Let’s start with what cloud computing is…

There are many variations of cloud computing and as many definitions. Most of us have at least a vague idea that it is something to do with servers and networks managed by someone else.
Today’s clouds are smart, automated and adaptive. Apps can be deployed far more quickly without custom provisioning boxes and once deployed those apps can dynamically scale on demand. Resource issues like congestion or failure can be resolved automatically, quite simply, clouds can be more efficient and cost effective than traditional data centres.

Public Cloud

Public cloud is what most people think of when they talk about the cloud. What makes them public is that they are hosted by a cloud service provider who rents pre-designed services on the cloud to their customers. Those customers generally only pay for services they actually use, much like how we consume electricity, gas or water as a service for our energy needs.

Public clouds let you off load management where you don’t mind giving up some control. That’s why they are a popular choice for hosting everyday applications like email, general storage requirements, customer relationship management (CRM), HR and other business support apps where they are pretty much fit for your straight out of the box.

Whilst security is a topic that always comes up when talking about the cloud, cloud providers tend to have higher standards than many small businesses. You can check your public cloud provider’s credentials in terms of being compliant with security and quality standards.
Public clouds are also best when you want a subscription model so you can turn on and off services as you like. That’s why they are great for collaboration projects and doing an ad-hoc software development project using a Platform as a Service (PaaS).

Private Cloud

Private clouds are private because whilst you get all the goodness of a cloud, you maintain control to customise it to fit your needs. Companies may migrate some or all of their data centre services to private clouds to run core business apps that have been specifically built for their needs. There may be specific regulation that your industry (or because you work with clients in a specific industry, like Defence) has to follow that demands Private cloud solutions but standards like 27001, 27018, SafeHarbor are usually taken care of in public cloud offerings.

Hybrid Cloud

A hybrid cloud is a combination of private and public clouds, you get all the benefits of both and more, like the ability to create new innovative apps with uncertain demand. Apps you can deploy on your private cloud which could burst to the public cloud during demand spikes.

Now, we can answer the questions:

Why is public cloud best for business?

1. The public cloud providers have a better idea of security than the business owners/single IT person, etc.
2. Public cloud providers build security in to their services (they have the uber clever guys that build it in – businesses don’t!)and their policies are.

3. Public cloud therefore can enforce better security than most businesses operate (e.g. passwords must be changed every x days) A business may not think.

4. Most businesses don’t need bespoke set up of servers. Public cloud offerings like Office 365 and Azure have enough flexibility for businesses to do exactly what they were building before.


Accessibility and simplicity: Public clouds are easy to use

One of the major strengths of a public cloud model is that it is easy to access and use. It also allows for the option of working from home or while travelling for business, whereas most private cloud models are limited in this respect and addition infrastructure and security needs to be added to enable you to do this.

Accessibility and simplicity is its number one advantage, as well as generally fast speed. Hybrid clouds are much more complex because you need to manage private and public data centres together.

Big market and variety of providers: Find the provider that match your needs

There is a growing market for cloud computing services and the offer is growing as well. This means providers have to keep their offers competitive and you can shop around choosing from a wide variety of providers.

If one platform doesn’t match your needs, you can move on to a different one with little fuss thanks to subscription models, while private clouds doesn’t offer any adaptability meaning you have to invest and commit upfront.

High scalability: with public clouds changes are handled easily

Since public cloud services are demand based, they have virtually unlimited scalability, meaning any changes in size or volume of your company’s needs will be handled easily. Any rescaling and changes in activity will be met automatically.
There is a vast network of servers available to distribute the load to if your needs increase, and this simply could not be done in the case of private cloud model without adding new infrastructure.

Cost effective: with public clouds you pay what you use

Public clouds operate on subscription models, meaning that you literally only pay for what you use. With some, you can pay less or nothing if there is no traffic. You can easily add and drop your capacity and the costs will mirror that.

Apart from that, you don’t need to invest in infrastructure, maintenance, software and regular updates which would be a must in the case of private and hybrid cloud models. You would have to provide facilities, up-to-date equipment and hire IT professionals to run and maintain your private cloud computing on-site.

Time efficient: Setting up takes only a few hours (or minutes)

As we have mentioned, setting up an in-house server or private cloud solution is both costly and time consuming. On the other hand, public clouds are readily available and setting up systems and configuring platforms takes only a few hours or even a few minutes.

If something goes wrong, there is usually an online support and help service available to you 24/7 as part of the service.

If you’re making a decision which way to go

All three types of cloud computing have their advantages and disadvantages, so it is advisable to analyse the needs and priorities of your business before you make your decision.

However, if you want to eliminate major expenses of building your own private cloud station, a public cloud is the way to go since it functions on as-needed basis, it is simple to use and set up and frees you from many IT worries.