Designing an enterprise strategy for data storage and running the IT is as challenging as selling the business itself. And when you are an owner of a small or mid-size business (SMB), this setup should not drain you down. Because your focus should be on the business plan and growth, leave the technical setup to cloud experts.
With Forrester’s 2018 prediction of more than 50% of the enterprises using cloud technology, cloud solutions have gained momentum. These solutions include IaaS and PaaS other than SaaS (Software as a service). Cloud can help an SMB to set up the IT infrastructure and data storage solution without stress.
Before we explain, how SMBs can benefit from the IaaS and PaaS cloud solutions, let us brief you about these technologies.
What is IaaS?
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) is the set of hardware, network, security, and data storage space a cloud provider offers you. With the internet being a lever to so many technologies, you can now reserve a space in the cloud for your infrastructure solution. You are liberated from the ardent task of researching, investing, and setting up the servers for the applications and data. Also, the physical location to host these components of the infrastructure would be the vendor’s responsibility.
These IaaS providers also deal with the networking of the servers and backing them up with the right failover plan. IaaS offerings are scalable and can handle your storage and servers demand with the futuristic growth.
An SMB owner implements and maintains the software, database implementations, and operating systems running the applications over IaaS layer. Application development is taken care of by the SMBs too.
Microsoft Azure is one such example of IaaS offering.
What is PaaS?
Platform as a Service (PaaS) is a layer above the IaaS solution and is more suitable for the developers who are centered to create and run applications. PaaS cloud computing system makes you leave behind the complexity of the infrastructure maintenance along with the databases, and the OS used.
The data centers and the complete security defending the network of the servers, database management, and the suitability of the running applications are thrown on the cloud. You as an SMB owner can now install software, develop and host your applications, and run the business with the backend seamlessly working behind.
In such a cloud offering, you can log in through a web browser and start the application development.
Microsoft Azure PaaS is one such example of PaaS offering.
When should SMBs opt for IaaS and PaaS?
We have mentioned some factors that would help you to decide when you should choose a cloud solution.
Dearth of Expertise
Why should the absence of networking and hardware experts bog you down when you can go for a cloud service provider based on your infrastructure, network, and storage needs?
Lack of Physical Space
If you have a shortage of space to host the physical servers, devices, hubs, switches, and UPS, leave the hassle to the IaaS or PaaS vendor and simply work from a coworking space.
As an SMB, your focus is on your product or service. Security—however crucial for your data and machines—might not be your team’s forte. Then get in touch with a PaaS vendor or a third party who can help you leverage an existing cloud system for your business demands.
Unwilling at Internal IT Management
Internally managing the IT staff, keeping a tab on the top-notch security, and running the servers with a healthy performance are stressful and time-consuming tasks. Why not leave these undesirable yet eternal tasks to an expert?
Benefits of IaaS and Pass for the SMBs
Apart from the above-mentioned factors to decide if you want to go for a cloud service, these are some great benefits that will surely help you to ponder moving your data to the cloud.
Devote Time to the Core Idea
When the cloud vendors take the responsibility of setting up your platform or infrastructure, you can cut down the time and directly jump to the product designing or the service offering, their refinement, growing your business, and making the employees happy.
Cut Down the Staffing Needs
Because establishing a secured network among the servers and databases need an extra staff strength round the clock, your benefit of choosing a cloud partner in IaaS or PaaS is clearly getting a sleek staff.
Often, a PaaS or IaaS provider would take care of the device compatibility. Whether the users trigger your applications from a handheld device or a laptop, the cloud would adjust the compatibility. Thus, you don’t need to put an extra effort into the cross-platform fine-tuning of your applications.
In-house infrastructure can tear your pocket with the major chunk of the finances vested in itself. The ‘pay-as-you-go’ model allows you to use the expensive software like analytics and development tools, which otherwise are beyond your budget.
If you hire a PaaS or IaaS cloud vendor, you can throw the limited budget on the application development, and the essential staff.
Collocation is not Compulsory
Millennials prefer flexibility. And with your business using cloud hosting, they can log in to the system anytime, anywhere. Teams located at various physical locations can collaborate easily. Thus cloud indirectly gives a push to the open work culture and makes it more flexible.
Disaster Recovery is not a Headache Anymore
Backing up your machines and data with an off-site disaster recovery (DR) mechanism is not only an obligation but complex too. DR demands dedicated time, money, and resources; so SMBs should look for cloud hosting. Otherwise, the enterprise resources would be consumed in mirroring the complete setup itself.
Faster Approach to Market your Product
As you are able to cut down the time before development, the timeline to market your offerings is squeezed too. Moreover, marketing for SMBs is a crucial aspect to focus on, and setting a cloud platform indirectly gives you an edge to exploit this benefit.
Changes and New Opportunities can be Easily Handled
Cloud technology gives you easy scalability. With time, data grow and put pressure on the servers and applications. In these circumstances, you can demand upscaling from your vendor. With the growing lists of clients, offerings, and employees, you can relax and forget about the backend needs.
Point to ponder while availing PaaS or IaaS
Conduct a thorough review of the security, robustness, scalability, and backup policies along with the hardware standards of your vendor. If they partner with the eminent cloud providers like Microsoft Azure, AWS, IBM, or Google cloud, then your worries are reduced. If your provider has a homegrown cloud, you need to complete due diligence before signing a contract.
Care for the best available options based on the monthly charges. You cannot spend your hard-earned funds in an average yet pricy solution.
Are the vendors you are considering reliable and have a good customer base? Because by putting your infrastructure and data on the cloud, a lot of confidential information will be at stake, making reliability a huge factor.
Is your cloud vendor available round the clock and the cloud itself has superb bandwidth? Constant availability and minimal outage make a system more agreeable. Resilience to handle your queries at any time of the day is also a desirable feature to zero in a vendor.
Would you be able to switch the cloud partner to a better option in the future? Switching the provider might not be a need but you should keep the door open for the future.
A cloud platform equipped with IaaS or PaaS can help you focus consistently on the code and your product without any delay. Apart from the benefits, you have limited things to take care of, which anyway demand your major share of the time.