More and more, we are seeing technology moving to the cloud. It’s not just a fad—the shift from traditional software models to the Internet has steadily gained momentum over the last 10 years. Looking ahead, the next decade of cloud computing promises new ways to collaborate everywhere, through mobile devices.
So what is cloud computing? Essentially, cloud computing is a kind of outsourcing of computer programs. Using cloud computing, users are able to access software and applications from wherever they need, while it is being hosted by an outside party — in “the cloud.” This means that they do not have to worry about things such as storage and power, they can simply enjoy the end result.
There are three types of cloud computing:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
A third party hosts elements of infrastructure, such as hardware, software, servers, and storage, also providing backup, security, and maintenance.
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
Using the cloud, software such as an internet browser or application is able to become a usable tool.
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
The branch of cloud computing that allows users to develop, run, and manage applications, without having to get caught up in code, storage, infrastructure and so on.
There are several types of PaaS. Every PaaS option is either public, private, or a hybrid mix of the two. Public PaaS is hosted in the cloud and its infrastructure is managed by the provider. Private PaaS, on the other hand, is housed in on-site servers or private networks, and is maintained by the user. Hybrid PaaS uses elements from both public and private, and is capable of executing applications from multiple cloud infrastructures.
PaaS can be further categorized depending on whether it is open or closed source, whether it is mobile compatible (mPaaS), and what business types it caters to.
When choosing a PaaS solution, the most important considerations beyond how it is hosted are how well it integrates with existing information systems, which programing languages it supports, what application-building tools it offers, how customizable or configurable it is, and how effectively it is supported by the provider.
As digital technologies grow ever more powerful and available, apps and cloud-based platforms are becoming almost universally widespread. Businesses are taking advantage of new PaaS capabilities to further outsource tasks that would have otherwise relied on local solutions. This is all made possible through advances in cloud computing.
Traditional business applications have always been very complicated and expensive. The amount and variety of hardware and software required to run them are daunting. You need a whole team of experts to install, configure, test, run, secure, and update them.
When you multiply this effort across dozens or hundreds of apps, it’s easy to see why the biggest companies with the best IT departments aren’t getting the apps they need. Small and mid-sized businesses don’t stand a chance. The affordability of cloud-hosted data makes it an essential tool for these types of situations. Here are some other benefits of cloud computing.
Cloud computing allows for adaptable programs and applications, that are customizable, while allowing the owners control over the core code.
Cloud software provides the opportunity to provide personalized applications and portals to a number of customers or tenants.
Because it is hosted by a third party, businesses and other users have greater assurance of reliability, and when there are problems, easy access to customer support.
With the Internet of Things, it is essential that software functions across every device and integrates with other applications. Cloud applications can provide this.
Cloud computing can also guarantee a more secure environment, thanks to increased resources for security and centralization of data.
With cloud computing, you eliminate those headaches that come with storing your own data, because you’re not managing hardware and software — that becomes the responsibility of an experienced vendor like salesforce.com. The shared infrastructure means it works like a utility: you only pay for what you need, upgrades are automatic, and scaling up or down is easy.
Cloud-based apps can be up and running in days or weeks, and they cost less. With a cloud app, you just open a browser, log in, customize the app, and start using it.
Businesses are running all kinds of apps in the cloud, like customer relationship management (CRM), HR, accounting, and much more. Some of the world’s largest companies moved their applications to the cloud with salesforce.com after rigorously testing the security and reliability of our infrastructure.
As cloud computing grows in popularity, thousands of companies are simply rebranding their non-cloud products and services as “cloud computing.” Always dig deeper when evaluating cloud offerings and keep in mind that if you have to buy and manage hardware and software, what you’re looking at isn’t really cloud computing but a false cloud.
Salesforce can provide a comprehensive solution to all of your cloud computing needs. Using a wide array of tools and services, Salesforce can be a one stop shop for businesses looking to manage customer relationships, sales, marketing, and application development. Using artificial intelligence, Salesforce applications can also provide predictive analytics that allow for all around better decision making.
The best way to get to know Sales Cloud is to get your hands on the actual product. The free trial also comes with unlimited access to our Sales Community, a group of sales thought leaders sharing ideas about sales for salespeople.