By now, it’s clear to any IT professional that there are many different applications of the cloud. While it’s important to have an understanding of the cloud and the various ways it can be utilized, it is also helpful to see how real enterprises are actually implementing cloud technology strategically. Let’s take a look at how some of today’s leading companies are using the cloud.
Defining the Cloud
It’s important first to define the cloud. The most important thing for any IT executive to understand is that the cloud isn’t just one thing. You can customize the way that you use the cloud based off of your business needs, and mix it into your current infrastructure in a way that makes the most sense for you and your long-term (and even short-term) goals, like the companies below have done.
SaaS is a component of cloud technology that many companies are utilizing. An example of a major company using SaaS today is Hyatt Hotels Corporation. Hyatt is using Taleo, which is a Human Resources management software. Because HR software touches so many users and (generally) doesn’t need to be as customized, it is a popular SaaS option. Taleo in particular resides in an internal data center and operates off of the Talent Management Cloud, which is made up of scalable and secure infrastructure and not only includes the software platform but a full suite of talent management applications such as recruiting and performance management, compensation management, employee development, and succession planning. This is just one example of how a modern company is using SaaS; other examples can include enterprises that use marketing software, sales software, or payroll software.
PaaS has been successfully implemented by many enterprises. A modern example is the well-known mass media company, Comcast. Comcast has been using Salesforce’s App Cloud to build a field sales app customized to show services and savings comparisons, generate quotes and contracts, and capture e-signatures from customers.
IaaS is being utilized by InterContinental Hotel Groups for application development and testing and to host web content. IaaS is frequently used by companies to host business critical applications with little to no downtime at a fraction of the cost, which is why InterContinental Hotel Groups decided to go with this option.
Dedicated Cloud, Shared Cloud, Hybrid Cloud
Not only are there SaaS, PaaS, and IaaS cloud options for enterprises to utilize, but there are also different cloud environments to consider. For larger enterprises, a hybrid cloud environment is the most pertinent because it is the most flexible and cost effective. An example of a hybrid cloud environment is what InterContinental Hotel Groups is utilizing. They are using a mix of public cloud services for software development and testing and their reservation systems, but are using a private cloud in their own data center for their customer loyalty program, historical information, and promotions. If they were only using the public cloud, they would be utilizing a shared cloud environment, and if they were only using their private cloud, they would be utilizing a dedicated cloud environment – which many companies still choose to do.
Cloud computing is revolutionizing the way that modern enterprises are integrating technology and business initiatives strategically. There are so many ways you can utilize the cloud, and countless combinations to choose from. The above companies are just some simple examples of how cloud computing is generating real results for businesses. You can consider using any combination of SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS in a dedicated, shared, or hybrid cloud environment to best suit your particular business needs.