Cloud computing is a term that means a lot of different things to a lot of people. The fact of the matter is that it’s really not that difficult. Most of us use cloud computing in our daily, consumer lives. So, why should the business world be any different? The answer is it shouldn’t.
What is cloud computing?
The dictionary definition of cloud computing is: “the practice of using remote servers on the internet to store, manage and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer”.
Picture where you store your data and applications today. Now, take that and picture it on a huge scale, all connected securely to the internet. When most people refer to “the cloud”, we are talking about technology hosted in a high security, state of the art data centre. So, there is no actual cloud. Cloud hosting is leaving the hosting to the professionals who know what they’re doing and either subscribing to a slice of it or paying for a private element all to yourself. A cloud server is a server hosted by the same professionals to run your own virtual estate for whichever cloud solution you desire. This could be anything from your Netflix account at home to where you save and store your business files like Dropbox or Microsoft Teams.
It could also be a private space for your company to run business critical services and invoke disaster recovery scenarios usually as a private cloud. Private clouds are data centre spaces that are owned by a single company, they provide more flexibility, availability and monitoring than the public cloud.
Why is cloud computing so important?
Cloud computing is the backbone for all cloud technology. Think of all of the services you use in your consumer life, Facebook, Amazon and Skype are all types of cloud technology. Ultimately, they all live across multiple data centres across the globe.
Translate this type of technology into the business world and we are looking at applications like Microsoft Office 365, Google App Engine and Slack.
If you audit the tools used in the top 10 companies in the world, you won’t find any on-premises storage, document or security servers anymore. The power of cloud computing is so vast that it has completely wiped out the need to host anything yourself. Therefore, it’s no surprise that in 2017, research found that 80% of companies are increasing cloud-managed services.
Benefits of cloud computing
The advantages of cloud computing are endless. They are impossible to fully document and will differ from company to company. What we regularly see if categories of benefits, like the ones laid out below.
- Flexibility: access and make changes to your cloud solution any time and anywhere. You don’t need to be in the office or the data centre.
- Disaster recovery: pre-built fail-over scenarios are implemented so that if there is a flood or power cut, you’re office business doesn’t suffer, it just follows your backup plan.
- Scalability: scales up or down as you grow and flex. There is no need for long term contracts for servers and hardware on site as you move to an “As-a-Service” mode.
- No maintenance: you are using the cloud services but you are not responsible for them. Your per month charges include all maintenance.
- Cost: over time, your ROI will become obvious. You find yourself never purchasing hardware again and only using what you consume.
- Collaboration: – adoption of the cloud opens the door to collaboration. From Unified Comms to complex integrations, productivity is just around the corner.
Different services available
Cloud computing services come in a variety of shapes and sizes.