Cloud computing is becoming more and more popular. Every day, more companies are turning away from traditional IT infrastructures and corporate data centers. Instead, they're flocking to cloud services and platforms — but why?
In this article, we'll explore the many benefits behind cloud computing's popularity. But first, let's look at what cloud computing is.
What is cloud computing?
Every business needs some sort of IT infrastructure. Think about the many different types of files that employees need to access. The large amounts of data stored in databases. The email and other software that needs to be installed on company devices.
In the past, companies managed the hardware and software behind their servers, databases, and networks in a physical data center.
Cloud computing changed all of this. By delivering computing services like software, analytics, servers, storage, and more, over the Internet, cloud services like AWS (Amazon Web Services) save businesses the time, money, and other resources they'd otherwise dedicate to maintaining their IT infrastructure.
There are several different types of cloud services, ranging from Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) to Software as a Service (Saas). In another post, we take a closer look at what cloud computing is.
7 benefits of cloud computing
Cloud computing offers many benefits — so much so that more and more businesses are migrating their infrastructures and data to cloud services and platforms. Some startups rely entirely on cloud computing for benefits like:
The IT needs of every company are different. For example, a big tech company with thousands of employees needs different resources than a startup with only three. Cloud providers are a perfect solution for either company because their services can be scaled to meet their needs.
This scaling can be done in a matter of seconds or minutes, which is great for a company that's growing quickly. As demands increase, a business can quickly scale its cloud-based infrastructure without investing in physical components.
While the initial migration of existing infrastructure may take planning, money, and time, most businesses see cost savings in using cloud services right away. Since cloud computing resources can be sized to a business's needs, they never pay for more than they use. It's a pay-as-you-go system.
In contrast, many on-site data centers have more resources than they need. This is largely for preventative reasons — it's better to be overprepared than underprepared when things go wrong. But, with cloud computing and its scalable services, a business never has to pay for more than they need.
Along with saving time and resources, cloud computing has also sped up software development. Setting up a new development environment or virtual machine on a cloud can be done in seconds with the click of a few buttons. With a traditional data center, you'd have to purchase, install, and maintain all the required hardware.
Cloud services are fast. With a traditional data center, users have to connect to that one data center no matter where they're located in the world. A cloud service, on the other hand, can be distributed across the world, so users get a fast connection close to their geographical location.
Cloud computing improves productivity in many ways:
- As we explained earlier, eliminating the need for infrastructure maintenance allows your IT staff to focus on business-related tasks.
- It makes software development, testing, and deployment quicker and easier.
- It provides a worldwide network of services that can be easily accessed by remote employees.
Because providing modern IT infrastructure is their business, cloud providers keep data centers updated with the latest high-performance hardware and technologies. This enables better connectivity and performance.
Cybersecurity is a big concern of any business. Data breaches can damage an enterprise's revenue, reputation, and even its clients. Cloud services resolve this by managing permissions and access to the services and resources they provide. For example, you could restrict access to an important file to a specific set of users.
7. Disaster recovery
Losing data can be just as bad for a business as having a data breach. Storing data on the cloud ensures that it's always available, even if a laptop or mobile device gets lost or damaged.
Cloud providers also provide backup systems for files, databases, source code, and more. In a worst-case scenario, any lost data can be restored from backups in no time.
If you're into coding, chances are you'll run into cloud computing in your career. It's where most businesses host their infrastructure — and after looking at all of its advantages, it's easy to see why. Cloud computing saves money, increases productivity, is available from anywhere, 24/7, and much more.
What does this mean to a developer? It means it makes your job a lot easier. When it comes to writing code, not much has changed. You can still develop apps with the same technologies and languages you're already using. The cloud just provides an easier way to deploy, test, and run your code. It also makes it possible to work remotely from anywhere in the world.
Ready to start working with the cloud? If you're looking to build server-side applications that run in cloud environments, check out our Back-End Engineer Career Path. We'll teach you how to build your own applications, APIs, databases, and more.