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Data> Big Data 03 Jan 2018

Cloud computing: What is it and how can I benefit from it?

Cloud computing offers online computing services. This is the basic definition of a technology that has played a key role in the digital transformation of many sectors, including the financial sector. Managing services on the cloud was never so easy and fast.

Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of computing services, such as data storage, applications and other resources over the internet under a pay-per-use model. The key to this technology is that the data is provided from an external server, so the user doesn’t need to have a large infrastructure to enjoy the services.

As explained by Amazon, one of the leading cloud service providers, the advantages offered by this storage make it a fast, secure and regulated method.

A cloud platform for every need

Cloud computing can be classified according to each user’s cloud requirements:

  • Public cloud: it´s faster and easier to manage than the other clouds. One example would be Google App Engine.
  • Private cloud: it is adequate for a company that wants to manage its own hardware and storage. It's a non-shared resource. Companies like Dell and Citrix offer management services.
  • Hybrid cloud: the combination of the two previous clouds.

Each type of cloud is adapted to each organization’s needs at that time. If the pry is to outsource the services or quickly put them on the market, the most appropriate choice is the public cloud. However, if the applications are part of the company’s core business or there the sector is subject to strict regulations, the best option is the private cloud.

The triumph of the hybrid cloud

Companies have seen the use for this type of cloud. Combining the advantages of private and public clouds, it allows organizations to save on costs and space, given that the confidential data will go on the internal cloud itself. That is, the most basic or routine tasks can be run on the hybrid cloud, while the most critical and important content is protected by the company’s firewall.

Changing cloud platforms may not even be necessary. Most managers incorporate SaaS (software as a service) applications to create private clouds within their servers. Coca-Cola and NASA were the first big brands to commit to this type of technology, although today, nearly all companies use it. For example, a business e-mail stored on Google (Gmail) or its storage platform, Google Drive, now use this cloud computing. Even internal social media and notice boards have this technological development.

Commerce is now on a cloud

Last year, Orange Foundation published the study “The digital transformation in the retail sector”. The study analyzed how the new opportunities and business models that the cloud offers the commerce sector have intensified due to two factors: everyone (both clients and the competition) is online; and consumers expect to find online the products they need.

In fact, the deployment of cloud-based systems allows improving relationships with customers, who are becoming more and more used to sharing their feedback on social media and the companies’ websites. The analytics and big data capabilities that come with cloud computing are essential to gather opinions and respond to users’ demands. This innovation also allows companies to improve their efficiency, as cloud-based services allow cutting management costs from global points of sale or test new online business models.