Leveraging the Cloud Computing Benefits for Developing Economies
IBM’s cloud computing delivery model enables real-time delivery of configurable, highly scalable computing resources over the internet to multiple organizations.
By Syed Ahsan Baqi02/06/2016
IBM’s cloud computing delivery model is structured to enable real-time delivery of configurable highly scalable computing resources over the internet to multiple organizations, enabling them to pay-per-use while eliminating the associated resources and cost to build and operate an infrastructure. IBM’s cloud delivery models have helped organizations scale their investments as they grow their business.
Economies of the developing countries continue to face challenges like energy shortages, floods, deprived law and order situations, and a host of other structural impediments, which have held back investment and growth in these countries. Small and medium-sized organizations are playing a vital role in these developing economies. According to Asia-Pacific Co-operation (APEC), small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) represent the backbone of the region’s economy, making up 90 percent of all businesses operating in the Asia-Pacific region. Despite this significant contribution, the SMEs still face many challenges and obstacles that prevent them from further expanding their businesses and obtaining sustainable growth. However, various models of cloud computing can be applied to address the challenges faced by the SMEs in establishing a reliable infrastructure as cloud computing has the potential to bring significant benefits.
This article explores various models of cloud services which can be beneficial to the small businesses by reducing the costs of investment.
Models of Cloud Services
The three common models of cloud services, software-as-a-service’ (SaaS), platform-as-a- service (PaaS) and infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), are explained below in detail:
• Cloud-based applications—or software as a service (SaaS)—run on computers “in the cloud” that are owned and operated by others. Users connect to them using their computers via the Internet usually via a web browser.. Businesses using SaaS have no need to purchase, install, update or maintain software, as this is handled by the service providers. In addition, the service dynamically scales to the usage needs of the company and cloud-based applications are frequently faster to implement and more flexible to adapt and update.
• PaaS provides a cloud-based environment with everything required to support the complete lifecycle of building and delivering web-based (cloud) applications without the cost and complexity of buying and managing the underlying hardware, software, provisioning and hosting. This allows businesses to develop applications and make them available faster, deploy new web applications to the cloud in minutes and reduce complexity with middleware as a service. The growing trend toward modular software with published APIs will enhance the speed and flexibility that cloud already offers.
• IaaS provides organizations with computing resources including servers, networking, storage and data center space on a pay-per-use basis, often to run existing workloads.
The 5 Benefits of Cloud Adoption
Cloud computing offers the potential for enhanced efficiency and enables the small enterprises to outsource the IT skills that they would otherwise have to provide internally while focusing on their core business. Companies can benefit from greater storage and computing capacity as well as the expertise of cloud service providers in areas such as IT management and security. Other benefits include:
1. Speed, agility, scalability and cost efficiency
Cloud enables faster delivery of services and can help improve agility along with scalability, which allows the businesses to address the growing demand. It also enables the SMEs to reduce their server footprint, which was previously required to run their business. This involves the replacement of current client/server software with a cloud-based solution and decommissioning of the legacy server environment, resulting in cost reduction through energy savings, eliminated need for continual refresh of the server environment, reduction of staff needed to support the servers, lowering of stress on the company’s data protection and backup solution, etc.
2. Disaster recovery
All types of businesses generate and manage large volumes of electronic data related to the day-to-day operations of the business activities. Much of that data is important, while to a certain extent it is also vital to the survival and continued operation of the business. The impact of data loss or corruption from hardware failure, human error, hacking or malware could be significant and cause a direct impact on the business. Cloud is now helping SMEs to implement cloud-based backup and recovery solutions while saving time and avoiding large up-front investment.
3. Mobility and increased collaboration
Cloud computing provides more flexibility by offering mobile apps to elevate the restriction associated with the traditional computing models. Employees and business owners can connect to their businesses if they have an internet connection. It also increases the teams’ productivity by allowing real-time access to the documents and giving the personnel secure access to edit and share with their colleagues.
Most of the today’s SMEs rely on laptops and desktop computers where the loss or theft of sensitive data stored inside could be catastrophic to a business survival. Cloud computing can provide greater security and flexibility against such threats as your data is stored in the cloud and can be accessed securely. While your data is stored in the cloud, you can remotely remove data from lost/stolen machines to protect it from getting into the wrong hands. Moreover, with the right measures in place, information stored in the cloud is often more secure because systems used to manage cloud security are typically more robust than those used in traditional environments. Thus, with the right cloud management platform, authentication procedures and services framework, governments can guard sensitive data while also increasing collaboration.
5. Environmentally friendly.
Data centers that utilize cloud technologies can be more environmentally efficient than traditional data centers. Energy is usually lost through server underutilization because, most of the time, these servers remains in idle mode. In a cloud environment, the system is managed to run at the highest efficiency by consolidation and virtualization. Moreover, proper data center planning allows better power utilization. In traditional data centers, there can be cooling problems and data center owners can run out of space to accommodate more servers to cater the increasing demands. The Green Grid, a non-profit organization that works to improve data center resource efficiency, also assures that its members optimize their data centers to minimize power consumption. Most importantly, service providers in cloud computing need to keep their expenses down, so they must ensure there is no waste of energy. Their focus is on performance, so they provide the maximum number of services with the least resources, energy included, which ultimately results in lower costs to the customer.
IBM cloud ensures seamless integration into public and private cloud environments. The infrastructure is secure, scalable and flexible, providing customized enterprise solutions that have made IBM cloud a hybrid cloud market leader. For additional details about both the business and technical aspects of cloud computing, visit ibm.com/cloud.
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Syed Ahsan Baqi is an experienced engineering consultant, business analyst and solution architect for mission-critical and data center facilities.