We’ve heard of ‘the cloud’ in tech terms, it’s been a bit of a buzz phrase for quite a while. But what is it exactly, what is it used for and how can it benefit your business?
What is the cloud exactly?
Ask Google ‘what is the cloud?’ and you will find a range of confusing results: it’s a concept, it’s a metaphor for the internet, it’s the future. So what is the answer?
The Concept The cloud can indeed be described as a concept, referring to an online cloud of information that allows us to access and store data without needing a hard drive or physical data storage device onsite. But where is this data held?
The Technology In physical terms, the first thing to understand is that the cloud is not a single piece of technology. Rather its a network of servers, each with different functions. While some servers provide data storage, others are responsible for running programs and applications.
Cloud technology stores data within a huge network of servers known as a data centre. So, rather than maintaining a server on your premises, your data can be managed elsewhere.
Put simply, cloud technology refers to accessing and storing data and programs elsewhere via the internet, instead of on your computer hard drive.
What is the cloud used for?
Most of us use the cloud in our daily lives, often without even realising it. For example, common applications include Instagram, Youtube, Amazon, online banking, online data storage, Hotmail and Gmail (to name but a few).
When you upload a post to Facebook or save photos to Google Drive, this data will be stored on the clouds storage servers. Or, when you send an email via Microsoft online or scroll through your Facebook timeline, these applications are being powered by cloud application servers.
With an internet connection, data can be accessed from the cloud anytime, anywhere around the globe.
How can the cloud benefit my business?
Gartner estimates that by 2022, growth of the cloud services industry will hit nearly three times the growth of overall IT services. Moreover, Forbes reports that businesses are utilising cloud services at an increasing rate, for compelling reasons:
- Secure and affordable – data centre compliance regulations provide resilience and security whilst their economies of scale make it affordable
- Improves efficiency – makes it simple to manage business from anywhere and scale operations instantly
- Provides customisation based on your business need – easier to manage, allowing changes to be made remotely
- Eliminates the risk of data loss – resilience through strict data centre compliance rules with multiple layers of server back up
- Offers immediate upgrades and latest available technologies – monthly subscription models provide instant upgrades and updates
- Globally accessible – access your data and work from anywhere in the world
As adoption of the cloud and cloud services continue to grow, its clear that if the cloud is the future, the future is already here.
Read our post on one of the most popular cloud based business applications: What is Office 365, in a nutshell?
Business Simplicity Solutions
The solutions that will be of the most benefit to your business will depend on your specific goals and any obstacles in your way. At Curveball Solutions we provide our clients with a ‘one-stop-shop’ of solutions designed to simplify business operations and reduce costs. Our clients also benefit from a dedicated Account Manager who essentially becomes a part of their team.
As a Managed Services Provider we become long-term partners with our clients, providing access to our expertise and to the benefits offered by our range of carefully selected partners.