You’ve heard the term cloud and related phrases such as cloud computing and cloud storage most likely. These terms are being used more and more often, to the point where they have become part of our daily language. Most users, however, have no idea what these this actually means. What exactly is this new phenomenon and why should you care? Like an onion, let’s peel back the confusion and mystery.
Confusion and Mystery Peeled Back
First, it’s not that fluffy white stuff in the sky. It’s much more down to earth than that. The cloud term came about as engineers drew data connectivity over the internet on their whiteboards using a cloud symbol as representation. The cloud typically refers to the software and/or services you access remotely over the internet instead of locally on your computer.
When data is stored off-site, it means it’s stored somewhere — lots of somewheres — and a network of servers find what you need and deliver it. By storing information online, your data can be accessed from anywhere you have an internet connection through a web browser like Edge, Firefox or Chrome, with some companies offering dedicated mobile apps as well.
Some examples of off-site business services include Microsoft OneDrive and Office 365. Automatic (offsite) backups can be on the cloud and you can even put your business phone system on the cloud. And… these benefits aren’t just for large enterprises. Small businesses are starting to see a real value in going to the cloud.
According to Netmetix:
- It can save small business energy costs by 90%.
- 82% of small businesses say it’s important to buy online from a company with local reach.
- 41% of profit-focused small business owners plan to invest in it.
- 58% agree that being online has given them better control of their data.
Powerful Reasons to use the Cloud
The main reasons are convenience, reliability and many times cost reductions. Using services/applications online allow the convenience to make edits to a file in Office 365 on your home computer, and then pick up where you left off when you get to the office. Colleagues can even collaborate on the same document.
Information stored off-site is also typically backed up, so you’re less likely to lose your data. However, because your data may not be stored on your system, there are other factors to consider such as privacy, security, and the longevity of the company and service you use.
A cost benefit is that, because remote servers handle much of the computing and storage, you don’t necessarily need an expensive, local high-end server, desktops or laptops to get your work done.This can save a business hundreds and many times thousands of dollars.
Want to know more and discuss when and where the cloud might be a good fit for you? Contact us at (425) 336-5100 or simply fill out the form on the right to get things started!
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