Whether it is operating systems, applications, products, services, software or infrastructure, everything is slowly making its way to the cloud. Because of this, billions of dollars have been invested in cloud migration.
In this article, we will define cloud computing, examine 5 of the biggest players in the cloud computing market and finally, we will take a look at 8 industries which have taken advantage of cloud computing services
What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing is another name for web-based or internet-based computing, it is a service that allows businesses or individuals to use computing services such as storage, databases, processing, memory, messaging, pay-as-you-go, events and virtual machines to name a few.
Cloud services are designed to improve on existing services, for example, a cloud-based pay-as-you-go (PAYG) system allows businesses to charge for resources when and as they are used. Unlike with traditional computer-based services, the joy of a cloud-based PAYG system runs a meter and keeps track of exactly what resources are used and charges for them accordingly. This helps both the customer and the business, as both will be happy, the customer can receive a transparent bill for the services they used and the business can be assured of payment for services rendered.
What are the main advantages of cloud computing?
- Cloud computing allows companies to reduce their fixed and operational costs including software licence, server, hardware, and database costs. Over time they will be able to reduce their need for other IT resources including some staffing costs.
- Cloud computing services operate 24\7, all the provided services are managed by the service provider and your business will not need an employee to manage the service on your end.
- The services are reliable and scalable, there are no limits set on the number of resources or users you can register. You can also increase the resources and processing power as you need. If your need for these resources drops, you are free to scale back at any stage.
- The service will be automatically maintained, the software will be updated automatically, this reduces IT labour needs and costs for businesses
- Service providers provide data centres at many different locations, this ensures that they remain reliable and fast. Some of the larger service providers offer services all over the world
- Cloud computing services are divided into three main categories (IaaS) Infrastructure as a service, (PaaS) Platform as a Service, (SaaS) Software as a Service.
Who are the top Cloud Computing service providers?
#1 AWS by Amazon
AWS is an Amazon company, launched in 2006. They are currently the most popular cloud computing service provider in the world. They provide the most comprehensive cloud computing platform, offering over 165 services from data centres based all around the globe. They have millions of loyal customers. In 2018 AWS had revenues of $25 billion, with profits of $7.2 billion. Revenues for 2020 are projected to exceed $33 billion.
Some of the services offered by AWS include:
- Virtual Private Cloud
- AWS Data Transfer
- Simple Storage Service
- Elastic Compute Cloud
- AWS Key Management Service
- Simple Notification Service
- Relational Database Service
- Route 53
- Simple Queue Service
- Simple Email Service.
#2. Microsoft Azure
Azure is a cloud computing service offered by Microsoft, it is currently one of the fastest-growing service providers in the world. The fact that this service was launched years after their major rivals makes the fact that they are now competing with their rival to become the world’s top service provider even more impressive. Azure recently secures a $10 Billion cloud service contract from the US Government
Azure overall revenues are difficult to calculate, not aided by Microsoft publishing its quarterly profits under three different categories. At a guess their revenues for 2019 were 33 billion, they project to grow to $35 billion in 2020.
Here are some of the services provided by Azure:
AI + Machine Learning
- Developer Tools
- Internet of Things
- Microsoft Azure Stack
- Mixed Reality
#3 Google cloud service
Google provides a service similar to AWS and Azure, offering solutions in similar categories such as storage, DevOps, machine learning, database, identity, security, AI, virtualization and more
Here is a list of products provided by Google Cloud:
- AI and Machine Learning
- API Management
- Data Analytics
- Developer Tools
- Healthcare and Life Sciences
- Hybrid and Multi-cloud
- Internet of Things
- Management Tools
- Media and Gaming
- Security and Identity
- Serverless Computing, and Storage.
- Google products are also offered in the cloud,
#4. Alibaba Cloud
First founded in 2009, they are registered in Singapore. This service was initially established to service Alibaba’s huge e-commerce platform, but now it offers its services to the public. They are the largest cloud services provider in China
Here are some of the services that they provide:
- Elastic Computing
- Storage and CDN
- Database Services
- Security, Monitoring and Management
- Domains and Websites
- Analytics and Data Technology
- Application Services
- Media Services
- Cloud Communication
- Apsara Stack
- Internet of Things.
Alibaba Cloud offers its services in over 19 regions and operates 56 availability zones around the world.
#5. Oracle Cloud
A cloud platform owned and operated by the Oracle corporation, they have built their platform on machine learning, offering a comprehensive suite of services.
Here is a list of services provided:
- Load Balancing
- DNS Monitoring
- Data Management
- Application Development,
- Business Analytics
- Blockchain Applications.
Industries using Cloud Computing
Below are examples of eight different industries that are taking advantage of the capabilities of cloud computing currently.
The Automotive industry
Automotive companies are fast creating operating systems, internet of things, cloud indigenous applications as well as creating wide-ranging software developed with a methodology that will have the power to transform them into global powerhouses. Volkswagen is the world’s second-largest car manufacturer, uses an open-source platform to create private clouds, these they use to provide integrated services for its subsidiaries, like Audi and Porsche. VW is just one of many automotive companies currently taking advantage of the limitless capabilities of cloud computing.
The Entertainment industry
Cloud computing offers scalable resources, this makes the services even more attractive as you are only obliged to pay for the computing resources you make use of. Netflix is probably the best example of an Entertainment company who makes use of Cloud computing services. They suffer from huge surges in use at peak times. They make use of the scalability of the cloud systems they use, by migrating to the cloud to deal with the additional demand. This allows the company to deal with the additional demand without having to invest in additional infrastructure. This ability has been central to Netflix’s success, ensuring no loss of service to customers while keeping costs lower for the company
The Retail industry
Cloud computing services offer benefits like flexibility, cost reduction, scalability and time efficiency. Retailers need access to large amounts of data, they also store vast amounts of information. Cloud services allow them to do both, and they can access this data anytime and anywhere. This allows them to maintain and improve their relationships with both their suppliers and customers.
The Education industry
People working in education are forced to work with extremely tight margins. This problem can easily be resolved through the use of cloud computing technology. In order to provide the best education to their students, it is essential for educational institutions to have access to the best technology available. They can achieve this easily through the use of cloud computing.
The Healthcare industry
Cloud computing offers the healthcare industry a solution to one of their major concerns, that of a reliable and easy transition. Cloud computing helps doctors stay in touch with their patients and makes collaboration between doctors faster and more convenient.
The Banking and Finance industry
Cloud computing offers solutions to many issues within this sector, offering new ways for banks to provide loans, savings accounts, insurance and investment opportunities just to name a few. While doing all this it can drastically reduce running costs and overheads. The growth of the online banking industry has been completely driven by cloud computing.
The Manufacturing industry
Using cloud computing should be viewed as an option but as a great opportunity. This sector has adopted these services to help synchronize and process data from many different sources onto a single dashboard. Relieving the hassle of having to manually transfer this information between systems.
The Production industry
Companies involved in production regularly have to manage supply chains from many diverse locations, some who are operating on completely different database solutions. Cloud computing allows you to unite all these companies under one umbrella, increasing efficiency and communication by providing instant access to essential information.
The popularity of cloud computing services is growing because it offers an elastic and scalable way to support businesses in locations that are remote from each other. It also provides industries with ways to store and compute data like never before. Offering industries scalability without having to hire staff or invest in additional hardware, reduce the cost of employing innovative people and simplify their operations.