Cloud computing provides a way for your business to access and manage your computing resources online. The ‘Cloud’ refers to the internet and ‘operating’ in the cloud describes the way you store and access your data through an internet connection.
Did you know that you are most likely using the cloud, every day?
Traditionally, you would usually run applications from software downloaded on a physical computer or server in the building. Cloud computing allows you to access your data and software on your personal computer if it is stored in the cloud (internet).
The chances are you are using cloud computing whether you realise it or not.
One big example of cloud computing it Google’s Gmail. Users can store and access files, email and other Google-owned application from any device – using the internet.
Considerations for Cloud computing
There are different types of cloud computing each with different features based on access and security.
The services and infrastructure are maintained and managed by you or a third party. This option reduces the potential security and control risks and will suit you if your data and applications are a core part of your business and you need a higher degree of security or have sensitive data requirements.
A community cloud exists where several organisations share access to a private cloud with similar security considerations. For example, a series of franchises have their own public clouds but they are hosted remotely in a private environment.
A public cloud is where the services are stored off-site and accessed over the internet. The storage is managed by an external organisation such as Google or Microsoft. This service offers the greatest level of flexibility and cost-saving however it is more vulnerable than private clouds.
A hybrid cloud model takes advantage of both public and private cloud services. By spreading your options across different cloud models you gain the benefits of each model. For example, you could use a public cloud for your emails to save on large storage costs, while keeping your highly sensitive data safe and secure behind your firewall in a private cloud.
What are the benefits of Cloud Computing?
- Flexibility – It’s ideal for businesses with growing or fluctuating bandwidth demands. If your needs increase it’s easy to scale up your cloud capacity. Likewise, if you need to scale down, a real advantage over competitors as it’s so agile.
- Disaster Recovery – All size businesses should be investing in robust disaster recovery. Cloud is now helping more businesses adapt to the trend, especially those smaller companies that lack expertise and cash flow.
- Small Businesses – Small Businesses are twice as likely as larger companies to have implemented cloud-based backup and recovery solutions that save time, avoid large up-front investment and roll up third-party expertise as part of the deal.
- Automatic Software Updates – Servers are off premises, out of sight and out of your hair. Suppliers take care of them for you and roll out software updates – including security updates so you don’t have to worry about it.
- Increased Collaboration – Your team can access, edit and share documents anytime from anywhere, they’re able to do more together.
- Work from Anywhere – With cloud computing, if you’ve got an internet connection you can be at work. Businesses can offer more flexible working perks to employees so they can enjoy the work-life balance.
- Security – Cloud computing gives you greater security should you lose a laptop because your data is stored in the cloud you can access it no matter what.
- Environmentally Friendly – Moving to the cloud helps the environment too! When your cloud needs fluctuate your server capacity scales up and down to fit. So you only use the energy you need and you don’t leave oversized carbon footprints.