Cloud computing does not need introduction anymore. It is established and has proven itself as a viable alternative for small and large businesses alike. Over the past few years, businesses of all types and sizes are increasingly seeing public cloud services as a stable and secure alternative for their specific business applications since almost all the public cloud providers now provide very strong SLAs.
According to Statista, the spending on public cloud is forecast to grow to $173B in 2026.
Based on our first-hand experience working as the cloud solution partner for hundreds of small and medium size businesses worldwide, here we have compiled a list of 12 top public cloud use cases. If you are a business owner who is wondering what can the public cloud do for your business, this list should help you -
Development and Testing:
When businesses want to upgrade their enterprise applications or want to add new features to those, they can take advantage of the cloud and develop or test the applications on the cloud – it can help them in improving their feature release cycles. In another scenario, if businesses want to test how their application will perform under a particular load or in a different environment, they can do so by quickly setting up the environment on the cloud.
Traditionally, businesses used to select the physical location of the data centers for their applications based on the location of their target users. As businesses have started going global, they need the flexibility to host their business applications to provide optimal performance to their global audience and set up the presence with better-localized content and services. The public cloud makes it extremely easy for such businesses to simply select the geo-location and host their applications at the desired data center – very easily and quickly.
In the case of hardware failures or software errors, traditionally, businesses have been maintaining physical backups and infrastructures which used to be extremely costly because such backup services are useful only in case of failures. The public cloud can be leveraged for backup, archival, and disaster recovery (DR). It offers greater reliability, efficiency, and improved security. All the cloud providers offer a variety of disaster recovery scenarios and have resiliency and disaster recovery built-in to their services.
Website or web application hosting is one of the most common uses of the public cloud. Typically, customer facing websites, which do not interface with any internal systems, require 24/7 connectivity, or require the flexibility to support occasional traffic spikes, can be very well hosted on the public cloud.
Enterprises which want to run complex security tests can leverage the public cloud. Since the public cloud offers built-in encapsulation and isolation, it enables malware testing, DDOS testing, and threat simulation. Because of the scalability and elasticity offered by the cloud, the malware can be tracked over a longer duration and that helps in building a robust malware profile. These sandboxes can also be easily updated with any operating system and version allowing the creation of custom environments.
Mobile Apps Test Automation:
Mobile test automation often poses challenges for enterprises because the set up of the test lab with various devices is difficult. Using the public cloud, enterprises can set up real and virtual-device clouds and conduct emulated and simulated mobile tests. They can conduct faster testing through the creation of massive test labs with hundreds of virtual and real devices around the world with a variety of screen resolutions, sizes, and versions of operating systems.
With the proliferation of connected devices, a massive amount of data is being generated by interconnected devices, sensors, web application, and social platforms. Successful management of the IoT applications requires effective storage and fast processing of this vast amount of data. Public clouds make it easy to gather this data and allow business applications to efficiently communicate with the IoT devices.
Temporary /Short Term Projects:
In certain situations, businesses need IT environments to set up a simple web presence, a microsite or an online project for a short duration. If it is difficult to set up the required IT environment in-house and it is time-consuming, one can simply set up the cloud environment in minutes and start the site immediately. This provides the required agility to businesses and allows them to test new ideas quickly.
Traffic Spikes and Drops:
For those web applications which experience severe spikes and drops in the web traffic because of seasonality, the public cloud becomes the most viable solution. With the cloud, businesses can increase the capacity only when the requirement is high and keep the capacity to the bare minimum when the requirement is low – ensuring that the costs are optimized and the performance is also not compromised.
With the convergence of mobile, web, and social, companies need to always think about their mobile presence and be prepared to make their services available on the mobile phones as well. Businesses can use the cloud as a perfect platform for such multi-access environments without worrying about the capital expenditure.
High Performance/ CPU-Intensive Applications:
A certain types of business applications – for example, those which use a massive amount of social media data or advertising data – require high-performance environments for data processing. Traditionally, setting up such environments used to take longer because of the procurement and configuration of the required hardware and software. With the cloud, it can be done within a matter of few hours and at a fraction of a cost of the traditional environments.
Today, eCommerce sites need to provide maximum uptime, high scalability, and need the ability to handle peak season loads. For those sites which do not have steady heavy traffic all through the year, private cloud is not a feasible option because of the associated costs. With the public cloud, the eCommerce sites can enjoy the flexibility, infinite scalability, low latency, along with powerful analytics and high security and compliance – all this, at a very minimal cost.
It is not necessary that all these use cases should be used exclusively in the cloud – these can be very effectively used in combination with your traditional infrastructure. However, considering the obvious cost benefits, flexibility, and scalability offered by the cloud, it won’t be surprising to see many traditional environments being phased out very soon in favor of cloud deployments.