What and Where is the Cloud?

Exactly what is the cloud? Where is the cloud? Just like a literal cloud, the concept can be a little hazy. The reality of “the cloud” is that it isn’t a single entity, as indicated by the word “the”. Rather, it’s a catchall phrase for remotely hosted files. Instead of storing data locally on your computer’s hard drive, your files are kept on remote servers and accessed over the Internet. In addition to data, the cloud is also changing the world of applications. We now have subscription-based software – such as Microsoft Office 365 and Adobe Creative Cloud – accessible from any computer with an Internet connection. Cloud computing offers several major advantages:

Cost Savings

Utilizing the cloud allows you to reduce in-house server storage and application requirements, resulting in lower hardware costs. Minimizing the need for local infrastructure also means fewer administration expenses, and reduced power consumption. You have the flexibility to increase or decrease your storage and application usage as your requirements change – only paying for what you need.

Reliability

Cloud computing generally has a better reliability track record than in-house IT infrastructure. You benefit from the security of having redundant IT resources, including failover systems. This means that if a server fails, everything is transitioned to backup servers. Companies relying on cloud-based services can avoid complicated disaster recovery schemes. Since the future of a cloud provider’s business depends upon their ability to offer a reliable service, they take care of most issues very quickly. Cloud computing also mitigates the risk of lost, stolen, or damaged devices. When everything is stored online, a laptop disaster won’t mean the loss of your valuable data.

Ease Of Use

Cloud computing simplifies IT management and maintenance. You’ll no longer need to install, update, and maintain software yourself, since all resources are managed by the service provider. Instead, you have a simple, web-based user interface for accessing software, applications, and services. Cloud computing enhances collaboration by allowing everyone in your organization to work on documents simultaneously, receiving critical updates in real time. This eliminates the need to trade documents back and forth over email, since everything is kept in one central location.

Utilizing the cloud lets you forget about technology – focusing instead on your primary business activities and objectives. Put the cloud to work for your business, and enjoy the increased cost savings, reliability, and simplicity of cloud computing.

Greg’s extensive technical expertise spans nearly 2 decades of study and application. As a constant advocate of security and technical excellence he leads his team in staying abreast of technology developments, benefits and potential threats to business continuity and efficiency.