July 2, 2015
If you are not very familiar with the term “cloud computing,” don’t worry. You are not alone. Surveys have revealed that a significant number of Americans are still not sure what the cloud is and what cloud computing is all about. But just because you don’t recognize the term, it doesn’t mean that you have not had the chance to use cloud services in the past. In fact, it’s much closer to home than you think.
Cloud computing is one of the most important forces driving today’s digital world. It is also one of the most ubiquitous. If you have used email services like Google and Yahoomail recently, then you’ve practically done cloud computing yourself. Other services, including banking, online gaming, and social networking sites also rely heavily on cloud computing as well.
Simply put, cloud computing is the process of storing and accessing data in remote servers instead of in local hard drives or local servers. The data and programs are accessible using the internet or are synchronized with other information through the internet.
As for the cloud, it is simply a metaphor that goes back to the early 1990s, when computer scientists and engineers used cloud-like drawings to represent computer networks in their flowcharts. Today, the ultimate network is, of course, the internet.
How can businesses benefit from cloud computing?
Migrating your data over to the cloud can greatly improve your company’s operational efficiency and positively affect your bottom line. Here’s a short list of the advantages benefits can gain from using cloud services.
Better collaboration – By having your data in the cloud, your associates will be able to streamline their collaboration and communicate more efficiently with each other. Imagine an employee who’s on a business trip but still needs to work on assignments he left at the office. Or how about one who is ill and can’t commute to work but wants to work from home. With the help of a cloud-based system, these individuals will be able to work remotely with their colleagues, effectively breaking the physical limits of their current locations.
Lower IT costs – Cloud-based services can help you simplify your IT requirements, allowing you to save cash on things you would otherwise pay for if you maintained a local server instead. There’s the energy and cooling costs, server maintenance costs, hardware and software upgrades, and salaries for additional IT personnel. These costs will be all but eliminated when you go cloud-based because all you’ll have to maintain is a small fee to be paid to your provider for the upkeep of your cloud services.
Improved scalability – Cloud computing helps you better manage your company’s operation and data storage needs as it grows. Instead of relying on an in-house team to perform potentially expensive upgrades to your system, your cloud services provider will take care of everything for you. All you have to do is to choose the services you need for your growing requirements.
Reliability and security – In any kind of business, data protection is an absolute must. By having your data stored in the cloud, you can worry less about unfortunate events affecting your business. Hurricanes, fires, floods, theft and other crises can compromise your physical equipment, but with your data stored securely in the cloud, you can be sure that it is backed up and protected somewhere safe.
Before making the final decision to migrate your data to the cloud, perform a complete assessment of your business’ priorities, requirements, and readiness. This will help you determine whether or not cloud computing is really for your organization.