Over the last decade or so, cloud computing has become one of the fastest-growing sectors of the entire tech and computer industry – but just what is cloud technology and how can it be used to aid business growth? Read on for a beginner’s guide to cloud networking and the benefits it could bring to your firm.
The basics of cloud computing
Cloud computing refers to the provision of any computing service – anything from storage to processing and running apps – handled by remote servers and normally delivered over the web to subscribed users. These services are typically provided on a pay-as-you-go model with users (individuals or businesses) paying only for what they need at any given moment.
While the concept of the cloud might sound a little overwhelming, actually, cloud tech features widely in several existing services – platforms you’ve likely already used without even realizing they were cloud-based.
For example, platforms like Spotify, Gmail and Google Photos all leverage the power of the cloud to deliver their services and supercharge your small handheld device into a fully fledged photo editor equipped with the world’s largest music library. Due to the storage and processing requirements of these services, none of them would be possible on just a mobile device – however, by handing the power-hungry tasks to remote machines, the load is removed from the mobile device.
How cloud computing is empowering business processes
Not so very long ago, any firm looking to embrace IT, computers and the web had to invest considerable sums in the setup and maintenance of costly networking hardware and software – normally hosted internally with at least some degree of in-house IT support.
With the cloud, companies of any size can avoid these substantial overheads by passing the entire process and responsibilities to a third-party specialist cloud services provider.
Moving to the cloud can bring considerable advantages to firms of all sizes, including (but not limited to):
Access to the latest, fastest tech: It’s in the interest of a cloud computing firm to invest in the best hardware available. After all, this is often the swaying factor for prospective clients and can mean the difference between landing a contract or losing out to a rival cloud provider.
Reduced operating costs: Running a network isn’t cheap. From the initial outlay for equipment to the ongoing maintenance and running costs, IT provision can prove prohibitively expensive. However, when working with a cloud company, all these responsibilities fall to your provider.
Security: Recent studies suggest that data is now the world’s most valuable commodity. Certainly, if you scratch the surface of most firms, you’ll likely find data forms the backbone of the majority of their services – everything from customer details to actual processing software, etc. Cybercrime is a real and present danger faced by all companies, regardless of size or income. By partnering with a cloud provider, you’ll have access to the latest web protection tools all backed up by industry-leading IT and security professionals.
Scalability: One of the most difficult tasks in business is adapting to ever-changing market conditions and it’s likely your IT requirements today are massively different to what they were last year (or even last month). However, working with a cloud company, upscaling or downscaling your digital services is as easy as making a quick call to your support desk.