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What Are Cloud Services & Who Provides Them?

With the acceleration of decentralised workforces in the last 18 months, cloud-based services (and cloud service providers) have become the primary tool for IT systems within businesses. This article will answer the question “what are cloud services & who provides them?” as well as assessing some of the ways in which your business can benefit from using them.

What Are Cloud Services & Service Providers?

Cloud services are a wide-ranging set of software and software infrastructure services which are based online and delivered on demand. They provide easy access to many applications and computing resources, and are often very cost-effective. This is due to their scalability, as well as not requiring any investment in additional on-site hardware.

Cloud service providers are the organisations who provide this infrastructure. There are a small number of big players, with numerous smaller-scale providers following afterwards. They generally offer either public, private or hybrid services, and the decision on how to use these services are generally dictated by the privacy and security requirements of the business and its users.

Who Are The Main Providers?

The main providers globally are Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Google Cloud. These are followed by other niche providers such as Oracle, IBM and Alibaba, and many more small-scale providers too.

What Services Are Offered?

There are 3 main types of cloud service, though others also exist. These are:

  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) – Web-based email, project management tools, file storage, cloud backups, video conferencing etc.
  • Platform-as-a-Service (Paas) – Environments for software developers to build cloud-based apps, including databases, operating systems etc.
  • Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) – The infrastructure to run and manage SaaS software, but the maintenance is taken care of by the service provider. Servers, firewalls, load balancing, virtual network hardware and more.

Benefits Of Cloud Services

This list will summarise the main benefits, and this could be an article in itself. For brevity we’ll keep it as a simple list.

  • Security
  • Scalability
  • Cost Effectiveness
  • Disaster Recovery
  • Loss Protection
  • Flexibility
  • Data Gathering
  • Service Consistency

Summary

This article should enable you to give a concise summary when asked “what are cloud services & who provides them?” by others within your business, and give a high-level justification of why and how they can be used.

We have been using all 3 of the main types of cloud service for a long time at Kew Consulting. SaaS tools help us to organise and run our business, PaaS and IaaS to create, host and run the software we produce.

If you have a business which uses cloud services or is looking to harness the power of the cloud for a product or project, we can help in many different ways. Just get in touch with us for a free, no-obligation consultation.