Cloud technology has taken over the software industry with a storm. The idea that user can host and run processes and application remotely, which was a very vague possibility before, has come into full functional effect through cloud computing and it has brought a number of benefits for companies and businesses like scalability and cost efficiency.
Using a cloud based application for maintaining business processes means that not only business data can be stored globally using a cloud service but also business processes can be run remotely on this data and results can be imported locally through the system making all these process very smooth and using minimum hardware and server power at the client side. This opens a whole new door for small businesses to run their business by adopting computational power and services through the cloud and expand their business setup through remote means.
What is cloud based application
Put simply, cloud based application can be best describe as a software application that performs most of its tasks and processes remotely through the cloud server and serves the client as if it is hosted on premises. This means that all functionality of a regular business application is performed in the same way but through a remote location.
This “cloud based” setup provides great benefits to businesses as they do not need to incur additional IT related cost for hardware and servers if they want to expand their business, rather they would just invest in a cloud based application that best suits their business needs and all backend tasks would be handled by the cloud application remotely.
Data integration is done regularly and fresh updated data is accessible through any device anywhere making the cloud based application an attractive choice for businesses that wish to grow and expand their product line. Data encryption and security protocols are adopted by the cloud application to provide secure and seamless business operations experience.
“If someone asks me what cloud computing is, I try not to get bogged down with definitions. I tell them that, simply put, cloud computing is a better way to run your business.”
– Marc Benioff, Founder, CEO and Chairman, Salesforce
Types of cloud based application
There are many different types of cloud based application available depending upon their functionality and the service that they are providing to their customers.
IAAS – Infrastructure as a Service
IAAS provides its customers with a virtual environment to support their computational and business needs. This is done by providing a range of resources virtually that can help business build their infrastructural foundation and reach their goal of building a unique business environment suited to their needs. The resources could include but not be limited to data servers, database software, applications and data reporting and analytic backend data silos through which companies can install, configure and manage their virtual applications and build on this structure to support their business workflow.
PAAS – Platform as a service
PAAS services offer their customers with software platform that can help them to install and work with cloud applications and run their business processes remotely. The platform as a Service may include operating system and middleware softwares to manage their operations and run their business effectively. It also includes different development tools required to increase productivity of user operations and automate business processes. All these can be performed remotely using a PAAS system which would relieve customers of the burden to setup an IT infrastructure and servers on their premises. They can easily operate all their functional and computational tasks using this service.
SAAS – Software as a service
These services include independent fully developed software services and solutions designed to perform specialized tasks for the business customer. Software as a service (SAAS) can be Customer relationship management(CRM), Project management, Business Intelligence and data analytics and reporting software and a range of other cloud based applications that can work directly from the browsers in the customer’s desktop relieving the need of cumbersome download and installations and providing powerful, fast speed and dynamic features and functionality for running their business smoothly and efficiently.
BAAS – Backup as a service
With the growing volume of data and the constant need of fresh updated data the Backup as a software (BAAS) applications have provided the users an opportunity to store and maintain backup of their business data remotely. The data can be stored securely and remotely at the provider’s server and can be accessed quickly and from anywhere through secure data connections and APIs.
Tools to build and deploy cloud based applications
A range of tools and architecture are available to design, create and deploy cloud based applications that can provide business with means to implement and manage their business procedures and operations effectively. Following are some cloud based software providers that are popular in the market for their reliable and secure cloud framework for managing your business operations. Global providers have a set of key performance indicators like security and performance that can help them assess their products and improve their services periodically to maintain their high standard of deliverance.
Amazon Web services is considered the king of cloud computing and cloud based applications with more than 140 AWS cloud based tools and applications providing different cloud services to users and businesses worldwide. AWS can help businesses setup any platform and start their cloud based work environment with complete security and reliability.
Microsoft Azure provides IAAS and PAAS cloud based services for their customers and caters to enterprise level businesses for setting up their business environment through scalability and flexibility in their business plans. Microsoft Azure offers platform for implementing business setup with database management software and other SAAS cloud based applications. The integration is very smooth and increases business operability and collaboration among team members in a remote work environment.
Google suite for cloud based applications and services are a set of popular cloud based systems available to get any business started and ready to operate remotely. It offers Cloud storage, database services, virtual machines and other PAAS and SAAS services to increase efficiency and smooth out business processes for their clients.
Oracle provides a high performance infrastructure to run cloud applications and clients can build robust business environment using this cloud computing platform. It provides enhanced performance in reduced cost and can help businesses automate their services to provide operational efficiency and smooth working experience. Oracle platform supports hybrid data architectures including public regions and edge computing. Businesses can make their choice according to their data needs. Oracle has full support for VMware environments and other options for cloud based applications as well.
Best examples out there in the market
Dropbox is a Backup as a software (BAAS) tool that facilitates collaboration and resource sharing among team members and also provides options to backup and store important business data in a cloud based environment. The data is accessed securely and reliably through Dropbox and can be updated from multiple sources with ease.
Zoom is a cloud based application in the area of SAAS software as a service that provide options for video conferencing and remote collaboration among team members a business environment. It has features to host, record meeting and share resources and meeting recordings all through remote means. This means businesses can collaborate effectively without the need to leave their offices and perform their tasks more efficiently.
Salesforce is a cloud based CRM software that helps businesses setup their customer relationship plans and increase their customer support and product sales through improving customer experience. They reach out to their customers through outreach campaigns and generate new leads by progressively monitoring sales and interest of potential customers. Their cloud based solution makes it easy for businesses to adopt their software model and integrate with their business environment.
Zoho analytics is a cloud based online reporting software working to increase business productivity and data readability through data visualizations and reports. Zoho provides a range of cloud based applications from CRM software to presentation and business analysis tools. These cloud based tools help businesses to link apps to their existing business workflow to improve areas that require increased efforts for impacting business growth and increasing their product sales.
Dotnet report builder is an online cloud based application with embedded data analytics and reporting facility. It offers a range of powerful features for creating customized data reports and visualizations through the customer’s desktop.