What is the Cloud?

Originally the term stemmed from the concept of cloud computing which represents the idea of leveraging remote computational resources or servers. However, the last decade has yielded to some dramatic shifts in the way cloud computing is used, and we now find ourselves with a breadth of cloud-based services and structures. Phrases like Software-as-a-service (SaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) now flood the market and provide a variety of sub-classified cloud-hosted services.

In essence, the cloud is an outsourcing solution (much like Arcus Solutions) providing a specialized platform, service, or expertise to its users. Leveraging these solutions enables a company or individual to focus on what they do best while relying on the service to provide support, continuously iterate to suit market needs, and maintain independent growth. The economic shifts toward service-based offerings have translated beautifully to computing, and the “Cloud” has become the globally recognized term representing its standing.

Software-as-a-Service (SaaS)

Anyone who has used GMail, Salesforce, or even Facebook can safely say they are a consumer of cloud-hosted software services. The SaaS model of cloud computing is by far the most common implementation of cloud services currently on the market for all the same reasons that the average user prefers to work with software instead of programming everything by hand. Elegant, useful, and dynamic graphical tools have always been the best way to leverage computing for the average user, and it only made sense that these same services would be moved from downloadable applications to cloud-based ones (i.e. Microsoft Word vs. Google Docs).

Our team maintains an abundance of knowledge and expertise pertinent to creating and maintaining cloud-based applications. Our previous work consists of a wide variety of apps ranging from analytics and reporting platforms to multi-device social applications.

Application Programming Interfaces (APIs)

Among additional trends in cloud-based computing lies the concept of Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and the usage of APIs. Unlike with SaaS applications, these programming interfaces are geared primarily business resources as opposed to the average consumer. There are a number of companies that have made wildly successful businesses through providing such services as a means of extending or simplifying the operations of other businesses. One such example of this use-case is Stripe, “A set of unified APIs and tools that instantly enables businesses to accept and manage online payments”. By simplifying the operational hassles of digital transactions, thousands of their clients have spun up successful digital operations that can accept payments from customers instantly.

These interfaces are a fundamental installment of almost all of our services, but in some cases they can be designed in such a way that they can be made available directly to the public. Arcus’ engineering team is more than capable of analyzing the merits and technological capabilities of this type of offering, and similarly are experts when it comes to their implementation. Our clients can guarantee that their platform-based services will be stable, secure, and built to scale.