Yes, I know the title is bad. This is what happens when I look to Chris for inspiration. The cheese comes out in full force! Anyway, getting to the point of this post. The Cloud. A term that is mentioned a lot today, both in the business world and out of it. Drop it into casual conversation with your pals on a Saturday afternoon; you’ll sound like an IT whizzkid. I guarantee it.
So. What is it all about? The Cloud simply connects everything – from computing infrastructure, applications, business processes and personal collaboration – over an Internet service and is delivered to you wherever and whenever you need it on any compatible device.
For you as a user, anything that backs up and syncs data that is accessible on multiple devices is said to be a Cloud service. Take your Apple MacBook for example. When synced up with Apple’s iCloud service, you can access your documents from home on your iPad or even your iPhone. That’s the Cloud working at its simplest.
Just to clarify, the Cloud isn’t an actual cloud floating in the sky; in fact, its home is probably in some of the most obscure parts of the world, safely away from prying eyes, flood plains and even flight paths! With data centers scattered across North America, probably parts of Europe, out in the gorgeous UK countryside and even reaching as far afield as South America and Asia, your information saved in the Cloud could be better traveled than even you are.
Where did it all stem from? Our innate human desire for everything, anywhere, anytime. Enter 24-hour opening times, smartphones that rule our lives and now, the Cloud.
Cloud computing for any business is a huge step forwards and often a step ahead of your competitors. Not only in the flexibility it offers and the ability to scale as your company grows but also the lack of capital expenditure these solutions require. Typically provided on a pay as you go model, Cloud services are much faster to deploy with minimal start-up costs. What’s more, the Cloud isn’t going anywhere any time soon, as high-speed internet connections become commonplace and the advent of 4G mobile connectivity, the Cloud is here to stay.
Document storage in the Cloud is a sure fire way to increase collaboration and productivity amongst your employees. Online programs such as Google Docs, iWork and SkyDrive mean your employees can work together, from across continents and time zones, all saved neatly and securely in the Cloud.
And to top it all off, you’ll be doing the environment a good deed. Cutting energy use and carbon emissions by up to 90% when compared with on-site servers.