It’s an inescapable buzz term of the tech industry these days, and most businesses are using the cloud in some way. (Unless you’re still working on typewriters. Then we can’t help you.) Yet despite its omnipresence, it’s one of those arbitrary terms that’s hard to describe. We’re going to try and lift the fog a little.
What Exactly is the Cloud?
It’s not those white fluffy things in the sky that look like dragons. It’s basically a network of servers each offering different functions, such as data storage, services or software. These servers are actual physical structures, so your data isn’t floating on the wind above you. It’s stored for you when you need to access it.
Obviously the cloud is internet based, so you can access your data or services through a web browser, or in some cases an app.
Examples of Cloud Services for Business
The cloud is the reason things you used to do on your computer at work are now done online. Services like Office 365 from Microsoft provide tools including Outlook, Word and Powerpoint through a cloud subscription. Designers and Graphics experts use the Adobe Creative Cloud solution for all their creative programs such as Photoshop. Google Docs is popular when multiple people need to collaborate on a particular document. Xero offers cloud-based accounting. The list is endless, and it’s only getting bigger.
– Accessibility: Information can be accessed anytime provided you have an internet connection. You can start working on something in the office, then pick up where you left off at home.
– Scalability: Gone are the days are having to buy all your own hardware which would outdate and depreciate. Now businesses only have to pay for what they use.
– Costs: The cloud is bearing the brunt of your operations and storage, so your company won’t need the latest and greatest computers to get the job done.
– Security: Losing your computer doesn’t mean losing your documents and data. They’re all nicely backed up and encrypted.