Imagine your business functioning with the aid of world-class enterprise technology. You are able to collaborate, scale, and meet technological demands quickly with a short lead time. All this and more is possible with cloud computing.
What is cloud computing?
Cloud computing is a term used to describe the delivery of computing services over a network, typically the internet. Services that use cloud computing include servers, storage, databases, networking, software, analytics, and intelligence. If you have used an online service to send email, edit documents, stream movies, or store pictures, and others files, then you have most likely used a cloud computing service.
The term comes from the use of the cloud shaped symbol in old telecom schematics. It was used to represent the complex infrastructure of public telephone networks. This has evolved to represent the network of software, hardware, computation, and remote services that make up cloud computing.
Cloud computing is essential computing that takes place over the internet. The service bypasses the old model of running programs from software downloaded on a physical computer in the same location. A fundamental concept of cloud computing is that the service, and the main computing behind it, can take place remotely on a machine separate from the end user’s computer. This machine is often in a different location.
Information collected during this process is stored by remote servers called cloud servers. The cloud server hosts the software, platforms, and service remotely. This frees up memory and computing power of the end user’s computer, which does not need to work as hard to process the application.
You typically only pay cloud computing providers for services you use. This financial model helps businesses reduce operating costs, utilize infrastructure more resourcefully, and scale efficiently as their needs change.
What are the benefits of cloud computing?
Businesses can save money using a cloud service provider. This eliminates the need to invest in servers, operating systems, and the necessary hardware. You won’t have to build a large data center to grow your business or invest in an IT team. You also won’t have to worry about updating applications and systems or disposing of obsolete hardware and software. Instead, you can use a cloud service provider to assist in project management and handle these concerns.
Cloud service providers that specialize in running these programs are more likely to have an experienced IT team that can provide your business with more secure and efficient service. Doing so allows you to gain access to the expertise of their staff instead of managing your own IT team. Additionally, downtime is rare in cloud systems. This eliminates time and money you would otherwise spend on fixing potential issues related to downtime.
Cloud computing services are fast. Businesses can access large amounts of IT resources, including adjusting computer power, storage, and bandwidth with just a few clicks. The result is businesses can move with speed, test out ideas and projects free of long lead times, and minimize expensive investments in physical infrastructure.
The customizable features of cloud services let businesses scale more easily and adjust quickly to fluctuating demands in their IT resources. If you have a business that suddenly needs more storage or bandwidth, you can easily increase your capacity by using a cloud computing service without having to invest in additional IT hardware.
This is great if your business experiences a peak season, where your computing needs are greater than average but not constant throughout the year. The cloud service can provide the necessary bandwidth you require for the period. You won’t need to invest in additional IT systems to meet your needs and have them underutilized the rest of the year. Businesses can be more agile using a cloud service and only pay for what they need. This lessens risk and operational issues that can occur if the system was in-house.
Cloud computing services allow users to access data at any time and from anywhere as long they have an internet connection. Business data can be accessed by employees on their smartphones or mobile devices. This is a great advantage for employees, who cannot be in front of their computer the whole day. They can remain connected and up-to-date on the what’s going on, even while in a meeting or during their commute.
Using the cloud gives you greater visibility and control over the data of your business. The service lets you determine the level of data access your employees have. You have control over sensitive data, like payroll or finance documents. These can be protected with access only granted to relevant teams or individuals.
You can store and sort information, and you can even assign it to various teams on the cloud. Cloud computing enables people to access the same kinds of applications through the internet. Multiple members can view the same document and work on it simultaneously. This can streamline work, grow agility, and increase collaboration within your business.
Cloud services enable you to consolidate work done by various individuals or teams in your business. You can then utilize advanced services of the system, like machine learning and artificial intelligence, to analyze the data and gain insights. This helps you make more informed decisions for your business.
Data security is a major concern for any business. A breach in the system can severely impact a business and result in loss of revenue, customer trust, and brand equity. Breaches in security are rare for cloud systems. Cloud service providers use a varied set of securities for their platforms and the data they store. These policies include authentication, access control, and encryption.
Cloud systems are very secure and managed by engineers dedicated to protecting it. They definitely have the advantage when compared to an in-house system managed by an IT team that must also handle other tech concerns. These kinds of systems are more likely to have vulnerabilities.
Storing all your business data locally on your office laptop or hard drive can lead to problems, especially if the device breaks or malfunctions. Like data security, data loss is a major concern for any business. Storing data in the cloud makes data backup and recovery easier and prevents data loss. The cloud service ensures your data is always accessible, even if your computer is damaged. Cloud computing services have speedy data recovery in emergency situations and help ensure continuity for your business. All you need is an internet connection.
The competitive edge of the cloud
Cloud computing service adoption increases every year. According to the International Data Corporation (IDC), more than a third of IT spending worldwide is in infrastructure to support cloud computing. The research company, Gartner, predicts that half of global enterprises currently using the cloud system will be fully invested in using it by 2021.
Companies see the competitive edge a cloud-based system offers. By using it, a business can prevent a variety of problems that can occur if they had stuck with an IT infrastructure that emphasized physical presence or storage.