The “cloud” has taken the world by storm; so much so, that many users don’t even realize they’re using it. Many businesses have yet to fully embrace this technology, and experts suggest that may be because of a lack of understanding. Whether you know a little or a great deal about it, what’s important is knowing what it can do for your business. The short answer? A lot.
What is the Cloud?
Though the name itself brings to mind images of a white, puffy, storage facility in the sky, “The cloud” is simply a metaphor for the Internet. Cloud computing is the act of storing, and retrieving files and software applications via the Internet, rather than the hard drive of your computer; Hotmail, Gmail, and Netflix are all prime examples of cloud services.
How Can Cloud Computing Help Your Business?
- Flexibility – Mobile devices have led to an increase of mobile workers, giving employees the opportunity to work remotely from home or on the road, while being able to easily access information from the company database. The cloud also makes collaborating a breeze, with the option to view and edit documents from anywhere there’s an Internet connection.
- Unlimited Storage – Any time more storage space is needed, it’s as easy as upgrading your account; before the cloud, this would have required costly server and equipment upgrades.
- Cost Savings – The need to purchase expensive software and disk space is reduced, as the software is installed and stored remotely, in the cloud, ready to access at any time.
- Ease of Use – Cloud computing is quick and easy to get running, with no lengthy downloads or installs required.
What are Some Popular Cloud Applications and Services?
The cloud for consumers is vastly different than for businesses, who may opt to implement:
- SaaS (Software as a Service) – Companies can subscribe to applications via the Internet.
- PaaS (Platform as a Service) – The option to create your own customized application for use by everyone in the company.
Popular services and applications in these categories include:
- Cisco WebEx
- Survey Monkey
- Office 365
Cloud computing can help revolutionize the way you do business, saving you time and resources to put towards growing your company and increasing profits.