Cloud-based computing offers a range of advantages for businesses in comparison with legacy services. However, despite the apparent superiority, it remains a relatively unpopular option among consumers due to a number of concerns. The following paper outlines the benefits of switching to cloud-based services using the example of two companies that rely on the on-premise environment.
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Considering the issues in the current functioning of company A’s marketing platform, it is reasonable to identify several areas where cloud-based hosting would address the existing problems. First, cloud-based hosting offers a number of server provisioning options that significantly reduce the time necessary for initiating new marketing campaigns. For instance, it is possible to find a wide variety of prebuilt templates that include the components of a functional service, such as operating systems, storage environments, web servers, databases, and end-user software.
The functionality, complexity, and cost of these templates vary across providers, so it is reasonable to expect that company A can find an option that aligns with the goal of each new campaign. In addition, if the market does not offer a ready-made solution with all the necessary features at a reasonable price, it is also possible to find providers that offer their customers more customization options. One such option is an engine that allows manually adding script commands, operating system templates, network configuration templates, virtual machines, and software relevant to the final product. Such a solution reduces the time necessary for choosing the suitable package and reduces the cost by eliminating fees for redundant services.
Another aspect of cloud hosting that is expected to be beneficial for company A is the flexibility offered by cloud-based solutions. The current on-premise location of the servers creates noticeable restrictions for users who access the services from different regions and devices. On the other hand, cloud-based platforms support a wide variety of connection options. In addition, the accessibility can be further expanded by the deployment of components that facilitate the support of new devices.
For example, mobile platforms, which remain among the fastest-growing segment of personal devices with internet connectivity, can be added to the system relatively easily by the introduction of dedicated end-user software. Essentially, this means that the customers of the service will have access to the platform regardless of their current location. On the other hand, the company will be able to manage the connectivity more efficiently by adding a layer of monitoring and control to the service (Hashizume, Rosado, Fernández-Medina, & Fernandez, 2013).
It is also worth noting that cloud-based systems have greater workload distribution capacity, which means that the connectivity and bandwidth used by different regions can be adjusted dynamically. By accounting for idle segments of the network, it will be possible to allocate unused resources to the overloaded segments, improving user experience (Xiao, Song, & Chen, 2013).
It should also be mentioned that the scaling capacity of the cloud-based platforms will ensure that the issue of increasing distribution of the service customers can be easily addressed in the future. The resources offered by cloud services are not limited to specific hardware and can be adjusted easier and quicker than their on-premise counterparts. In other words, if an additional round of acquisitions results in another major increase of the customer base, it will not be necessary to update the server hardware – instead, the expansion can be achieved in a relatively seamless fashion and without delay.
Finally, it is important to acknowledge cost-efficiency as one of the characteristics of cloud-based services. First, as was mentioned above, the modular system eliminates the need to pay for the functionality that is not used on the platform. Consequently, as the operations conducted on the platform increase in scope and complexity, it becomes possible to address the emerging need relatively easily by adjusting the setup on the fly without the need to disrupt the ongoing operations.
In addition, the independence from physical software allows for more efficient resource allocation among the consumers. For instance, it is possible to provide each consumer with the exact volume of free space for storing personal data that is required on an individual basis. Thus, while the initial price of switching to a cloud-based platform is relatively high, it is expected to result in significant savings in the long term.
Considering the information above, it will be equally viable for company B to move its operations to cloud-based hosting. First, the cost considerations can be addressed through the use of the pay-as-you-go approach. The flat fee that is currently in use puts the inactive users at a disadvantage. A cloud-based system, on the other hand, eliminates the unsubstantiated expenses while at the same time covering the possibility of spikes in performance.
The second major advantage is the security of the platform. The threat of cyber attacks that compromise the safety and functionality of the services can be efficiently addressed by locating the data in a cloud. Admittedly, the security of cloud-based systems has been questioned on several occasions in recent years due to a number of major data breaches (Ramachandran & Chang, 2016). Nevertheless, the security systems on a decentralized service are managed by the provider and incorporate a number of safety measures that are difficult to implement on the on-premise platforms.
As can be seen from the information above, switching to a cloud-based hosting platform will address the problems of both companies. While the initial switching costs will likely be high, the long-term ROI will cover the expenses. In addition, it is reasonable to expect that the move will prevent some of the possible future challenges.
Hashizume, K., Rosado, D. G., Fernández-Medina, E., & Fernandez, E. B. (2013). An analysis of security issues for cloud computing. Journal of Internet Services and Applications, 4(5), 1-13.
Ramachandran, M., & Chang, V. (2016). Towards performance evaluation of cloud service providers for cloud data security. International Journal of Information Management, 36(4), 618-625.
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Xiao, Z., Song, W., & Chen, Q. (2013). Dynamic resource allocation using virtual machines for cloud computing environment. IEEE Transactions on Parallel and Distributed Systems, 24(6), 1107-1117.