What is “the Cloud?”
The Cloud is in essence someone else’s computer, or rather, a hole heck of a lot of other people’s computers. It is somewhere where you can use applications or save or use data from. There is no single “Cloud” but thousands of different services that for ease have been lumped together.
You may have used the Cloud before by saving photos to Dropbox (check out our more secure version: 365OmniDrive), using social media such as Facebook or Twitter, and accessing web-based software (Microsoft Office 365).
The Cloud has been around for some time, but in recent years, has started to gain momentum as storage costs decrease and internet speeds increase; access to the Cloud is easier than ever, and you may be using it even if you don’t realize it. If you access something through the internet instead of your computer’s hard drive, it’s in the Cloud.
The Cloud is here, it’s here to stay, and it’s the future.
Is the Cloud the internet?
Not really. The internet is a global network of connected computers – similar to the computers connected in your office – but on a far bigger scale.
So, if the Cloud isn’t the internet, what is it? It’s a resource you access through the internet. The internet gives you access to the Cloud, so you can use software and services or save your data somewhere other than your computer.
For example, when you upload photos to Facebook, you use the internet to access Facebook’s servers. If you don’t have an internet connection, you can’t upload the photos to, or access them on, Facebook.
What’s the Cloud’s future?
A key benefit of the Cloud is that you no longer need to purchase high-end hardware, because you’re accessing someone else’s hardware through the Cloud.
In the not-too-distant future, you may not need to purchase costly smart phones, desktop computers, and laptops, as you no longer require as much high-end hardware to save and compute your data – instead, it’ll be done “in the Cloud.” Amazon already offers a workstation in the Cloud, Amazon Workspaces, where you can use whatever device you want to access a desktop computer in the Cloud to meet your performance requirements.
Should I be using the Cloud for my business?
Should you move all your applications, services and data to the Cloud or just parts of them? Should you get rid of your local server or keep it? These are big decisions that require weighing the advantages and disadvantages based on your specific business requirements, which I’ll discuss on my next blog post on Tuesday, July 30.
Of course, if you have questions about the Cloud or moving your business to the Cloud, you can always contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 204–488-3655.
A great first step to move to the Cloud is converting to Office365. You may want to read my first post on this subject here: Hey! You! Get into my cloud: Microsoft Office 365.