Cloud-based services are certainly the present and the future of technology and computing infrastructure. Organizations of all sizes across every industry vertical are increasingly adopting and deploying cloud-based applications and services as part of their current IT infrastructures.
Driving this shift is the emergence of solutions such as infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) that provide agile infrastructures, enabling businesses to focus on their core mandates without devoting resources to certain aspects of IT management.
According to Gartner, IaaS is the fastest-growing sector among public cloud service delivery models, with total spending predicted to double from US$ 59 billion in 2020 to US$ 106 billion in 2022.
Let’s take a look at the benefits of IaaS in organizations and why you need to augment your IaaS-based workloads with a robust cloud-based identity and access management (IAM) solution.
Definition of Infrastructure-as-a-Service
IaaS is a cloud-based service that delivers essential IT resources such as servers, networking, and storage on demand to subscribers through a “pay-as-you-go” pricing model. IaaS allows you to bypass the costs and complexities of purchasing and managing physical servers and the entire data center infrastructure.
Unlike a software-as-a-service (SaaS) model, IaaS still allows you to manage things like applications, data, and runtime. The service also provides the flexibility you need to scale your IT resources up and down based on user requirements. For example, when you opt for IaaS, you can quickly provision new workloads and increase the reliability of underlying IT infrastructure without setting up additional hardware.
Learn more in IaaS vs. PaaS vs. SaaS.
What Are the Top Five Benefits of IaaS?
Now that you understand what IaaS is, let’s take a look at the five key benefits of using this type of cloud-based service in your organization.
1. Cost savings
Cost savings is perhaps the most significant advantage that companies can derive from IaaS. With IaaS, you don’t need to spend money to ensure that the servers, storage, and networking equipment are in good working condition.
IaaS also saves money because it shifts the expenditure from a capital expenses (CapEx) to operating expenses (OpEx) model, providing a consumption-based approach to IT resources.
This is cost-effective because you only pay for what you have consumed rather than paying upfront costs for hardware that has a greater chance of becoming obsolete during the term. For example, you can use IaaS to support e-commerce websites during peak times or test and development cycles that run only for a few weeks.
2. Flexible scalability
Since IaaS providers can never predict their customers’ actual requirements, they have designed IT products that can adapt to specific workload demands. Therefore, whether you’re dealing with a small to mid-sized enterprise (SME) or a large one, IaaS can easily scale to meet the workload demands. With this flexibility and scalability, organizations can easily forecast their growth.
For example, when the company hits its initial targets and has room to expand IT operations, IaaS can easily scale up to keep up with these new requirements. Also, when the organization gets a sudden traffic boost due to a successful marketing campaign, IT teams can quickly provision resources to accommodate the sudden spike in visitors.
3. Faster time to market
Unless your product is truly exceptional or your marketing teams are extraordinary, it is normally tricky to grab the customers’ attention and the market share of competing products that have already gained traction. This is why time to market is essential. It allows you to target more customers ahead of your competitors.
IaaS can help you accelerate time to market by significantly eliminating upfront costs. With a limited budget, you can easily build an IT infrastructure in a matter of hours through virtual machines (VMs) without having to purchase costly physical servers, whose costs and provisioning challenges could set you back by several weeks or months.
4. Increased support, performance, and security
On-prem disaster recovery and business continuity plans can be costly and complex, especially if the company is distributed across many locations. With IaaS, organizations can easily access their infrastructures through the internet no matter where they are located.
IaaS providers have implemented security measures such as multi-factor authentication (MFA) and robust encryption protocols that subscribers can leverage to secure their IT infrastructures. Most importantly, IaaS data centers have multiple network connections, power supplies, and cooling systems that can avoid productivity interruptions.
5. Supports a business-growth mindset
Spending money, time, and effort to decide on procuring, purchasing, and maintaining IT equipment is not only tedious and complex, but it also forces the organization to deviate from its core strategic objectives. By leveraging IaaS, organizations can spend more time innovating and growing their businesses rather than making technology decisions.
Leverage a Cloud Directory to Streamline Identity Management in IaaS Workloads
The transition from on-prem IT infrastructures to IaaS environments will continue to grow, with companies increasingly building their technology stacks on Azure, Amazon Web Services (AWS), IBM Cloud, Google Cloud Platform, and other cloud vendors. This means that the number of cloud identities will also continue to grow, posing enormous challenges for the IT teams that must manage access to these resources.
Although crucial, managing cloud-based identities is no easy feat. This is because organizations could have tens of thousands of heterogeneous entities distributed in different regions, making the process of tracking them painstakingly difficult. Without an appropriate identity and access management solution, companies cannot have proper visibility into their IaaS workloads, which makes it highly challenging to assess their risks and vulnerabilities.
By using a cloud-based IAM solution such as the JumpCloud Open Directory Platform, organizations can seamlessly and efficiently manage cloud-based entities. JumpCloud enables cloud-focused risk mitigation and identity management in IaaS workloads through robust solutions such as MFA, single sign-on (SSO), and conditional access policies. Learn more about why JumpCloud could be the right fit for your organization.