How many times a day do we hear about “the cloud”? If you have a phone or tablet computer, you’re using cloud storage every day! It’s the biggest buzzword in the technology world, and many are worried how safe the cloud is with their data.
Why it’s called the cloud has nothing to do with data zipping through the sky, but from the graphic used in the 1960s that was a picture of a cloud to depict a telephone network. The cloud is, in simple terms, a combination of hosted apps, data storage and remote server access through the internet. It is where all of these applications and data are stored. Social networks and email applications are two of the most common uses of the cloud.
One easy example of using the cloud is music purchases. Millions of people purchase music on iTunes or Amazon every day, and use that music on their computer, tablet and phone. The reason that you can access that music on all of your devices is because it’s stored in the cloud. This also applies to photos, videos, apps and other items that are downloaded to your phone, but used across multiple devices.
So while many of us use the cloud to store data and services and access them via the internet on a personal level, did you know that the same concepts can be applied to a business application? Many businesses store subscriber lists, customer data and payment information in the cloud so that employees in many areas can have access to that information with a few clicks. Here are just a few advantages of utilizing the cloud for business.
- Security – Instead of having an office full of hardware, cloud storage is housed at a data center offsite. Because the data is backed up to multiple servers, there is no single point of failure in the cloud. What that means for your business is that if one server were to crash, your data stays safe because it is stored in multiple other locations.
- Decreased Costs – Because utilizing the cloud reduces the cost of expensive hardware and maintenance, you can expect to see a cost savings when moving to cloud storage. Providers of cloud storage divvy up the costs of their infrastructure and services across all of the businesses for whom they host data, which makes the price much more affordable.
- Mobile Opportunities – With today’s workers constantly on the go, mobility benefits provided by the cloud are critical to keep businesses moving. IDC predicts that by the year 2020, nearly 3/4ths of the world’s workforce will be mobile workers. The cloud allows users to work from nearly anywhere and at whatever time is best for them. It also allows workers to be productive outside of the office – whether they are waiting to catch a train or at home with a sick child. Finally, it allows users to work on multiple devices. Because the latest versions of documents are stored in the cloud, you can rest assured you’re working on the newest version, and it will be easily accessed from any of your devices.
- Convenience – As with many technology-driven ideas, the only things you’ll need to implement cloud storage in your business are items you will already have on hand – namely a device and an internet connection. Today, about 86% of all businesses are using cloud services in some form or another. Server hardware isn’t necessary, which frees up valuable real estate in the office, as well as valuable IT staff time. This lets your IT folks work on the projects that really drive the growth of your businesses, because the cloud provider will handle the management and support of your storage.
- Scalability – When it comes to utilizing cloud services, you only pay for what you use. It provides you with an easily determined cost and can be modified based upon changes in your business at any time.
With Fraser’s Managed IT Services, we can help your business venture into the world of cloud storage to provide a secure, cost-efficient solution to your business needs. For more information on our Managed IT Services, contact us today.