What Is the Cloud?

As the cloud continuously evolves to meet a broader range of needs for businesses, the question of adoption becomes a matter of when and how rather than if. Gartner predicts spending on cloud services will grow by nearly $600 billion in 2023. If your company hasn’t yet begun its migration to the cloud, you may be wondering where to begin. To answer this question, it’s helpful to start with an overview of what the cloud is and how it can support your business. 

In the past, businesses were entirely responsible for the management of their data, operating systems, software, and hardware. For some companies, this may still make sense, but in many cases, the time, space, and education required to manage these systems makes it an inefficient use of resources. Cloud computing provides on-demand delivery of computing services like servers, storage, and data management. This can simplify operations and data management, make IT spending more predictable and manageable, and protect sensitive data with added layers of security. 


Public, Private, & Hybrid Clouds 

Cloud environments can be public, private, or hybrid, which makes use of both public and private accessibility. Public clouds are owned and managed by third-party vendors, while private clouds are managed and can be accessed only by internal users. A hybrid cloud environment can often be a useful first step toward full cloud migration, as it allows companies to continue using the on-premises features it values while taking advantage of beneficial public cloud features. 


Cloud Servers 

A cloud server runs all applications in the cloud, eliminating the need for on-premises servers. Businesses can access infrastructure, platforms, and software via cloud servers. This can result in cost savings not only by eliminating the need to purchase, house, and maintain servers on site but also by making services scalable to fit changing needs. With cloud services, businesses can expand, scale back, or add functionality in an agile and cost-effective way. 


Serverless Computing 

A serverless environment is a cloud-native development model that allows users to access back-end services on demand. While “serverless computing” actually does use servers, the server infrastructure is managed by the cloud provider, creating the potential for increased efficiency and cost savings. 


Cloud Services 

Cloud servers allow users to access a variety of services.  

  • Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is leading the cloud services boom with spending on these offerings expected to grow nearly 30% this year. With IaaS, the cloud provider hosts and maintains basic infrastructure, including hardware, servers, storage, networks, and virtual machines. Prominent examples of IaaS providers include Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure. 
  • Software as a service (SaaS) allows users to access a wide variety of software products over the web. The provider handles maintenance tasks like updates and security patches, providing a seamless, worry-free experience. Microsoft 365, HubSpot, Zoom, DocuSign, and Netflix are all examples of SaaS. 
  • Serverless environments enable platform-as-a-service (PaaS) solutions. With PaaS, users purchase virtual access to servers and infrastructure. This lets developers access the infrastructure they need to write custom apps and deploy code. Examples of PaaS include Azure Active Directory Domain Services, Google App Engine, and AWS Elastic Beanstalk. 


The team at Pendello has experience helping a wide range of businesses discover, implement, and manage the right cloud solutions for their operations. While all the options discussed above can convey important benefits, each business must assess what cloud services best fit its unique needs. As a managed IT provider, we can help you build the solutions you need to adapt to and evolve with the ever-changing tech landscape. 

For more tips on optimizing your IT environment, browse our free resources.