As more and more business are moving towards internet or are getting interested in having an online presence for their business, the hosting providers are facing the heat. Every online business needs some kind of web hosting, be it shared hosting, virtual private servers, dedicated hosting etc. All this is making the price of hosting very competitive and cost of storage, bandwidth are going southwards.
Cloud computing since its advent and popularity among the business owner has added to this phenomenon and is offering web hosting and other online application management at relatively cheaper costs. It is especially viable for Small and medium business (SMB’s) as it lowers their licensing, recruiting and maintenance cost and help them focus more on their business and profitability.
The Traditional model of Hosting:
A traditional model of web hosting or allocation of IT resources towards the presence of company and an application deliverables it carries on the web required the following: A dedicated web server (in most cases), huge storage spaces, IT resources to manage and maintain them, dedicated IP addresses, pre- allocated bandwidths, customized firewalls to protect address other safety issues etc. Undoubtedly it requires a lot of IT staff overhead, internal communication, co-ordination between other resources with the IT resources etc.
There are many other challenges if you go for a traditional model of hosting your website or web app on the cloud like negotiations with the ISP (Internet Service Provider) in order to gain resources in a time bound manner. And if your business outgrows the initial resources the demand for extra resources, their co-ordination with existing resources is a very time consuming and costly process.
There’s some manual work involved to approve the request; locate, allocate, and configure the hardware, connections, security settings and other hardware challenges at the business end also pose their own set of challenges. It is not unheard of for this process to take 12–18 months in some organizations! The other factor is security of data hosted on the servers. Many companies are too serious about it and they indeed should be. A self hosted server allows you to deploy your own security solutions to safeguard your online data.
How does cloud computing helps?
Business of all sizes can tap cloud for the benefits it offers. Ranging from hosting a small business to large ERP application cloud comes as a welcome initiative for IT departments and businesses. The 24/7 availability, access from anywhere and multiple device accessibility gives it an edge over traditional business hosting. By keeping down the cost considerably it is bringing a new dimension to the profitability of organizations and improving their business efficiency. The IT resources it frees can be used to bring in fresh ideas and more innovation in the company eventually giving it an edge over its competitors.
There can be internal conflicts among departments on whether to go for cloud computing or to bank on the existing hosting solutions. Generally the issues are about migrating the data, security of resources and the resources involved. The facts below helps an organization overcome this dilemma.
Whether an organization has a lack of resources to build an infrastructure? What are the software licensing cost for a startup? How much IT resources are required for the setup? Is the IT department well adept in handling the issues offered from such a setup? Is the IT department used to its maximum efficiency?
Besides costs, these questions often haunt small business while taking a decision to go for a self hosted solution or cloud hosted solution. Indeed when they weigh the options – Cloud computing looks very attractive.
Following are the 5 benefits cloud computing offers for a small business:
1. Small initial costs: No need to install huge servers with all their complexity, lower hiring in IT departments etc. all have their own impact on the overall cost that is incurred in going for a cloud based solution. So it gels well with the initial bootstrapped nature of small and medium sized businesses.
2. Increased efficiency: The IT resources that cloud hosting frees can become valuable asset for the business as they focus their time more on creating new products, innovation in research and development and more efficient collaboration among the employees.
3. Maintenance and upgradation: There is no need for maintenance and upgradation as it is done seamlessly in the cloud. This eliminates the burden significantly and increases the utilization of IT staff which was earlier involved in tracking and delivering these solutions.
4. Quick deployment: Forget the purchasing of hardware, cabling them, setting up of routers and other paraphernalia, websites and applications can be hosted in the cloud in a very short duration. The deployment time can be reduced from months in earlier cases to days and at most weeks in case of cloud hosting.
5. Security and licensing issues: The cloud takes care of all the security related issues and upgrades it regularly with the help of dedicate staff. Similar is the case with licensing of software. The need for keeping track of license expiry and renewable fees is done with when one goes for cloud hosting.
The benefits and impact cloud computing brings to a business allows it to tackle new problems in a more resource and cost efficient manner, which were too taxing on the business before.