Cloud computing has been the most exciting and disruptive force in the tech market in the last decade, and according to Forrester Research, it will continue to disrupt traditional computing models until at least 2020.
In part 1 of this series, we discussed the fact that many more large enterprises are employing cloud as a services following major improvements to security measures. But this shouldn’t take away from the smaller end of town, where cloud adoption continues to accelerate. In this blog post, we look at the up-and-coming cloud models for small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
For IT managers planning a cloud migration – these are the 3 models you should be paying attention to:
1. WiFi as a Service (WaaS)
Demand for faster deployment, ease of management, and end-to-end visibility is driving adoption of WiFi as a Service (WaaS). With most business activities now conducted online, WiFi has become so critical to business operations and employee productivity that companies are outsourcing it to ensure uninterrupted service, and to take the pressure of the internal IT department whose time is better spent on value added projects.
This cloud-based WiFi service offloads the manpower and capital investment needed to deploy, secure, update, back up, power, and cool appliances that would otherwise be the organisation’s responsibility in a traditional on-premises WiFi model.
A WaaS solution typically comprises:
- WLAN configuration
- Network implementation
- Hardware and software management
- Operation and maintenance
WaaS models are particularly beneficial for SMEs that have branch offices in distributed regions, as it enables them to access fast, reliable, and secure networking performance without the need to install cabled connectivity and have experienced wireless engineers on staff. This also makes WaaS an efficient solution for temporary office locations or relocation projects.
2. Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS)
Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS) means an organisation outsources data recovery to a third party provider in a cloud model, rather than setting up its own on-premises datacentre for the purpose. Business data is automatically replicated and regularly refreshed to an offsite secure cloud where it sits ready to be activated at short notice should business operations be interrupted or shut down.
As SMEs face increasing risk of security breaches and cyberattacks, the ability to move operations to secondary facilities quickly, reliably, and cost effectively is becoming more critical than ever. This realisation is precisely why DRaaS adoptions are on the rise. Gartner estimates that the global DRaaS market will nearly triple in the next three years to a revenue point of US$3.4 billion by 2019, and that the number of organisations using disaster recovery as cloud services will exceed the number sticking with traditional recovery methods and services by 2018.
3. Cloud Monitoring as a Service (CMaaS)
Many SMEs are engaging with multiple cloud providers, and this has created a need for a solution that provides integration, management, and monitoring for all cloud services contracted by an organisation. This solution is Cloud Monitoring as a Service (CMaaS), which has been listed by Information Age as one of the top trends driving cloud migration this year.
As Information Age explains, a CMaaS solution keeps tabs on performance across the interdependent suppliers that are critical to an organisation’s IT service delivery, providing integration with public cloud services (e.g. Office 365, Salesforce, and Google Apps), as well as IaaS and PaaS services (e.g. Microsoft Azure, AWS and Google’s App Engine).
As we mentioned in part 1 of this series, cloud vendor management can be a very complex exercise. CMaaS eases this burden by enabling all of an organisation’s cloud platforms to be viewed and managed from a single console.
However, unless all of your systems are already in the cloud, a CMaaS solution isn’t going to show the whole picture. SMEs in need of a more comprehensive monitoring service would be best off consulting with a managed IT service provider, who can install gateways to incorporate in-house systems and hosted and private cloud services in the monitoring environment.
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