A QUICK SUMMARY – FOR THE BUSY ONES
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What are the biggest fears of entrepreneurs? Loss of data, high investment costs, image crisis, business stagnation, loss of market position, and wasting resources. The causes of such problems can be many, but there is one technology specifically designed to help solve them all. It’s called enterprise cloud computing.
Enterprise cloud computing is the process of using virtualized IT resources such as external servers, processing power, data storage capacity, databases, developer tools, and networking infrastructure by companies and organizations. Cloud solutions are provided by third-party vendors, most often on a subscription basis or in a pay-as-you-go model in which the customer pays only for the resources used.
The biggest concern for businesses when introducing cloud solutions is security. Enterprise cloud computing is no different from other technologies in this respect - they are secure IF users, developers, and providers follow security procedures. When these procedures are neglected, data can be compromised. However, the same problem also applies to local servers, external drives, electronic equipment, and other places where data is stored, not just the cloud.
Cloud service providers implement various security measures, such as encryption, firewalls, multi-factor authentication, and access controls, to protect their clients' data and infrastructure. Such service providers invest heavily in improving the security of cloud solutions. Businesses can also adopt additional security measures, such as data backup, disaster recovery, cloud security monitoring, and regular audits, to enhance their cloud security.
A trusted service provider, an experienced consulting company, and education of employees working with data will ensure the security of enterprise cloud computing.
Moving to cloud is a part of digital transformation for many enterprises.
One of the main reasons why enterprises are moving to the cloud is business growth. Cloud solutions allow the platform to quickly prepare for increased traffic and serve more customers without sacrificing quality, allowing the business to thrive faster. According to 74% of Tech Chief Financial Officers, cloud computing had the most measurable impact on their business. There must be something in it!
The cloud concept emerged as an alternative to local servers, which were expensive, required a lot of time to migrate data and had limited capacity. With the cloud for enterprises, these problems disappear. Resources can be added instantly as soon as demand arises, increasing system efficiency. What's more, the company can save its team time, as the cloud solutions provider is responsible for maintaining and developing the infrastructure.
Today's market is changing rapidly, so companies need to be agile and ready to implement new solutions just as quickly. Otherwise, they will lose out on the competition. Cloud computing makes it easier to deploy and update applications and services, enabling businesses to respond to market changes quickly and efficiently.
Cloud computing is a cost-effective alternative to traditional IT infrastructure based on local servers. By moving to the cloud, businesses can avoid the high upfront costs of buying and maintaining hardware and software. In addition, the standard billing model for cloud solutions is pay-as-you-go, whereby the customer only pays for the resources they use. This allows for significant budget optimization and more accurate cost forecasting.
Enterprise cloud allows businesses to reduce and increase the number of resources such as data storage, processing power, and the number of servers according to current needs. In this way, technological capabilities do not hinder your growth during periods of increased traffic, and when demand decreases you can reduce the number of resources to make savings.
Cloud solutions are not only useful for growing an organization externally but also internally. Technology improves collaboration and communication by providing employees with access to shared files and applications anywhere and anytime (as long as they have internet access). Such solutions are particularly relevant in times of remote working when employees collaborate with each other from different parts of the world. Slack, Google Workspace, and Dropbox are great examples of cloud tools that are standard in agile organizations.
Have you ever lost your phone or flooded your laptop with coffee and lost all your data? Phone numbers, holiday photos, videos, documents, and game saves. Puff! It's all gone. Now imagine this happening to your company's data.
Customer information, files, multimedia, and product catalog, are all melting into digital space because local hardware has crashed or been hacked. What a nightmare! Fortunately, it can be avoided. Cloud computing provides businesses with reliable backup and recovery solutions, ensuring that they can recover their data in the event of a disaster and preserve business continuity.
Business is not a business without data. Data allows you to anticipate future events, analyze user behavior, optimize costs and time, and flexibly increase or decrease the resources used. In enterprise cloud computing, constant testing and monitoring of servers' performance are essential, so that users and providers can respond rapidly to increased demand and resolve problems before they become serious.
In the digital world, it's all about UX. No information spreads as quickly as bad information, and users remember negative experiences with a company that lost their order or an app that constantly stutters. Enterprise cloud is a way to better application performance, fast disaster recovery, rapid system expansion, and the highest quality of service.
Public cloud is a computing model in which cloud infrastructure and services are provided over a network that is accessible by the general public. All customers can use the services offered by the vendor. This means that the cloud resources are owned, managed, and operated by a third-party cloud computing service provider. Examples of such cloud solutions are Google Cloud Platform (GCP), Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Microsoft Azure.
Public cloud services are used by individuals, businesses, and organizations for data storage, web hosting, application development, and SaaS solutions. Public cloud vendors offer enormous resources, making scaling a business very easy and fast. It’s also cost-effective as clients pay per use. Disaster recovery protocols and compliance assurance make business development in the public cloud secure.
In this model, however, almost all control is in the hands of the provider. For this reason, the public cloud has limited customization options, and a change of provider may require major changes to the infrastructure.
Private Cloud is exclusively dedicated to a single organization. Only verified users can access the cloud, as it’s not available to the public. It’s a type of cloud computing that involves companies creating their own infrastructure, either in-house, or through a third-party provider who hosts and secures it.
The main advantages of private clouds are control and enhanced security. Companies can customize their private clouds to fit their specific needs and workloads and have their data and applications hosted on dedicated servers that are not shared with others.
Private clouds are more demanding than public ones in terms of scaling because the company does not have access to unlimited resources as a large provider. Increasing capacity, data storage, and power processing involve hardware upgrades. For this reason, this solution is also more expensive.
Hybrid cloud is a model that combines the use of public and private clouds. Both environments can communicate and exchange data freely. A hybrid cloud allows organizations to take advantage of the scalability and cost-effectiveness of the public cloud while maintaining the security and compliance of sensitive data in a private infrastructure.
The multi-cloud model is a more advanced and expanded variant of the hybrid cloud. In this structure, a company can use more than one provider and freely combine private and public clouds according to its needs. This is a good solution for enterprise-class businesses that have large specialized departments. In this way, the data of the finance or legal department can be managed separately from that of the marketing or HR departments. The multi-cloud model allows for greater control and more advanced data management within the organization. It also allows independence from a single provider, as it’s easier to migrate data in the event of problems or the desire to change the vendor.
IaaS allows users to have access to a virtual infrastructure of servers, storage, and networking components, which they can use to deploy and run their applications and services without managing the underlying hardware.
IaaS gives users a lot of customization possibilities and control.
This service usually requires the support of an experienced DevOps as it’s relatively complex to maintain.
Examples: Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud Platform
PaaS is a cloud computing model in which a third-party provider delivers a platform that allows customers to develop, run, and manage their applications without the need for building and maintaining infrastructure.
PaaS includes tools, frameworks, and other services needed to develop an application, such as database management, integration, scalability, and security.
The ability to customize the platform is limited as clients can use only technologies provided by a vendor.
Examples: Heroku, Adobe Commerce and Google App Engine
SaaS is a cloud computing delivery model in which software applications are provided by a third-party provider. This solution doesn't require development or server maintenance from a client and is ready to use as it is.
SaaS customization is very limited and the user depends on functionalities provided by a vendor. Although, most of the SaaS solutions give possibilities to integrate with other systems.
Examples: Salesforce, Dropbox, and Google Workspace
The cloud services market is growing rapidly. In 2022, it was valued at $483.98 billion. This compares with a value of $405.65 billion in 2021. Although there are many providers of such services, a few names appear particularly frequently in the context of enterprise cloud solutions.
Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a cloud provider, offering more than 200 cloud services, including computing, storage, analytics, artificial intelligence, and security. AWS is recognized for its tremendous scalability and wide range of services to suit businesses of all sizes.
The company's history began with private cloud servers supporting the day-to-day work of Amazon employees. The cloud became public in 2006. Today, AWS is the largest cloud provider, with a market share of 33%.
Some of the largest companies using AWS services are:
Azure is a cloud solution from Microsoft. It is the second-largest provider of enterprise cloud solutions, offering more than 200 services. It has a market share of 22%. Azure launched in 2010 and is now one of the fastest-growing cloud vendors in the world. Microsoft has a strong focus on enterprise customers; its cloud services are used by more than 95% of Fortune 500 companies.
Azure specializes in hybrid cloud environments, allowing customers to extend their on-premise infrastructure to the cloud seamlessly. Although the company focuses on customizing services specifically for Microsoft-centric businesses, it is not limited to Windows-based companies and supports open-source programming.
Azure's largest customers include:
Google Cloud is the youngest service provider among the Cloud Big 3. The company offers more than 100 services and has a market share of 9%. Google Cloud Platform is known for its services supporting company collaboration, such as Google Workspace, corporate Android, Chrome OS and extensive integration capabilities with other tools.
Google Cloud supports the launch and expansion of applications. Its strongest advantage is its machine learning and big data analytics capabilities.
Google Cloud customers include:
Cloud-native technologies are software tools and platforms that are designed specifically for the cloud environment. These technologies use cloud-native principles such as microservices, containers, serverless computing, and DevOps practices to build, deploy, and manage applications and services. Cloud-native services provide developers with a comprehensive, standards-based platform to build, deploy, and manage applications (such as microservices and serverless functions).
Some of the popular cloud-native technologies are:
The biggest security concerns with cloud technologies stem from the very nature of this environment. Data stored online poses the risk of unauthorized access. To ensure the security of your infrastructure, it’s crucial to partner with a proven, trusted provider that treats cybersecurity as a priority. It’s equally important to educate employees on the responsible management of data, as well as access control, testing, monitoring, and compliance with security regulations.
Sometimes, software or technology that has been developed in a company for a very long time cannot - for various reasons - be changed. It is then called a 'legacy system'. The longer such a system grows without the necessary modernization, the more difficult it is then to adapt it to new technologies that become standard in the market.
Integration with legacy systems in cloud computing can be challenging but is essential for organizations to ensure that their existing systems can still work in the cloud environment.
How to do it right?
A common challenge in enterprise cloud solutions is vendor lock-in. This means a situation in which an organization is unable to change cloud providers due to high costs, long migration time, or the complexity of switching. As a result, it is tied to one solution and cannot grow freely. Providers, of course, do not facilitate migration because it does not pay them to lose a customer.
How to prevent vendor lock-in?
There's a common misconception that serverless solutions fix most of the product-related problems. In reality, serverless comes with a few - monetary and non-monetary - costs.
First, you don't manage the server. Secondly, there's no dedicated server at your disposal. And finally, with usage-based pricing, the overall cost for longer processes may be higher.
Does it mean you shouldn't use cloud computing? No, it means you need to be aware of these challenges and make an informed decision:
89% of enterprises depend on a multi-cloud strategy. This solution allows greater flexibility in business development and avoids vendor lock-in.
In edge computing, the data is processed on devices, sensors, and servers that are closer to the source of the data, and only relevant data is sent to the cloud for further processing and storage.
This helps reduce latency, increase efficiency, and improve data security and privacy as sensitive information can be processed locally instead of being sent to a remote location. Edge computing is commonly used in Internet of Things applications, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail industries.
AI and ML make the cloud more intelligent, efficient, and user-friendly. These technologies are used in data processing, predictive analytics, automation, and optimization, improving user experience and advanced security testing.
10 steps to implement enterprise cloud computing
You don't have to learn from your mistakes and rely on information from service providers. Today, the whole technology world is talking about clouds and the internet is full of articles, videos, and webinars on various aspects of this technology. Good research is the basis for business decision-making, and reading articles (such as this one!) is the first step to building awareness of enterprise cloud solutions.
The market is changing dynamically, but that doesn't mean you can't plan for your growth. Define your business goals for the next few years: number of users, predicted financial growth, services you want to implement, and entry into foreign markets. Clearly defined goals will allow you to choose the best solutions more accurately.
Analyzing data, testing, and monitoring the performance of your applications allows you to quickly anticipate problems and respond to user behavior. This is a solid foundation for effective development and better investments.
The topic of security is so often discussed in the context of the enterprise cloud for a reason - data loss can have dire consequences for your business continuity. There is no room for frugality when it comes to cybersecurity, so pay close attention to implementing the best solutions and procedures.
If you don’t have a dedicated IT department specializing in cloud solutions, you will probably need the support of a software agency or consulting company. Choose a business partner with experience in cloud solutions and good reviews from previous clients.
Airbnb is a marketplace where real-estate owners can rent out their properties to travelers around the world. As its popularity grew and traffic increased, Airbnb needed a solution that could scale faster and maintain a superior customer experience. Airbnb implemented AWS cloud solutions, including Elastic Load Balancing, Storage Service, and the Cloud Watch monitoring tool. This allowed the company to increase flexibility and responsiveness and reduce operational costs.
HSBC is one of the largest international banks in the world. With the popularization of mobile payments, the company faced the challenge of increasing the efficiency and speed of cashless transactions. Cloud solutions from Microsoft Azure have allowed the company to better organize and analyze data, bring services up to mobile device standards, and improve the customer experience.
The HSBC PayMe native app built on Azure enables it to collect payments instantly, with 98% of all transactions completed in 500 milliseconds or less.
Twitter is one of the largest social media platforms in the world with 450 million active users monthly. One of the biggest challenges for such a large organization, handling millions of queries simultaneously, is fast data processing. Thanks to solutions offered by Google Cloud, such as BigQuery and Dataflow, Twitter was able to automate most manual tasks, increase scalability, and optimize resource utilization.
There are special studies fields dedicated to inventing needs. They serve marketers and sellers in justifying why a customer should buy their product. But this does not apply to enterprise cloud computing.
Cloud technologies have emerged from the bottom up in large corporations such as Amazon, Microsoft, and Google to optimize internal processes, support business growth, improve security, and facilitate scaling. Cloud solutions have proved so successful and innovative that they have been made available to business clients as well.
Today, it is hard to imagine a modern business that does not use the cloud. This groundbreaking technology offers almost unlimited opportunities to increase resources and improve customer service. Thousands of success stories of the world's largest businesses that have implemented cloud services into their operating model confirm this. And success is the best inspiration!
Every year, Brainhub helps 750,000+ founders, leaders and software engineers make smart tech decisions. We earn that trust by openly sharing our insights based on practical software engineering experience.
Software development enthusiast with 6 years of professional experience in the tech industry.
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