The Ultimate Guide To Cloud Computing
In insight / By Hollie Coote / 21 February 2019
If your new year's resolution for 2019 was to get to grips with Google Drive, deal with Drop Box and conquer the cloud, we’ve got the inside scoop on all the info you need. In this quick guide, we’ll take you through the basics of what cloud computing is and why you should already be using it.
What Is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is using one or more networks of servers hosted on the internet to manage, process and store data. Put simply, cloud computing means that your business programs and data are stored, managed, and processed online, rather than on your physical hardware. They’re all stored on either onsite servers (private cloud) or on secure servers in data centres (public cloud).
There is also the flexible combined option of hybrid cloud, where businesses can choose to use public cloud for everyday non-sensitive operations and private cloud for completely private data transfer and storage.
How Does Cloud Computing Work?
Think about when you log in to your email account on the internet. Whether it’s Gmail, Outlook or Yahoo, when logging in online you can view all of your mail, write and send emails and receive files without having to store all of that data on your computer.
Working in the same way as email, Dropbox, Office 365, & Google Drive are all cloud computing services that are accessed easily from anywhere with an internet connection. So now you know what cloud is, lets delve deeper into some of the different types of cloud services available.
What Are The Different Types Of Cloud Computing?
Software as a Service (SaaS)
Software as a service, or SaaS, is probably one of the most widely known forms of cloud services available. It’s essentially a pay as you go or monthly paid service that allows businesses to access their programmes and software via the cloud rather than having to download and store on each individual device.
The cloud service provider takes care of all of the licensing and updates for the applications, taking away the hassle of software renewals. The entire software platform is always up to date for every employee wherever they are.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
IaaS gives companies the opportunity to utilise cloud infrastructure without costly up-front investments. Businesses can choose the software they need to use and personalise the scale easily and quickly according to their needs and fluctuations. Once a business has chosen and provided their desired operating systems, software, and apps they can then take advantage of the IaaS services including monitoring, automation and virtualisation.
Whichever cloud services you choose to use, they all have the same key benefits; high levels of reliable security, safe and seamless collaboration and integration, and cost cutting across a variety of sectors and business areas.
Security In The Cloud
When you work in the cloud you can rest assured that all of your data and documents are safe and secure. Most companies couldn’t afford to implement and maintain the stringent levels of security required from cloud solution providers.
Cloud providers have the highest levels of security available, they are constantly monitoring, testing and defending against leaks and breaches to ensure the complete safety of clients’ data. The cloud also takes away some of the stress of missing or stolen devices. Losing your phone or laptop is bad enough, but if you have sensitive data stored on there it has the potential to turn into a serious issue.
Working in the cloud ensures secure logins, remote storage rather than on-device-data and the ability to track, communicate with and wipe any device remotely. This ensures that even in the worst-case scenario, data is kept out of harm’s way by being safely stored in the cloud.
Collaboration Within The Cloud
Using cloud-based solutions makes connectivity seamless no matter where you are based, by allowing all users to stay connected in real time. It ensures that remote or home-based workers can share, view and edit projects as easily as if they were in the office and communicate in real time.
Cloud solutions don’t just improve connectivity with remote workers, they also allow easy collaboration with freelancers and contract workers as well as clients and other businesses. Contracts, proposals, design work and more are all accessible from one login wherever you are. Tight deadlines and last-minute changes to documents are no match for the power of cloud solutions.
Benefits Of Using Cloud-Based Solutions
- Cloud solutions are cheap and can eliminate the need for any expensive hardware.
- Companies don’t have to invest in additional servers, security or licenses.
- The stress of trying to remember renewal dates, server maintenance, security updates and patches are all eliminated when working in the cloud.
- It can help to keep down the cost of office space by allowing employees to work remotely and offers a chance to save on business rates and rent.
- It reduces staff presence on-site therefore reducing electricity, water and heating costs. Employees are able to work remotely at home for flexible rates instead.
- By working in the cloud, businesses are increasing and improving their flexibility, scalability, connectivity and the work-life balance of their employees.
Overall, employing cloud solutions will give you the opportunity to cut down on your commute, tighten up security and save some money without having to lift a finger. Most service providers will make the process of moving into the cloud quickly and easy, with some even providing a dedicated person or team to help with the transition and make sure that everything goes smoothly.
So, what are you waiting for? The cloud is calling!