New terms and phrases are introduced so often into the tech industry that it can be straight up impossible to keep up with it all! The issue is that they become common place so quickly that people all around will be using them before you even know what it is. This leads to either you being embarrassed asking what it means or being left in the dark. “The cloud” is one of these new terms - so many people are talking about how good the cloud can be for business, but not about what it actually is and how it works.
The cloud is all about data storage and services being accessible online instantly. The name can be misleading, as some people will think that it is not actually stored anywhere physically and that data just “floats around” like clouds. This is not the case as the cloud is actually a network of physical and virtual servers all around the world. These servers can be used for many different functions such as storing documents or accessing services such as the Adobe Creative Cloud. It is so commonplace that you are probably already using it without knowing. All social media sites utilise the cloud. Instagram is essentially a cloud-based service for storing and sharing photos, and Netflix is even a cloud-based service for watching movies without ever having to actually store it on your computer. Even email services such as Gmail and Office 365 are on the cloud. This means that you can access your emails from any device that you log into - not just your own computer.
Using the cloud in your business can help you in a range of different ways. Firstly, using the cloud can save you money. Traditional dedicated servers can cost a lot of money to purchase, install and maintain. They do have their benefits and drawbacks, but for most small to medium businesses they are simply too expensive. These days technology moves so fast that these dedicated servers are almost out-dated the second you buy them. This means that more money is going to be spent on upgrades later in life. With the cloud, you pay a monthly fee to use as much storage as your business needs, without having to worry about upgrades or running your own IT department to manage the servers. The cloud is also so flexible in terms of expanding or shrinking the amount of data you can store. Traditional servers require more hardware to increase capacity, whereas on the cloud you can update the amount of storage you have access to whenever you need it.
The cloud also brings the ultimate amount of access to your data. You can access data saved on the cloud anywhere you happen to be in the world as long as you have Internet access. Gone are the days of bringing USBs or external hard drives on your business trips. Simply login on your computer or smartphone and you have access to all your documents instantly. This does worry some people about security, however most paid subscription based cloud companies such as Microsoft’s Office 365 will automatically encrypt your information, making it harder for others to access without authorisation. Careful consideration should be taken as to which documents you do upload to the cloud.
The benefits the cloud can bring to your business are worth looking into. In order to make sure you get the best data storage solution for your business, make sure you speak to professionals who are able to match your business’ needs with the perfect solution. Contact us here.