threats, enhanced security is one of the key advantages of cloud computing. Research shows 94% of businesses that switched to the cloud have seen an improvement in security and 91% say the cloud makes compliance easier to manage.

Cloud computing would not be possible without data centres providing the connectivity, capacity and computing power all in one managed environment accessible over the internet. Data centre providers such as Telehouse offer a range of connectivity services for businesses of all types and sizes.

What is cloud computing used for? 

There are various uses of cloud computing in business – the key ones being cloud storage, cloud backup, software as a service and cloud hosting. The benefits you reap from cloud computing will depend on the technology you are using it for.

Cloud storage

Cloud storage allows businesses to store their data on a server in a data centre and access it remotely via the internet or through a direct, dedicated connection. The servers can be owned and managed by a cloud service provider that the business pays a subscription fee to. Alternatively, the servers can be supplied by the data centre operator with the business paying the operator to maintain them. Another model is for the business to supply and maintain the servers and pay the data centre operator for the rack space that server sits in.

Cloud backup

Cloud backup, sometimes referred to as remote backup, is a method of data backup that stores a copy of the business’ data on a remote server that guarantees 24/7 uptime. This service provides businesses with the peace of mind that all of their data is available on the remote server in the event of a disaster such as their primary servers going down and their data and files being lost.

Software as a Service (SaaS)

Software as a Service removes the requirement for businesses to pay outright for a piece of software that has to be installed and managed on its own systems. Instead, the software is accessed over the internet from a centrally hosted location. This on-demand model requires the business to pay a subscription and is a flexible approach to using world-class software without the traditional disadvantages such as high costs and the need for additional storage space.

Cloud hosting

Cloud hosting is a popular alternative to traditional hosting. Instead of relying on a single server for a website or application, cloud hosting balances the load across multiple servers to prevent downtime. If one server goes down, there are multiple others ready to pick up the load and keep the website or application running seamlessly.

What other types of cloud services do businesses use?

In addition to SaaS, Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS) are popular cloud computing services.

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)

IaaS replaces all the physical hardware traditionally required for IT infrastructure and replaces it with virtual services. This allows businesses to simplify how they handle different workload requirements using a range of configurations. The two main IaaS providers are Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

  • Platform as a Service (PaaS)

PaaS provides virtual infrastructure like IaaS, but as part of a wider cloud-based development environment for building, deploying and managing web applications. This also includes development tools, database management systems, middleware and business intelligence (BI) tools.

The benefits of cloud computing

From cost savings to improved performance and a reduced carbon footprint, there are many advantages of cloud computing.

Cost savings 

While the initial cost to move to cloud computing might be high, the process can significantly reduce costs. Once you’re on the cloud, the requirement for owning, running and maintaining on-site servers and infrastructure is removed. Businesses only pay cloud providers for the resources they actually need meaning if you don’t use the data storage space or the full extent of the services offered, you won’t have to pay for it.

Additionally there is a time saving benefit – the cloud’s many benefits reduces the time spent on maintenance, which can be used to focus on strategic work.

Advanced Security

It seems contradictory that moving your files off site will keep them more secure, however cloud security and encryption is much stronger than anything onsite. Cloud providers and data centre operators place a huge emphasis on security in all of the services and solutions they offer. Their security measures will be significantly more advanced and robust than a typical in-house system a business might traditionally use. Data stored in data centres and travelling across cloud networks is encrypted making it much harder to access for unauthorised individuals.

Improved Flexibility 

An in-house IT team has limited time  allocate to any given project – with an agency in charge of hosting, cloud computing grants an in house team more time to focus on other work. With the help of cloud computing technology companies can be more agile, reacting fast to current business needs as they arise. The outcome is not just increased efficiency of business operations, but perhaps more importantly – a competitive edge.

Decentralised Collaboration

Cloud services enable straightforward collaboration between people across the business, wherever they are located. Having every document, file and application available on-demand in the cloud environment removes traditional barriers such as having to have everybody working together in one centralised location. In an increasingly remote world where working from home in encouraged, this can help boost productivity as well as employee retention through flexible work arrangements.

Staying Mobile

Similar to decentralised collaboration, the cloud gives a team the ability to access their work documents on the go. Employees are able to access documents using their smart phones or tablets so they can work anywhere, anytime. In the short run this will help with the day to day business efficiency but in the long run, increased flexibility helps to improve work life balance which leads to higher staff retention.

Increased Scalability

Cloud computing provides unrivalled scalability through additional storage space, computing power and virtual resources whenever a business needs it. As businesses only pay for the resources they actually need, they can make changes to their package quickly. This means a business can be reactive to changes in performance and the market, – for example a sudden up lift in demand could be met with additional computing power all within the same week. With such quick turnaround times, a business can gain a competitive edge and scale up or scale down quickly, easily and cost-effectively.

Environmental efficiency

Data centres are designed to be as energy-efficient as possible. Not only does this help to reduce operational costs but also it means businesses using cloud services hosted in data centres can reduce their carbon footprints, helping them to operate more sustainably and demonstrate their commitment to the environment. By moving to a cloud computing approach, businesses contribute towards reducing their carbon footprint and move towards a greener way of running.

High performance

Cloud computing brings agility and quality control that cannot be achieved in silos. The agility that cloud computing brings to businesses helps to boost productivity by improving the speed of applications, minimising downtime and ensuring optimum performance, even under heavy loads.

Disaster recovery

Businesses look to disaster recovery solutions to prevent downtime and loss of critical data and applications, but traditional disaster recovery programmes can be costly and complex to set up. Cloud computing provides simpler, more cost-effective disaster recovery by effectively mirroring stored data across different servers, allowing businesses to access backup servers if the primary server should fail. Additionally, the cloud can recover data much quicker and with an outside company managing the account, it will minimise the effect on the day to day running of the business.

Challenges of cloud computing

Cloud computing can come with drawbacks when working with a less-reputable cloud services provider. The most common disadvantages of cloud computing are implementation and security. Implementing cloud technology can be complex and requires the right knowledge, skills and support, both before and after the implementation. Security is rightly a common concern, but a reputable cloud service provider will be able to demonstrate robust, best-in-class security measures.

Why choose Telehouse’s cloud services?

There are many cloud solutions and providers to choose from, but it’s worthwhile choosing a provider that has proven experience. At Telehouse, not only do we have 30 years of experience as a data centre provider, we provide cloud connectivity services to leading organisations worldwide. Among our many marks of excellence are:

  • Low-latency connections to a range of partners including leading cloud service providers and internet exchanges
  • Direct, resilient links to Microsoft Azure ExpressRoute and Amazon Web Services Direct Connect
  • Expert support and managed services for migration, infrastructure and more
  • Our data centres are 100% powered by renewable energy
  • 3,000+ customers worldwide
  • 40+ sites in more than 10 countries around the world
  • 99.999% uptime SLA

The benefits of cloud computing for business are clear

The potential of cloud computing for business has never been clearer. The cloud provides many benefits including cost reduction, improved performance and enhanced security, and it allows flexibility and scalability.

If you are looking for managed cloud hosting solutions, please check out our range of cloud connectivity services.

Contact us

Telehouse International Corporation of Europe, Coriander Avenue, London, E14 2AA
T: +44 (0) 20 7512 0550
E: [email protected]