When was the last time you installed software on your office computer using CDs or a download? It seems like only yesterday to some of us. But the world of workplace computing is changing by the day, as the Internet becomes ever more integral to business computing.
More and more CEOs and managers have begun to subscribe to the offerings of cloud managed service providers. It’s changing office computers and even where, how, and when employees access the software they use in their jobs.
Do you want to know more about cloud computing managed services? If so, this article is for you. We’ll identify and discuss benefits you and your company can enjoy by using cloud services to deliver software to your employees.
What Is Cloud Managed Software?
Cloud managed software is also known as a cloud application or cloud app. Cloud managed service providers allow cloud-based software and local hardware components to work together. This computing model uses remote servers for hosting. And programs’ functions are accessed through web browsers with reliable internet connections.
Virtualization is the phenomenon that makes cloud computing possible. It lets cloud operators create simulated, digital-only virtual computers. These are called “virtual machines,” and they function like any computer with hardware and a physical presence. Because of virtual machines, cloud managed service providers can work with several clients at the same time.
When properly deployed, multiple virtual machines can share the same physical host machine without encroaching on each other’s virtual “turf.” They are isolated or “sandboxed” from each other. Thus, the files and applications from one virtual machine are invisible to the others—even though they operate from the same physical computer.
Hosting Cloud Managed Software
There are four basic cloud types. Each of them serves different user needs.
The public cloud comprises computing services offered by third-party providers over the public Internet. This makes them available to anyone who wants to use or buy them. They may be free or sold on-demand, allowing customers to pay only on a per-use basis for the CPU cycles, storage, or bandwidth they consume.
The largest cloud managed service providers using the public cloud include mega-corporations like Amazon, Microsoft, Google, Oracle, Adobe, etc. These companies adhere to the on-demand, pay-as-you-go model. It’s a flexible structure, but it also requires users to adhere to the providers’ terms and conditions. Public clouds serve many users at the same time.
Private clouds serve individual users or organizations, usually by contract. They tend to exist behind firewalls for the tightest security and are often managed by either in-house IT staff or trusted third parties.
As one IT expert explained, “In a private cloud service, the provider sets up everything from network to storage in the location of the client’s choice, whether it is on-premises or in a third-party data centre. Clients can select from a range of options to meet their needs.”
Hybrid clouds combine public and private clouds. And community clouds are collaborative platforms with multiple tenants using them. The latter tend to be used for projects within specific industries.
The best cloud service providers for a business or organization depend on its specific needs. These include factors such as security needs, software expertise, etc. This article focuses mainly on the two most widely used types of cloud computing services:
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
SaaS is the most longstanding of these services. It means having cloud managed service providers service, update, and resolve issues with a company’s software deployment.
IaaS provides businesses with essential web architecture, including storage space, servers, and connections. Given the scale economies and the degree of specialization involved, IaaS can help the company providing the infrastructure as well as the one using it.
Notable Benefits of Cloud Managed Service Providers
What follows are ten benefits to consider cloud managed service providers and their benefits. We know this is not an exhaustive list since the benefits of using cloud managed service providers continue to grow. Still, it should serve as a comprehensive overview of the topic.
1. Cloud Managed Services Providers Help You Realize Excellent Cost-Savings
There are many ways businesses and other organizations can save expenses. For instance, they do this by moving data, applications, development, and other IT functions to cloud computing managed services.
So the cost savings really are about more than just software migration. Of course, one could argue that the convenience made possible by that alone would, by itself, make cloud services worth it. Certainly, a smaller business using managed cloud services avoids what is likely to be an unsustainable cost for in-house IT staff.
Add services like corporate telephony, data storage and processing, and off-site IT management. We know you’ll see some savings.
2. You Can Avoid Paying High Infrastructure Costs
Today’s cloud managed software can find a home with both managed public and managed private cloud hosting. Both types of cloud managed service providers help you avoid many costs for augmenting, refreshing, and maintaining an in-house IT infrastructure.
As we say, “Migrating to a primarily cloud based infrastructure will help you get more out of your IT spend by lowering your investment and increase availability, security, and productivity.”
3. Your Software Is Always Up-to-Date
If you want your personal computer-based programs to be up-to-date, you set them to auto-update. But then you regret doing so every time the updating process interrupts your work. Keeping the SaaS programs you and your work colleagues rely on updated at all times is part of cloud managed service providers’ role. We stay up-to-date so that you don’t fall behind.
4. Their Work Allows You to Mobilize Your Workforce
Some say the Millennial Generation, with their tech-savvy, have made companies question established work protocols and constraints. So employers have adapted to this widespread shift in the status quo. They’ve adopted flexible technologies that allow employees to work at home or anywhere there’s Internet access.
Higher education, for one, began purchasing copies of needed software for their employees to install on home computers. It’s not hard to imagine, though, that this caused some work slow-downs due to malfunctions or just needing tech help. IT support was unable to simply walk to someone’s office to solve whatever was wrong.
Cloud managed services providers have introduced a new way. Needed software is run, managed, serviced, and updated by third-party providers. This eliminates the need to work in an employer’s office space, some if not all the time. The COVID-19 pandemic has made this an everyday reality for all of us.
5. Cloud Managed Services Providers Offer Flat Rates for Predictable Spending
Clients usually pay those who host SaaS and other services such as VoIP phone systems on a subscription, not a usage basis. So billing for any services is easy to predict when budgeting. Anyone who’s subscribed to cable TV that’s bundled with services like Internet and phone services can appreciate this flat rate.
Flat rates also allow companies to average higher and lower-cost months for consistent billing. This way, they won’t exceed their budgets for this expense in any single month.
6. Their Services Future-Proofs Your Technology and Software Investment
An in-house IT staff would have to spend valuable time training when a new technology or necessary upgrade becomes available. However, cloud technicians are already prepared to manage whatever new technology comes along. And they do it so smoothly that it’s barely even a blip on your company’s radar.
In other words, staying ahead of the game is one thing cloud managed services providers do very well.
7. They Provide Cybersecurity Support and Eliminates Downtime
Cybersecurity support is one ideal reason to go with a cloud computing managed service provider. Today, everyone from private individuals to large organizations risks losing sensitive and valuable data to hackers and other cyber-criminals.
A data security breach, especially one that affects an entire organization, can steal precious data and hours of valuable work time. Precautions like changing passwords, multi-step authentication, and cyber-security training are not choices anymore. They are 100% necessary.
Fortunately, cloud managed services providers are very conversant in cybersecurity. They also are in a position of, first, being dedicated to software management and monitoring and, second, knowing how to spot signs of an attack. Managing a cloud and all the programs it hosts also calls for some “big gun” antivirus software—and we use it continually to protect our clients’ data.
8. Vital Services Like Data Backup and Recovery Are Among Their Offerings
Data loss or theft can cause all types of businesses and institutions to grind to a halt. What happens to a medical facility when someone hacks into its patient records database? Or a bank has its customer accounts compromised. What about a healthcare technology company that experiences a computer crash, destroying all its data?
A third party backing up data can save precious records, unpublished research findings, draft blueprints, and much more. Some folks won’t trust a third party with their valuable and irreplaceable data. We feel this kind of thinking is detrimental to most businesses—especially those with few to no in-house IT staff.
9. Cloud Services Providers Can Ease Your Worries Over Compliance Issues
Some industries deal with more local, state, and federal regulations than others. This is along with their industries’ standards and expectations. Compliance is critical to the success and ultimate survival of businesses in these industries.
Did you know that the federal regulatory code grew by 850 percent over the past six decades? So just about any business faces stringent compliance standards, plus more of them, to keep track of and apply systematically.
Cloud services can ease much of that burden. We stay apprised of regulations and other mandates affecting clients in the industries we serve. This includes:
- Data storage and management for medical businesses for compliance with HIPAA
- Media industries complying with FCC guidelines
- And food manufacturers adhering to the FDA’s food safety rules
We’re happy to be of help in this challenging area.
10. Many Cloud Managed Service Providers Offer Software Integration Options
Enterprise application software (EAS) addresses the unique needs of large organizations, not individual users. These organizations include businesses, schools, interest groups, clubs, charities, governments, or other entities.
Disparate software might grow into EAS suites specific to individual companies or organizations. But it often starts with short-term efforts to make an organization’s various programs communicate with each other. Unfortunately, this is usually done on a point-to-point basis as a stopgap measure. Doing this can really slow things down.
The ultimate goal of this process is enterprise application integration. It’s something cloud computing managed services do well. Because our staff is familiar with various programs and apps, it isn’t hard to identify ways to integrate them. Again, since this is part of what we do, letting us handle the task saves your staff hours and benefits from our existing expertise.
We Manage the Cloud So You Can Do Your Work
It’s 2020, and you know as well as we do that your business or organization needs to consider cloud managed service providers. That is if you haven’t already adopted cloud services. These services can only benefit you in the areas of:
- Data security
- Employee mobility (and career satisfaction)
- And many other aspects of doing business effectively
Data security risks will only worsen in the near future. And we can’t rely on workers trained in areas that don’t include IT expertise to understand the nature and extent of these risks.
The best cloud service providers are likely to be those who do managed private cloud hosting. This is currently the most reliable way to secure sensitive and confidential corporate data. Consider this: Is your organization is actively using cloud computing? If not, then your valuable data is housed mainly within the office computers where it was collected or generated.
TRNFRM Cloud Architecture is the best, most complete, and accessible cloud operating package for your business. This is especially true given its familiar Windows interface. Why not reach out to us today and learn how we can help your company or organization?