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What is Cloud Technology and How Does it Work?

Gina Schumacher

Estimates suggest that as much as 60% of corporate data is in the cloud. It’s a staggering statistic that highlights the importance of cloud technology for modern businesses. Furthermore, those numbers are rising, and uptake has doubled since 2015.

 

So, why are so many companies turning to cloud-based solutions and what makes them unique? At a more basic level, what is cloud computing, and how do cloud services work? We at Flexopus, a cloud-based desk-sharing software, answer all these questions in this blog article.

What is Cloud Technology and How Does It Work?

A graphic that shows what cloud technology is.

Terms like “in the cloud” are enough to elicit bewildered stares from the more technophobic portion of the general public, and it can get complicated if you explore the finer details, but it’s actually just the internet. The “cloud” references online infrastructure, as opposed to physical infrastructure.

 

For example, a company that can’t afford to buy and hold physical storage solutions can purchase on-demand, flexible cloud storage from a company with more resources at its disposal. All of the data is then transferred online and stored without any physical connection between the two companies.

What is SaaS?

Cloud technology covers a range of software solutions, known as SaaS (Software as a Service). SaaS cloud technology gives users access to a range of services via web browsers and apps. These services may require complex hardware, but that hardware is irrelevant to the end user as they only engage with it via a website/app.

 

You probably use SaaS cloud solutions every day, as they include some of the most widely used applications on the web, including CRMs, productivity suites, project management software, and online storage solutions. Some of the ones you may recognise include:

  • Zoom
  • Adobe
  • Asana
  • Dropbox
  • Slack
  • Shopify
  • Zendesk 

 

In addition to SaaS, cloud computing also encompasses IaaS and PaaS:

What is IaaS?

A picture that clarifies the question: What is cloud technology?

Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) references the basic level of cloud computing, the foundation on which cloud solutions are built. Companies use IaaS when they want to control every aspect of the development process.

What is PaaS?

PaaS stands for Platform as a Service. It’s a layer of cloud technology that covers the servers needed to host software solutions, as well as the systems needed for security, database management, and software development.

Advantages of SaaS in Cloud Computing

Home and work cloud solutions offer a number of benefits for individuals, including access to cheap tools and storage that wouldn’t usually be within reach. But the main advantages of SaaS cloud solutions come in the business environment, where companies of all sizes can reap the following benefits:

 

  • It’s Accessible: SaaS only requires an internet connection. Any device should work, and as long as the connection is stable, there’s no reason why it can’t work 24/7.
  • It’s Cheap: The biggest benefits of SaaS stem from the cost. There is no substantial upfront cost like there is with physical solutions—no need for servers and other hardware.
  • It’s On-Demand: You only pay for what you need and what you use. If you’re using cloud storage, for instance, you can simply choose a plan that covers all of your storage needs and then add additional storage as your needs grow. The same is true for other SaaS solutions—it’s all scalable, and everything can adapt to your current and future needs.
  • It’s Secure: Regulatory obligation and consumer expectation mean SaaS companies are investing heavily in security. The result is that these programs are often incredibly secure, protecting all users and their data.
  • It Comes with Advanced Analytics: Most SaaS solutions have complex analytics built-in. Such is the case with the Flexopus hot desk software, which lets you track and analyse all historical data to provide you with valuable insights.

Disadvantages of Cloud-Based SaaS

The benefits of SaaS cloud solutions nearly always outweigh the negatives, but it’s still worth touching on those downsides, and they can impact some businesses more than others:

  • It is Not Great in the Absence of a Strong Connection: The accessibility of SaaS is a clear advantage for most users, but if you don’t have access to a strong and stable internet connection—if you live in a remote location, for example—that pro turns into a big con. It could render SaaS unusable.
  • Limited Control: You don’t have as much control over the software as you would if you owned the infrastructure yourself.
  • Less Customisation: The lack of control means you can’t always make the changes that you want to make. SaaS typically provides personalisation options and it can be tailored to meet your needs, but that control is more limited than if you fully owned and operated the hardware.

Tapping Into the Cloud with Flexopus

If you run a flex desk office, cloud-based solutions can help you maximise efficiency and ensure you get more out of your workplace and your employees. This is where Flexopus comes in. Flexopus is an award-winning, cloud-based workplace booking software that integrates seamlessly with your existing infrastructure and offers solutions like these:

Summary: The Rapid Rise of Cloud-Based SaaS Solutions

We started with the question: "How does the cloud work?". The concept is essentially simple, but how organisations use cloud-based solutions and shape our digital future is complex. The cloud is integral to data and consumer-centric businesses. It allows data to be stored without physical storage media and powers CRM systems. The potential of cloud technology is enormous and will continue to generate ground-breaking developments.

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Markus Merkle
Sales manager