There is so much buzz about “The Cloud”, and for many the term gets lost in the conversation. Cloud computing can be successfully leveraged for many businesses, but understanding what it is and how it can be used is important when a business is considering and evaluating different technologies.
IBM defines cloud computing as the delivery of on-demand computing resources – everything from applications to datacentres over the internet on a pay-for-use basis.
In other words, “the cloud” is referred to datacentres that house the hardware that make it able to run these cloud services. These datacentres are incredibly sophisticated, run on huge and powerful computers, and use very fast internet lines.
The Cloud means that your data is being stored within one of these datacentres and you can access that data at any given point at any given time. Each time you add data to an application or program you can change that data and update it on the hardware (computers/servers) within that datacentre.
Some Examples of “Cloud Computing”
- Email communication: Webmail (like Gmail) is a great way to leverage cloud storage and not use up local memory on workstations like traditional email clients do.
- Collaboration: Programs like GoogleDocs or DropBox make it easy and quick for employees to share files with these online programs. It allows them to avoid having to use external storage devices to export data for sharing purposes, which can be easily misplaced or broken.
- Office 365: is a great example of accessing data that is hosted on Microsoft’s servers. Microsoft recently opened datacentre facilities within Canada to house Canadian based businesses data.
- Online Applications: Such as Salesforce and NetSuite are applications that many businesses leverage to effectively manage their business, and these programs are all accessed over the internet.
When your business is evaluating cloud computing, it’s important to understand where those services are being delivered. You want to be sure that the datacentre has a strong reputation and meets strict security and compliance requirements. Talk to us about cloud computing and we would be happy to assist you!