When cloud technology first emerged, many users were hesitant about remotely storing their sensitive corporate information. Many of these concerns related to public cloud infrastructures, but as the platforms have improved, the majority of these worries have all but disappeared.
While businesses are now more comfortable with the use of public cloud technology, there are still use cases that are better suited to this infrastructure than others.
"Despite some high profile outages, we are seeing organizations demonstrate a strong level of comfort in public cloud services," noted TechTarget contributor Amy Larsen DeCarlo. "A public cloud service is probably perfectly adequate to support non-core applications, assuming that you have a high degree of trust in the provider and that the provider can offer additional reassurance in the form of sufficient service level guarantees around elements like service availability and response time."
Indeed, public clouds are being used for more than just base-level information. Let's take a look at a few of the top use cases that have emerged for public cloud:
1) Improved collaboration and project management
One of the most beneficial uses for public cloud has been seen with cross-company collaboration and project management. According to Tech Republic contributor Mary Shacklett, these processes have been viewed as obstacles due to legacy technologies that require an administrator to ensure that every resource stays updated. Now, with the cloud, these pressures are alleviated and employees can collaborate better with one another.
"Now there are cloud-based solutions that link together every project participant and stakeholder, enabling real-time updates to projects and real-time collaboration that project managers have never seen before," Shacklett wrote.
In this way, nothing falls through the cracks when it comes to group collaborations, and everyone can be sure that they are working with the most recent information.
2) IaaS and SaaS
Another winning use of the public cloud deals with Infrastructure-as-a-Service, or IaaS. DeCarlo noted that IaaS enables companies to better support their test and development initiatives and also have backup storage space. Public cloud architectures have also been leveraged for Software-as-a-service, or SaaS, offerings, which allows the use of messaging and productivity applications as well as customer relationship management systems.
One of the most attractive benefits of these types of systems is the ability to offload specific workloads into the cloud provider's environment, preventing companies from having to go through costly expansions of their existing data centers.
"Since they can pay a baseline subscription that increments or decrements on a pay-as-you-go basis, enterprises incur no new capital expenses and they also reduce the risk of resources that sit idle during times when application development, testing and staging activities are slow," Shacklett noted.
In this way, businesses cut costs considerably and help ensure that none of their precious resources are wasted.
3) Archiving of historical data
Many organizations are also using public cloud to archive certain historical data. In such a case, however, administrators must be sure that they are mindful of industry standards when moving this data to the cloud. Shacklett noted that when the information is not leveraged for big data analytics and is solely being archived for storage purposes, this is a perfectly acceptable use of the public cloud. In this way, companies can still have access to this data should they need it.
4) Vendor and sales management
In addition, corporations are also leveraging public cloud environments for the management of supplier and sales force information. Shacklett noted that it can be difficult to maintain proper and accessible records related to all the vendors that a global organization works with. These firms need solutions that enable them to access data pertaining to sales and specific customer details. This is where the public cloud comes in, making this information available to every authorized user in the company, no matter where they operate from.
5) For development and testing purposes
Cloud deployments are also utilized for housing and storing software products before their release. This enables a geographically dispersed development team to carry out all of the development and testing processes in the simplest way. Developers, QA staff and other stakeholders can access and make changes to the project, and have them be reflected in real time to other users involved. It can simplify development of products across multiple operating systems without dependence in any specific architecture, and can scale easily to the needs of any project.
These are just a handful of ways the public cloud has become increasingly beneficial to the enterprise sector. To find out more about how a public cloud could be advantageous to your organization, contact Hostway today.