You’ve likely heard of cloud computing. But are you clear on what it is and what benefits it offers your business?
At its most basic, cloud computing is Internet-based computing versus hardware-based computing. All software, information, and resources are located on a cloud service provider’s servers at remote locations. Computing services are provided to your computers or computer network on demand.
Unlike storing information on your own hardware or servers in your office, cloud computing stores data on the Internet. It works by making information available from a central Web-based hub that gives anyone with proper credentials access from any location with an Internet connection. Cloud computing also syncs data for all devices connected to the cloud, keeping them updated with real-time information.
To use cloud services, you rent space from a cloud provider and let them take care of the rest. You no longer have to worry about storing and maintaining computer hardware and software in your office.
Also, because all of your information is stored remotely, you can access it any time, from anywhere, including on a laptop, tablet, or smartphone. Businesses find that the cloud frees them from the details of computing, so they can spend more time working on their businesses. They also find that cloud services save them time and money by boosting productivity.
Who’s Using Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is used by everyone from individuals to private and public organizations, and from small businesses to multinational corporations. According to a study by Neovise, a cloud technology research firm, 54% of organizations are using cloud computing today. Of these organizations, 74% use some combination of different types of clouds, with 40 to 50% of them using multiple services of the same type of cloud.
Cloud-computing services can range from data storage to functional programs, including accounting, customer-service tools, remote desktop hosting, email, application hosting, Web-based phone systems, data storage, and more.
In the cloud environment, users can access all types of files, use applications as though they were in the office, and even collaborate remotely while working on the same project or presentation as someone on the other side of the globe.
Three Types of Cloud Services
Business owners use three types of cloud services:
- Public Cloud. An off-site cloud service where users get their own cloud within a shared infrastructure. The provider offers everything from system resources to security and maintenance. A public cloud system is best for organizations that want both the latest technology and a cost-effective option.
- Private Cloud. A cloud platform built within your own walls, on your own hardware and software, with your own data center, and managed by your own internal IT team. As a result, it’s ideal for businesses wanting exclusive access, more flexibility, and greater control over their cloud.
- Hybrid Cloud. A hybrid cloud system is a combination of both private and public clouds. An organization’s own IT team manages part of the cloud in-house and the rest at a third-party site. A hybrid cloud is perfect for organizations that want to manage business-related data in-house, but want to store less-sensitive information with a third party.
Despite the benefits of the cloud, many businesses are concerned about security. Ensuring cloud safety begins with finding the right vendors and implementing technology that focuses on both identity verification and data encryption.
Implementing any new type of technology requires trained personnel with the skill to execute and support the transition. You can maximize your move to the cloud with the help of the IT professionals at Gulf South Technology Solutions.