Cloud computing has revolutionised business management and the world of work. Thanks to the on-demand supply of computing resources over the internet, businesses can now end their reliance on expensive in-house IT hardware and facilitate better collaboration between employees – even if they hire teams all over the world.

In 2023, spending on public cloud services worldwide is expected to grow by 21.7%, and there’s also been a significant increase in hybrid cloud usage (up from 25% to 42.5%). This trend is apparent across all sectors and businesses, with both small and large companies deciding to take advantage of the greater flexibility, scalability, stability and cost-effectiveness of cloud services. Keep reading to learn more about how cloud computing can benefit your business and help you meet your objectives.

What is cloud computing?

First, let’s discuss cloud computing in a bit more detail. Cloud computing refers to the on-demand delivery of computing resources, such as storage, software, applications, databases and analytics, over the internet (or “the cloud”). This means that cloud customers can access the resources they need on a pay-as-you-go basis without having to pay for and maintain their own in-house IT hardware (such as their own dedicated server).

Cloud computing services are provided by cloud hosting companies, which maintain a network of remote cloud servers in their own data centres. This network of cloud servers can provide virtually unlimited resources, allowing customers to easily scale their resource usage up and down as needed. Plus, since you’re relying on a network instead of just one physical server, your connection is much more stable – if one server experiences issues, other cloud servers in the network can immediately pick up the slack.

Overall, there are three main elements in cloud computing that businesses can use. These include:

  • Cloud-based software (also called SaaS). This refers to online applications that store data and/or deliver digital tools to customers. This software doesn’t need to be installed on your computer and can instead be accessed in your web browser if you have a subscription.
  • Cloud-based infrastructure. This refers to remote computers, servers and data centres you can use for computing and storage on demand.
  • Cloud-based platforms. These are complete development environments (hosted in a cloud provider’s data centre) that you can use to build, test and deploy your own software applications.

Types of cloud computing

There are three main types of cloud computing for businesses to choose from. All of these offer different levels of privacy and control.

Public cloud

Public clouds are cloud networks provided for public use by third-party vendors, including providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. This means that multiple businesses can use the same public cloud to access computing resources and store data, which drives down prices. However, the downside is that public clouds are not as secure and private since anyone can use them.

Private cloud

If you have more pressing security concerns, you may decide it’s worth it to pay the higher price tag for a private cloud. As the name suggests, this type of cloud network is private to only one organisation – only this business can use the private cloud’s resources and store data here.

Hybrid cloud

Hybrid cloud gives you the best of both worlds. As a mixed computing environment, hybrid cloud allows businesses to use resources in public clouds, private clouds and on-premises data centres. This hybrid approach allows businesses to seamlessly move data across cloud environments according to their needs, so they can move sensitive data to private clouds and keep less sensitive data in a cheaper public cloud.

Within these three main deployment models, businesses can take advantage of multiple cloud services depending on their needs. The three main services include:


Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) gives businesses the basic building blocks of their cloud computing environment. With IaaS, your cloud provider will give you all of the network, compute and storage resources you need to run your business, which means you won’t have to rely on or maintain your own IT infrastructure. You’re still in charge of your own software, middleware, OS (operating system) and applications with IaaS, so this model involves the least vendor management.


Platform as a Service (PaaS) involves slightly more vendor management, but in return you benefit from increased convenience. In addition to providing cloud computing infrastructure like IaaS, PaaS also gives you extra features like middleware, development tools and database management systems. These services are ideal for businesses that need to build, test and deploy their own applications.


Software as a Service (SaaS) is a cloud-based software delivery model whereby end users can access software applications on demand over the internet. Users will typically pay a subscription to allow them to access the software in their web browser, which means files don’t need to be stored on a single computer and work can be synchronised across multiple devices (facilitating remote work and collaboration).

SaaS involves the greatest amount of vendor management as you’re offered a final software product instead of just computing resources or an application development environment. SaaS is perhaps the most commonly used cloud computing model, including applications like Microsoft Office, Dropbox, Slack, Zoom and Shopify.

Advantages of cloud computing for businesses

So why are more and more businesses adopting cloud computing models and using cloud services like IaaS, PaaS and SaaS? Let’s discuss how cloud computing can help you meet business objectives and thrive in your industry:

1. Improved scalability

One of the main advantages of cloud computing is its almost limitless scalability. If your business relies on physical IT infrastructure, this means that more hardware will need to be added or upgraded if your resource needs increase. Upgrading physical hardware will take time, and it can also be very expensive to upgrade and then maintain this extra equipment.

With cloud computing, you can simply pay your cloud hosting provider for additional resources and services when needed thanks to the pay-as-you-go pricing model. Your cloud provider will own a large network of cloud servers that together offer virtually unlimited resources, which means there’s capacity for your business to scale exponentially.

2. Affordability

If you own a small business that doesn’t need a huge amount of computing resources, cloud computing is still your best choice. This is because you only pay for what you use, so you’re not locked into a hosting package that forces you to pay more for resources you don’t really need. If you ever need to scale up, your extra resources can be added to your cloud hosting plan immediately, and you can always decrease your resource allowance again if you’re on a tight budget.

3. Reduced IT expenditure

In addition to being affordable itself, cloud computing can help you save a lot of money by vastly reducing your IT expenditure. Maintaining an in-house IT system with dedicated servers and perhaps your own data centre can become extremely expensive, especially for small businesses that don’t have the space or budget for this equipment.

Moving your IT infrastructure to the cloud will mean you don’t have to spend time and money on IT maintenance, giving you more time to focus on other business objectives. Instead, your cloud provider will handle maintenance, upgrades and software updates for you, and you’ll only have to pay for the resources and services you actually use.

4. Easier collaboration and remote working

Since computing resources, storage, software and applications are delivered over the internet instead of being stored and saved on computers, you and your employees will have much greater flexibility in how you work. Data will immediately be synchronised across all connected devices without having to manually save files, which will reduce the risk of data loss and make it much easier for people to work from anywhere.

With the rise of remote working after the pandemic, more and more businesses are moving to the cloud to keep up with the latest trends in the world of work. Thanks to the real-time collaboration of cloud computing, businesses can now hire top talent from around the world. Plus, due to improved collaboration on PaaS and SaaS applications, employees can work more efficiently to meet business goals.

5. Reliability

Cloud services offer minimal downtime and a much lower risk of data loss, helping you stay online, keep your data safe and work towards your business objectives without interruptions. This is because cloud services are delivered by a network of cloud servers housed in a cloud provider’s data centre, so if one server experiences issues, other servers in the network can easily pick up the slack and keep your cloud services running.

This infrastructure redundancy is also vital for disaster recovery. Disaster recovery refers to the ability of an organisation to restore functionality to IT infrastructure after a disaster event, such as a natural disaster or human error. Cloud computing is regarded as one of the best disaster recovery tools, as your data will be stored and synchronised across multiple clouds and cloud services to prevent data loss.

As a result, cloud backup is an essential business practice. Cloud backup is a service whereby people can back up copies of their data to one or more remote cloud-based servers, and the cloud provider will then charge a fee based on factors like the amount of storage space used, the data transmission bandwidth and the number of times data is retrieved. To learn more about cloud backup, read our helpful article on what cloud backup is and how it works.

6. Better security

Although some businesses may have security concerns about public clouds, especially if they’re within an industry with strict data regulations, cloud computing is still incredibly secure. Large cloud hosting providers can implement enterprise-grade security measures that just aren’t obtainable for small businesses trying to maintain their own IT infrastructure. For example, cloud providers can provide the latest firewall and encryption technology, intrusion detection and physical security measures like 24/7 security guards. All of these measures will keep your data safe, allowing you to relax and focus on your business goals.

Drawbacks of cloud computing for businesses

Of course, there are also some drawbacks you need to consider carefully before taking the plunge and moving your business over to the cloud. Here are the main disadvantages to be aware of:

1. Privacy

If you use public cloud, there’s a risk that your business’s data is not entirely private. Public cloud is open to the public and can be used by multiple businesses, so if you decide to use it, you need to be vigilant so you can detect security threats and unusual activity. A better alternative is to move sensitive data over to your business’s private cloud, but this will be more expensive.

2. Vendor lock-in

Some cloud services come with a vendor lock-in period, forcing you to stay with your cloud provider for a certain period of time – even if you are unsatisfied with them. After this period, you may still find yourself effectively locked to your vendor, as some cloud service providers make it very difficult for you to move your data or proprietary applications to a competing service. Before choosing a cloud provider, make sure they give you the flexibility to move your business’s data if needed.

3. Escalating costs

Speaking of moving your data, this can become very expensive for large enterprises using cloud storage and cloud backup services. Although small businesses will inevitably save money by only paying for what they need, the costs can quickly escalate for very large businesses that need to transfer a lot of data, as each transfer can incur transfer fees. In this case, they may need their own in-house IT infrastructure.

4. Connectivity

Another issue with relying on cloud computing is that you’ll need a strong internet connection 24/7. If everything is in the cloud, you may not have vital data and software saved on physical devices, which can result in you not being able to access your files and applications if you have connectivity problems. If you decide to move to cloud computing, you must ensure that you have a strong and stable internet connection, or you could risk having periods of lower productivity and delays.

How to choose the right cloud service provider

It’s clear that cloud computing can be extremely valuable to businesses as long as it’s implemented correctly. Before moving to the cloud, businesses should always assess their needs and finances, familiarise themselves with costs and contracts, implement robust security strategies, upgrade to a better internet connection, and educate their staff on how to use cloud platforms and services. This will ensure a smooth transition and help to mitigate the potential problems described above.

It’s also imperative that businesses choose the right cloud service provider for their needs. To help you make the best decision, here are the main features you should look out for when choosing a cloud hosting provider for your business:

  • Minimal downtime
  • Secure, certified data centres
  • 24/7 support
  • Down-to-the-minute billing with no hidden fees
  • Clear and robust security measures
  • The right cloud resources for your business (e.g., cloud storage, cloud backup, APIs, SaaS, application development environments).

Get all of these features and more with Fasthosts cloud hosting. Our cloud servers will give you everything your business needs, including super-fast speeds, up to 128GB RAM, easy billing, scalable storage, near-instant setup and complete control of dedicated resources. You can also benefit from our CloudNX platform, which provides IaaS up to enterprise level. Contact us today to learn more about our cloud services.