The word "cloud" means different things to different people. When we talk about "cloud" in this context of data storage, servers, databases, networking, and software through the Internet, we refer to what is known as cloud computing. This type of cloud provides access to cloud infrastructure that powers applications and access to business data. It gives SMBs access to enterprise-grade technology at a fraction of the cost.
But there is still a significant amount of confusion about which type of cloud structure a business really needs. In this blog, we will tackle two questions:
- What type of cloud services exists?
- What are some of the misconceptions around the cloud that confuse business leaders?
Different Types of Cloud Computing Services
1. Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
IaaS is an economical cloud solution for businesses that eliminates capital expenditure and replaces premise-based servers, storage, networking, and phones by moving them to a data center where they are maintained and accessed online. Common business applications for IaaS include testing and development, website hosting, back-up and recovery, high-performance computing, and data analysis. IaaS creates a high-performing environment at a set monthly price, making it a popular alternative for small businesses.
2. Platform as a Service (PaaS)
PaaS provides an environment that allows users to build internet applications and services, from simple apps to sophisticated enterprise applications. PaaS offers all the same services like IaaS, with an additional layer of middleware, development tools, business intelligence services, and database management (among other services), frequently used by software and web developers.
3. Software as a Service (SaaS)
Most business leaders are familiar with SaaS services in email, calendars, web conferencing tools, project tracking, and office productivity tools such as Microsoft Office 365. Customers pay only for the software they use and have access to highly sophisticated applications without the burden or expense of developing and maintaining upgrades. Nearly every business has invested in some SaaS service.
4. Back-up as a Service (BaaS)
Back-up as a service is backing up data into the cloud and storing it at a data center. Instead of worrying about rotating and managing tapes or hard disks from an offsite location, data is maintained by a 3rd party provider with redundant and secure locations. BaaS also serves to protect businesses from data loss in the case of a natural or unforeseeable disaster.
5. Cyber-Security as a Service (CSaaS)
Cyber Security as a Service refers to outsourcing information security tasks to a technology partner who monitors and maintains your data's security. CSaaS might include a security operations center (SOC), security monitoring and threat detection, and events management (SIEM) systems. For companies with high data sensitivity, this may be the only layer of protection from sophisticated hackers. Businesses of any size should consider working with a Managed IT provider to develop their own Cyber Security plan regardless of whether it lives in the Cloud or onsite.
6. Desktop and Workstation as a Service (DaaS or WaaS)
Desktop and Workstation as a Service provide employees with a virtual (online) connection to their desktop, business-related information, applications, and data from a virtual sign-on. The advantages include cost savings (thanks to the licensing model), protection of sensitive corporate data (since data is no longer stored locally on the device), secure access to the company's data, simple and fast provisioning, high scalability from any device.
7. Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)
DRaaS uses cloud resources to safeguard and protect applications from disruption and loss. Data loss and disruption are major concerns for all sizes because downtime can be costly to the point of ruin. If a system goes down, backed-up data must be accessible in the shortest amount of time possible so that employees can access both the network and data quickly.
How can we help you?
At Blue Fox Group, we help business leaders find more time to work on high-priority tasks, reduce costs over time and work from an IT Roadmap that increases margins, plans for IT spend and reduces error in a very systematic way. But even more important than what we do, here's what we don't do:
- Give you advice without a strategy. Advice without a strategy is a blind sales pitch, and we are not salespeople. We are business and IT consultants. Every IT decision has an impact on daily operations. Providing IT support without assessing the impact on the business will only lead to more costs over time.
- Sell you REACTIVE support. Reactive support must react to problems and emergencies, and while we do provide reactive support when needed, this is not the premise for working with you. Instead, we proactively detect and manage your environment from a known set of implemented standards and processes. When standards and best practices are in place, they reduce reactive to noise, lowering the frequency of surprises and interruptions that eat time and money.
- Only fix what is broken. Most of the time, an IT issue is symptomatic of a bigger issue. You don’t want an IT partner who only patches the dam, meaning you don’t want an IT partner that only fixes what is broken. We are the partner who will help you establish standards, identify risk and manage business outcomes.
- Compete on price. We want to make an impactful difference to your business by aligning our IT consulting, best practices, and expertise to your stated business outcomes. Once those are established, we work backward to build a set of standards that manage business outcomes and manage risk. What you get back in time, productivity and outcome should be immeasurably more than your investment into our services. We compete on value, not price.