Cloud services like SaaS, IaaS, and PaaS have become common buzzwords that people throw around in the world of digitalisation. But what is cloud computing? Here is our guide to cloud computing, the types of cloud services, and trends to look out for in 2021.
Just like Vegas, there is a saying that “whatever happens in the cloud, stays in the cloud.” Cloud computing is the on-demand delivery of servers, storage, databases, networks, software, analytics, and intelligence through the internet. Cloud computing services like Apple’s iCloud, Google Drive, and Dropbox store your data in a network of servers, which can be accessed remotely on any device with a stable internet connection. Cloud computing services in the Asia Pacific region increased 38% in 2020, and is estimated to be worth over US$36.4 billion, reaching $48.4 billion by the end of 2021, with China being the largest market for the industry. The future of cloud computing will lead to many social, educational, and healthcare developments.
Notable cloud computing trends to watch for include edge computing, hybrid cloud, and as a Service– IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS, the three main types of cloud services. Here is a guide to the types of cloud services and trends to look out for in 2021.
Infrastructure as a Service (Iaas) offers access to resources such as servers, storage, and memory. It allows organisations to purchase resources as needed. Common examples of IaaS include Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM Cloud, and Microsoft Azure.
A more complex cloud service, Platform as a Service (PaaS) shares some similarities with SaaS, but it is actually a platform for creating software that is delivered via the Internet. Allowing developers to concentrate on software creation without having to worry about storage and infrastructure, some examples of PaaS include Salesforce.com and Heroku.
We encounter Software as a Service (SaaS) in our everyday lives, from using Slack to communicate with your coworkers, to using Facebook to connect with friends, to watching Netflix at home. SaaS is the dominant cloud computing model, accounting for two thirds of all public cloud spending. It is a software method that uses the internet to deliver any information with a pay-as-you-go model. SaaS is subscription based, where users need to log in to use the system. The reason why many startups and e-commerce businesses are using SaaS is because it is easy to implement and is less expensive, since users do not need to pay multiple fees, as all they need to do to use the service is to redownload the software on any of their devices.
The Future of SaaS
1. Artificial intelligence
Artificial Intelligence (AI) has been one of the biggest trends being incorporated with SaaS over the years, and it is continuously adapting. With AI helping improve data security, it can also support services with automated chatbots, and also reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a -6.1%. Since customer expectations have evolved since 3 years ago, companies are using AI to help with offering a more personalised experience to each consumer. Through the improvement of pattern recognition and predictive analysis, businesses are also able to advance their campaigns to tailor to specific potential customers and help with any B2B deals.
2. White Label SaaS
White labeling is described as the process of licensing a SaaS product to other companies for to be rebranded and sold as their own. This provides a cheaper and faster alternative for businesses to grow, since all they have to do is market their “new” product well, without having to develop a product from scratch. MatchMove is a Singaporean financial startup that offers white-label wallets to businesses to use for offline and online purchases, also providing virtual cards for networking purposes.
3. Mobile Optimisation
The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated the adoption of cloud computing, as more companies are taking advantage of remote learning. Many SaaS vendors are slowly moving towards the mobile market, making their designs more accessible, and with greater functionality. Providing mobile app personalisation, fast response times, and intuitive filtering capabilities, Singaporean startup 90 Seconds, is an on-the-go cloud-based video application for brand video production, marketing, and content management.
4. Vertical SaaS
Vertical SaaS is a product targeted to a specific audience and business rather than to the public. With vertical SaaS, many businesses are able to customise their product to target their clients better. Vertical SaaS platforms are more beneficial to companies in the healthcare, retail, and logistics industries as they are able to cater their product and its features specifically to their desired audience’s demands, industry, or niche.
5. Low Code
The low code market is expected to grow 27.9% in 2021. Combined with a SaaS platform, many businesses are able to collaborate with IT departments and companies to develop applications to improve workflow, data, and deliver fast, accurate results. These platforms reduce the amount of work put into the IT development process and also minimise the cost and need for specialised technical skills, since it does not require an individual to write any lines of code.
Risk and Challenges of Cloud Computing
Like many types of cloud services, security risks are a big concern since most consumers do not know where their information is being stored and processed. Besides that, if not properly managed and secured, there is also a high chance of hacking and account hijacking.
How to Secure Your Cloud Storage
1. Use Two-factor Authentication
Two-factor authentication is another level of security required when logging into an online platform. It may seem tedious at first, but this will alert your smartphone or designated contact method if there is a security risk like someone else trying to gain access to your account.
2. Be Cautious with App Data Sharing
Even if your account is secure, hackers may try to access your data through another account or app which your cloud is linked to. Make sure to check and remove any applications that you are not actively using, and to regularly keep up to date with app permissions.
3. Backup Your Cloud
In case your account password gets reset or all your files are deleted, due to unsuccessful login attempts or a result of being hacked, make sure you have a cloud backup system to keep your data safe and securely restore all lost documents.
4. Deactivate Old Devices
Whenever you switch your phone or laptop, it is important to remove your cloud account from these devices,t or uninstall apps with access to your cloud data to prevent anyone from accessing your information.
5. Use Cloud Encryption
Cloud encryption encodes or transforms data or files before they are transferred to a cloud storage platform. This allows maximum security and protects all confidential information when being moved from computer to computer systems.