The Cloud Operating Model: How to Tell if Your Business Needs It

The Cloud Operating Model

In the modern world, you have competition in virtually any industry. Very few companies have come up with business models where they have no close competitors. Even if you can devise a new business model such as building within the cloud operating model, you’ll usually have copycats popping up to try and get a piece of your market share.

If you use the latest technology, you can sometimes combat this. Many companies have that in mind when they use the cloud for their endeavors. 

Modern companies implement cloud operating models for various reasons. We’ll talk about some of those in this article. When we finish, maybe you’ll decide you want the cloud for your company as well.

What Does “The Cloud” Mean in This Context?

The cloud means a distributed server collection. It hosts infrastructure and software. As a business owner or someone working for a company, you can access it over the Internet.

You can also describe the cloud as computer system resources you can get in an on-demand capacity. It often involves both computing power and data storage. However, when most people in the IT world talk about the cloud, they’re talking about an entity that they don’t actively manage. For many companies, that’s part of why setting up and using the cloud appeals.

You can have a smaller cloud operating model and larger ones. If you have a smaller one just for your company, you would usually call that a private cloud. It’s one that you control.

If you’re using a public cloud, that’s one you don’t actively control. You’re buying into it as a software-as-a-service model, often abbreviated as SaaS. With large public clouds, you should see many functions distributed over multiple locations. Each of those locations works as a data center.

Do You Have Other Options Besides a Public or Private Cloud?

You have other options besides the public and private cloud models. You can also do a hybrid cloud operating model. This model combines using a public cloud and a private one.

Basically, you have some functions for which you use the public cloud, and you share that public cloud with others using the SaaS model. A parent company or entity runs the public cloud. It handles all the software updates and security for it.

Meanwhile, you also have a private cloud that your company controls. No other company can access its servers but you.

This cloud operating model, with both a public and private cloud, works best for companies that have privileged information they want to keep on the private cloud, such as confidential data, and also less classified info they don’t mind sharing among their workers on the public cloud.

There’s security protocols for the private and public cloud, but you will likely have more robust security for your private cloud. That’s because you control and guard the servers. You will likely have them housed in one particular location that you manage.

Can You Encounter Any Other Cloud Models?

You can also encounter the multi-cloud model. With multiple clouds, you have more than one cloud service. You usually set this up because you’re controlling more sensitive data. You might also have one because you need redundant storage space.

In most instances, you will set up a multi-cloud model on purpose. However, this model can exist accidentally as well. When this happens, it’s because you have someone implementing shadow IT. 

Shadow IT means information technology that someone uses without the owner knowing about it. Some of the more skilled hackers can do it.

How Can You Tell Your Company Needs One of These Cloud Models?

If you need more storage space for your company’s data, that’s one sure sign that you will need a cloud-based operational model. The cloud gives you storage, and that often appeals. If you’re controlling and interpreting large amounts of data, you can talk to your IT staff about possibly looking into one of the four cloud options we’ve described.

You might also have more employees working remotely. The cloud works well if you’re going with a remote work model. 

Individuals can easily sign into the cloud you’re using from different locations if you grant them access. You must make sure you have robust security measures, though. Otherwise, someone unauthorized could impersonate one of your employees to get onto the cloud from a remote location.

Additional Reasons Why Your Company Might Need the Cloud

You may get the cloud because you’re not happy with the traditional non-cloud file sharing you’re doing. You might also feel worried some of your employees might use unauthorized file-sharing online methods outside your organization.

Cloud-based file sharing becomes attractive in this circumstance. If you go with the cloud, all your stakeholders can access the same file versions within the cloud. This way, you have a streamlined approach and likely won’t run into any costly or embarrassing errors.

You might also get into a cloud-based setup because you have financial concerns. Using the cloud can save you money. That’s because cloud services often prove cost-effective.

You might want a new in-house server, but that can get costly in a hurry. Instead, you can go with a public cloud. If you can access one using the SaaS model, and you know you’re getting this service through a reputable company, you can save money and feel you have excellent security measures in place as well.

Just make sure that you research the cloud you’re utilizing first. You want one that a reputable, established entity offers, not some fly-by-night IT service.

You might also go with the cloud if your business entity uses many applications in your daily work. The more apps you get, the harder using them becomes without the cloud.

If you’re still not sure about whether your company should use the cloud, talk to the individuals who handle your IT. They can discuss the pros and cons in much greater detail. Keep in mind that as more time passes, more companies keep going to a cloud-based business model.

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