5 Types of Cloud Tech for SMBs
August 31, 2022
Many small and medium-sized businesses turn to cloud technology for their information technology (IT) infrastructure—and for good reason! Cloud tech provides many benefits over hosting everything locally on your own servers, saving businesses time and money while improving their IT flexibility and, in many cases, being more secure than locally-managed solutions.
Cloud-based services are a major component of many IT solutions. Ready to make the switch? Learn more about the different types of cloud tech, which cloud solutions are best for your business, and how to implement cloud technology.
What Is the "Cloud?"
The cloud refers to servers that are accessible via the internet, as well as the databases and software that run on said servers. Cloud servers are housed in a data center (a facility that hosts various computers on a shared network) so that their customers do not have to worry about managing a physical server. Instead of running applications via locally-installed, managed, and maintained machines, it’s all managed online.
5 Types of Cloud Tech for SMBs
Hosting your files locally or on-premise provides less flexibility for your business IT. Whether you’re in need of new software, platform, or infrastructure solutions, there are cloud-based services that can benefit any business.
Software as a service (SaaS) is a way of providing software to users via cloud technology. SaaS applications are purchased as subscriptions and you can log into them from anywhere rather than having to install them on an individual device. SaaS applications are typically run via web browsers or apps.
With SaaS software, it is more like a service than a product because the provider handles the databases, coding, and maintenance for the program to run. SaaS application users can often receive troubleshooting from the program’s support team for issues.
A great example of a SaaS application is an email server. If you use Gmail or Office 365, you can access your email either via an Internet browser or an app on your cell phone. If you run into an issue, then you could contact Google or Microsoft’s support teams directly.
Platform as a service (PaaS) offers full technology platforms as a service via cloud servers. PaaS includes developing and deploying an environment with cloud solutions, infrastructures, middleware, and business analytics.
With PaaS solutions, the user manages the servers and applications they develop with the platform. The cloud service provider handles everything else. PaaS is especially beneficial for businesses looking to develop their own framework or looking for deeper business intelligence and analytics.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is a cloud computing service model that functions similarly to PaaS. IaaS offers computing, network, and storage services. This typically includes server storage, firewalls and security for your network, and a data center to manage your server via the cloud.
IaaS solutions give the user more control over the environment than PaaS solutions. This provides an affordable alternative to building out a large on-prem data center and having to manage and maintain the hardware internally.
IaaS is best for companies looking to migrate their own applications to cloud servers, test and develop environments, and support web applications and high-performance computing.
SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS all reley on cloud hosting. Cloud hosting is when your server is hosted in the data center rather than being stored locally on your own devices. Cloud hosting uses a pay-as-you-go model and supports SQL and NoSQL databases.
Remote backups allow you to store and recover files via cloud servers. This is especially useful in emergency situations, like if a hacker gets control of your files or if you lose access to them for any reason. Remote backups make it fast and easy to restore your data by hosting a backup of your server on the cloud.
For example, say that a ransomware attack is used against your primary on-prem data center. This normally renders all of your data unreadable and useless. However, with a remote backup, you could reformat your data storage and redownload an uncorrupted version of your data from the cloud-based backup.
Benefits of Using Cloud Technology
Beyond being flexible and scalable, there are a few major benefits for small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) that use cloud solutions.
- Cloud technology reduces your costs. Using cloud-based solutions requires significantly fewer Infrastructure costs, plus a smaller initial investment compared to hosting your own servers on-premises. Plus, with pay-as-you-go models and monthly plans, you know exactly what you’re spending every month. Hosting your own servers locally means not only purchasing the software but also having to pay for staff and repair crews that charge by the hour. With cloud solutions, your monthly costs are predictable.
- Cloud tech grants access to real-time data. Cloud solutions enable you and your team to leverage real-time data. Plus, remote access encourages your team members to work closely together rather than function as independent silos. This creates more collaboration and the ability to make better business decisions backed by the most accurate, up-to-date data.
- It’s easy to recover after a crisis. Saving your backup to your computer locally provides less security than a remote backup. If you store your data locally and are the victim of a ransomware attack, for example, you could risk losing everything—backup included. Remote backups make it easier and safer to get back online and reduce unplanned IT downtime.
Get Help Implementing New Cloud Tech
If you’re ready to migrate to a cloud server, IT Proactive is here to help with secure remote access. Our professional technicians offer 24/7 support and secure access to your data center, cloud, and SaaS resources from a single portal.
If you already have an existing IT department, our team at IT Proactive can integrate with your own to ensure seamless setup and transition into your cloud software. Get a free assessment today.