Cloud Computing, a concept which also known as “the cloud”, is understood as the on-demand supply of computer resources through the internet, and with a pay-as-you-go model. The type of resources that this system is able to offer ranges from servers (IaaS), storage, databases and networks, to software (SaaS), analysis and intelligence (PaaS).
- Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) is a Cloud Computing model which allows for a supplier’s computer resources (hardware) to be used as a service. IaaS systems enable customers to purchase hardware resources as if these were fully outsourced services. This model makes it possible for a company’s physical computing resources to be increased or decreased within a very short period of time.
- Platform as a service (PaaS) solutions encompass a set of features that can be used to create new computer applications. The PaaS systems provide all of the necessary components from the cloud for these apps to be created. PaaS systems tend to incorporate a development environment as well as an application programming interface, or API.
- Software as a service (SaaS) offers a wide range of applications which are hosted by the service providers and which are executed in the cloud infrastructure.
The traditional way in which companies work with ICT resources has undergone a massive change as a result of the implementation of Cloud Computing systems. Large investments in infrastructure are no longer required, and likewise, companies do not need to use their own personnel to manage these systems, as, for a fixed fee, they have access to a cloud resource provider whose task it is to ensure an uninterrupted and stable process.
In terms of economic efficiency, there have also been considerable improvements. Until now, maintaining a data centre was necessary, and this not only required a large investment, but was also highly inefficient when taking into consideration the fact that information is not actually being processed 100% of the time.
As Cloud Computing systems require much less infrastructure for managing storage, processing and availability loads, maintenance costs for both SMEs and large companies will be significantly reduced.
According to the ONTSI (Spanish Observatory for Telecommunications and the Information Society)’s report on the ICT sector in Spain in 2016, 19.3% of the SMEs and large companies acquired cloud computing services in 2016. In addition it was reported that 68% of the SMEs used cloud-based file storage services. On the other hand, Quint Wellington Redwood’s report: “Cloud Computing in Spain, 2018”, confirmed that 83% of companies intended to increase their spending on IaaS/PaaS systems in 2019.
According to Gartner’s 2019 report the three leading cloud computing platforms are Amazon Web Services, Microsoft and Google. Out of these three platforms, Google has come out on top in recent times thanks to the way in which its Cloud Computing services are able to integrate with the other features offered by the company, these include, machine learning, transcription and translation tools, to name just a few.
There is a growing trend among companies to use the resources that these Cloud Computing systems offer, and we have good reason to believe that this trend is set to continue within the business world for quite some time. In the majority of cases, Cloud Computing is the most competitive option and that is why it is anticipated that the usage rates amongst both SMEs and large companies will increase substantially.
Finally, Cloud Computing does not come without new challenges to overcome. The most significant of these challenges are: the creation of more ecological infrastructures in order to reduce energy consumption; and the use of mobile devices in order to allow for data to be processed closer to the source, therefore eliminating the need for information to be sent through the network (Edge Computing).
 A Data Centre is a building or room which houses all of the hardware resources necessary for the processing of an organization.
Gonzalo Blázquez Gil, Phd.
R&D Software Engineer
Carlos Barros López