FAQ Cloud

The decisive building block for making companies more innovative, flexible and faster is a functioning cloud landscape.

Cloud types and und Cloud storage

What cloud types are there?

There are four types of cloud: private cloud, public cloud, hybrid cloud, and multi-cloud. The type is generally determined by the location of the cloud, as well as who owns it. For example, a private cloud is only assigned to one customer. In the past, private clouds were always operated locally in the user’s own data centre. These days, they also comprise rented premises. A public cloud, on the other hand, is an environment that isn’t owned by the end user. Examples include Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure. A hybrid cloud is a combination of different types (public and private), whereas a multi-cloud is an architecture that includes two or more clouds from different providers.

Where is cloud data stored?

The data in a cloud is stored on remote servers that are controlled over the internet. The exact location of the cloud data depends on the chosen cloud type. With public cloud providers, the physical storage location may vary. With private clouds, you are free to choose the location yourself. For example, you can determine the country, or sometimes even the data centre and the individual servers where you want your cloud data to be stored.  

What cloud storage should i use / which cloud storage is best?

What form of cloud storage is the best, and which one to choose, depends on many factors, including the location (e.g. should the cloud be based in Germany?), available cybersecurity measures, version control and backup options, as well as possibilities for collaborative working. If possible, it is worth choosing a managed cloud-native service, as this is usually the most cost-effective alternative. 

Cloud in comparison

Cloud versus on premise

With ‘on-prem’, you own the hardware and software installations and operate them yourself. With the cloud, however, the hardware and software are provided ‘as a service’. This means you can enjoy the flexibility of a pay-as-you-go model, get access to unlimited resources, and benefit from predefined services, tools, and programs.

Cloud versus data center

Public cloud providers make their cloud services available through different data centres around the world, which enables reduced latency. What data centre you access depends on where you happen to be at the time. In contrast, with a single data centre, you have to rely on it always being available and reachable.

Cloud versus saas

SaaS solutions can be offered and operated on cloud infrastructures. In the past, it was mainly IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) that was sourced from the cloud. These days, however, more and more PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) services are being offered that can be configured and used in a modular way like interconnecting building blocks. 

Cloud versus on premise costs

Cloud isn’t necessarily cheaper than an on-prem solution. It largely depends on the particular use case and the cloud architecture. If the cloud services aren’t used properly, costs can quickly escalate and be even higher than for on-prem. The cloud model offers the advantage of being able to pay as you go. In other words, you only pay for what you actually use. With on-prem, you can often end up paying for hardware that is underutilised or not even used at all. But the pricing models for cloud solutions are more difficult to understand and plan for. So it’s essential to keep a close eye on the costs when switching to the cloud. 

Cloud certifications

Are cloud certifications worth it?

Yes, cloud certifications are definitely worthwhile. They are sophisticated and can help to navigate the complex ecosystems. Certifications are also a valuable credibility tool. They can help your employees to gain better qualifications, and the certificates prove to customers that you understand a certain system inside out. Cloud certifications are an absolute must-have. 

Which cloud computing certification is best?

Which one you choose will depend on your own profile. Because the ecosystems are so big, there are many different certifications available on the market. The best-rated cloud certifications include Google Certified Professional Cloud Architect and Data Engineer, AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate, AWS Certified Developer – Associate, AWS Certified SysOps Administrator, Microsoft Certified: Azure Fundamentals, Azure Administrator Associate and Solutions Architect, Certified Cloud Security Professional (CCSP) and CompTIA Cloud+.

Functionality and application of cloud computing

How cloud computing works

With cloud computing, services such as computing power, network, storage, databases, etc., aren’t obtained from the user’s internal IT infrastructure but, rather, virtually from a cloud provider. It’s a bit like milk: no-one would think of buying a cow if they only needed two pints of milk a week. Instead, they buy their milk from the supermarket. Cloud computing is based on a similar principle.

When cloud computing started

The ‘cloud’ is just a metaphor for the internet. The term ‘network-based computing’ dates back to the 1960s. But many people believe that the term ‘cloud computing’ as we know it today was first used on 9 August 2006, when Eric Schmidt, Google’s CEO at the time, mentioned it at an industry conference.

Where cloud computing is used

Cloud computing has become omnipresent among individuals and businesses alike. In Switzerland, 86% of companies already use cloud services in one form or another. In Germany, the proportion of businesses using cloud services stands at 76%. Among the most important areas of application for cloud computing are Industry 4.0 and the Internet of Things, in addition to automation and analysis in the field of edge computing.

Relevance and future of Cloud Computing for companies

Why cloud computing is the future

The cloud offers an enormous ecosystem of highly industrialised, professional services ‘off the shelf’. Used properly, cloud services are cost-effective and give companies more business agility and innovation capacity. This is particularly important today, when time-to-market is crucial to success. In just a few years, IT resources will be obtained like electricity from a socket – fully automated and without actually owning any equipment. These days, there’s practically no reason whatsoever to still run server installations yourself. 

Will cloud computing continue to grow?

In the future, only very few companies will still have their own infrastructure on site. All predictions suggest that the cloud computing market will continue to grow and the range of services will steadily increase. In the future, hardware and software services will be sourced like electricity from a socket – in an easy, flexible and affordable way. Companies also benefit from additional services that are offered in the cloud, such as data analytics and cybersecurity measures. 

Why cloud computing is important for business

Cloud computing is important for businesses because time-to-market and the ability to adapt quickly to changing customer requirements have become critical success factors in today’s market environment. Cloud services are becoming indispensable to avoid lagging behind the competition. At the same time, the importance of online channels is also growing, especially in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

How cloud computing benefits a business

Cloud computing offers a range of different benefits for businesses. Common advantages include greater business agility, quick time-to-market, cost efficiency, and the possibility of using mature services off-the-shelf (not just infrastructure, but also analytics tools, etc.). At the same time, cloud computing allows businesses to focus on innovation and gives them access to unlimited resources.

What cloud computing is not / what cloud computing can't replace

Cloud computing isn’t a cure-all that will always lead to the promised benefits. It all boils down to how it is put into practice and whether the company has been reorganised accordingly, such as by breaking down old structures and silos. Once this has been done, there’s nothing stopping you from enjoying the advantages of the cloud. Due to their sensitive nature, environments with very strict data security, IT security and compliance requirements have not fully transitioned to the cloud yet.

Can cloud computing manage inventory and shipping?

Yes, cloud computing can make managing inventory and shipping easy. A cloud-based inventory management system provides customer service departments with timely and up-to-date information about customer enquiries and helps them to identify loyal customers. It can also highlight potential issues with shipping options and premises, as well as facilitating centralised inventory. 

Cyber Security and Cloud Computing

Can cloud computing affect privacy?

‘Shared responsibility’ models, where you share certain responsibilities with the cloud provider, are also found in cloud computing. For example, it might be your responsibility to implement security best practices and train your own staff. If you fail to do so adequately, cloud computing can compromise privacy.

Can cloud storage be hacked / are cloud services secure?

The cloud generally offers peace of mind, e.g. of knowing that public cloud providers have a lot of experts working on key aspects such as cybersecurity. But with the ‘shared responsibility’ model, service users also have to fulfil certain responsibilities, such as adhering to security best practices and training their own staff. In terms of cybersecurity, cloud services tend to be more secure than operating an on-prem environment yourself. 

Journey to the Cloud

The all-important building block for making businesses more innovative, flexible and faster is a functioning cloud landscape. But how do you achieve that?

When used correctly, cloud services, for example, can help you to better exploit existing innovation potential and create new business opportunities – without giving you sleepless nights in the process. The challenges are many and varied, and it often happens that the high initial expectations are not fulfilled. The key question is: How does the cloud actually bring you the benefits you are expecting from it?

Jürg Borter
Contact person for Switzerland

Jürg Borter

Cloud Practice Lead

Jürg Borter is Cloud Practice Lead and thus responsible for everything on offer around the "Journey to the Cloud". He is fascinated by the daily growing innovation potential of Cloud and the resulting opportunities for companies. As an IT engineer, he can draw on several years of experience in large software implementation projects.