Expanding the definition of ‘cloud’ with extra words
It’s been almost 30 years since Andy Hertzfeld, one of the creators of the original Apple Mac, was quoted in a Wired article using the word “Cloud” to describe how General Magic’s Telescript system worked. This, according to many, was the first time in history that word was used in the context of remotely executing applications and services.
Today, in 2023, it’s difficult to find an industry in which companies do not use the cloud. After all, the ability to securely store data in virtual spaces and access it from any location (as long as you have internet access) provides businesses with a significant advantage.
But the cloud isn’t just a place for storing information. It’s more like a versatile toolbox that opens up many worlds of possibilities, from streamlining business operations to enabling powerful data analysis and machine learning (ML) applications. To distinguish these worlds from each other, sometimes we put another word before “cloud”. This is where the term “Enterprise Cloud” comes from.
What is an enterprise cloud?
Enterprise cloud computing is a business strategy that organizations can use to tap into the scalability, flexibility and cost-efficiency of cloud technology to meet their specific business needs. In other words, it’s an approach in which a company uses a combination of various different types of public and private clouds – based on what aligns with its requirements and preferences.
Enterprise cloud solutions help organizations optimize their operations and cut costs. However, there’s more to them than just that. They represent a significant shift in how organizations operate and innovate, as they enable businesses to extend their global reach, foster collaboration and facilitate data-driven decision-making.
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You might even go so far as to say that various combinations of clouds and their functions allow businesses to create environments in which tasks that were previously a nuisance become trivially simple. It is therefore not surprising that more and more companies are interested in switching to this particular model.
What is an example of enterprise cloud computing use?
One example of enterprise cloud computing implementation could involve a company utilizing a public cloud service like Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, or Google Cloud to host and manage its website and online applications, while also using two private clouds: one to store sensitive data for enhanced security and a second to facilitate internal communication and collaboration among employees.
Another scenario could revolve around a company making use of a public cloud service to efficiently manage its customer relationship management (CRM) and supply chain applications (capitalizing on the public cloud’s scalability and cost-effectiveness), while maintaining a private cloud infrastructure to secure its proprietary design data.
When it comes to the industries that most frequently leverage enterprise cloud services, these are Finance and Banking, Healthcare, Retail and E-commerce, Media and Entertainment, Telecommunications, Transportation and Logistics. Popular companies that are said to use enterprise cloud solutions include Netflix, L’Oréal, eBay and General Electric.
Why use enterprise cloud?
As already mentioned, the enterprise cloud strategy offers a multitude of advantages for today’s organizations. First, not only does it allow businesses to integrate pay-as-you-go cloud services with their existing IT infrastructure, it also gives them the flexibility to choose only the most suitable cloud provider(s) and use as many cloud solutions as they want and need.
Enterprise cloud computing also leads to significant cost savings as it eliminates the necessity for extensive physical infrastructure and the associated capital expenditures. This enables companies to allocate resources more strategically and invest in other areas that are critical to their business.
Last but not least, there’s also a matter of security. Leading cloud providers invest significantly in robust security measures and certifications, while also implementing advanced encryption, multi-factor authentication and rigorous access controls to protect their clients’ data. As a result, the level of security they provide often surpasses what many individual businesses can achieve on their own. Therefore, by building an ecosystem out of multiple secure clouds, organizations can create a highly secure IT environment that is significantly more resilient against unauthorized access.
What’s the difference between enterprise cloud and hybrid/public/private cloud?
Enterprise cloud, hybrid cloud, public cloud and private cloud are all different deployment models of cloud computing, each with distinct characteristics. Now, let’s take a brief look at each of them to highlight what sets them apart.
Enterprise Cloud: A strategic approach to cloud computing, it focuses on harnessing the scalability, flexibility and cost-efficiency of cloud technology to meet an organization’s specific needs. An enterprise cloud often involves a combination of public and private cloud services and may include hybrid cloud elements.
Hybrid Cloud: A mix of two or more cloud deployment models, typically a combination of a private and public cloud that allows data and applications to be shared between them. Organizations use a hybrid cloud to enjoy the flexibility and scalability of public cloud resources, while keeping sensitive data on a private cloud for security and compliance reasons.
Public Cloud: A model in which cloud resources and services are owned and operated by a third-party cloud provider and are made available to the general public. Organizations share the same infrastructure and resources with other customers. It’s a cost-effective option for hosting and scaling applications, but not necessarily suitable for handling highly sensitive data or applications with specific compliance requirements.
Private Cloud: A cloud infrastructure exclusively dedicated to a single organization. It can be located on-site or hosted by a third-party provider. Private clouds are used by organizations with strict security and compliance needs, as they offer more control. They may, however, involve higher initial costs and maintenance.
Enterprise cloud migration — What does it look like?
Enterprise cloud migration is a complex and multifaceted process that entails transferring an organization’s IT infrastructure, data, applications and services from on-premises systems or existing cloud environments to other cloud solutions. These cloud platforms can be exclusively public, exclusively private, or combinations of both, depending on the organization’s specific requirements and strategy.
Enterprise cloud migration involves several crucial stages, and it’s crucial to bring in skilled IT professionals who specialize in this field to ensure a smooth and successful transition. The process usually begins with an assessment of what to move to the cloud. Then, cloud experts will put together a detailed migration plan that considers all data and applications, to make sure that everything aligns with compliance rules.
The next stage involves moving the data, fine-tuning the applications and conducting comprehensive testing. By deploying everything step by step, you can constantly keep an eye on things and make improvements along the way. You should also have robust backup and recovery plans in place to safeguard data and keep your business running smoothly.
We can advise you on the best enterprise cloud solution for your company
As previously discussed, the enterprise cloud can be a fantastic way for today’s businesses to tap into the benefits of cloud computing and gain a competitive edge. However, it’s important to realize that it’s not a one-size-fits-all solution. If a company is thinking about embracing the cloud, it’s essential to first understand its unique needs and then choose a model that aligns with those expectations. For some organizations, the enterprise cloud might be the right fit, while others may find that a private cloud suits their requirements better.
It’s perfectly normal to feel a bit overwhelmed when dealing with various technological models, infrastructure changes and the associated costs. Thankfully, businesses don’t have to navigate this complex landscape on their own, as they can seek advice from experts who can help them make informed decisions about their cloud strategy. These experts can guide them in choosing the cloud approach that best suits their specific needs and goals.
So, if you are considering switching to enterprise or any other cloud model, you should contact our cloud consulting services team. Our experts will take a close look at your company’s unique situation and needs and provide you with tailored advice on the cloud solutions that can bring you the most significant advantages.
About the authorSoftware Mind
Software Mind provides companies with autonomous development teams who manage software life cycles from ideation to release and beyond. For over 20 years we’ve been enriching organizations with the talent they need to boost scalability, drive dynamic growth and bring disruptive ideas to life. Our top-notch engineering teams combine ownership with leading technologies, including cloud, AI, data science and embedded software to accelerate digital transformations and boost software delivery. A culture that embraces openness, craves more and acts with respect enables our bold and passionate people to create evolutive solutions that support scale-ups, unicorns and enterprise-level companies around the world.