The cloud is something we hear about more and more these days, but what exactly is it? Many people remain confused by exactly what it is and what it can do for them. Businesses who could take advantage of the cloud often fail to do so because of this lack of understanding. Here is a basic guide to exactly what the cloud is so that you can take advantage of it, either for personal or businesses requirements.
Brief Overview of the Cloud
Sometimes people can have difficulty defining the cloud, even though they use it on a daily basis. If you use email, social media, or an online storage service, you probably already use it too. The cloud is not a single physical thing, but is instead a network of servers. Some of these servers store data, and some provide services. The cloud has been around since the beginning of the internet, but it is only now that it is really starting to be used by individuals and businesses.The history of cloud computing – Image source: Salesforce
A Basic Example of Using the Cloud
Let’s look at a common way that many people use the cloud. Google Drive is Google’s cloud storage solution, and it allows you to create documents online without taking up any space on your computer’s hard drive. You can then access them from anywhere with an internet access, and the documents are stored on one of Google’s servers, which may be thousands of miles away. The same concept is used by other cloud storage solutions like Dropbox and Evernote, which you may also use.
Benefits of the Cloud
There are many benefits of the cloud for both individuals and businesses. One of the most important is the convenience it provides. You can store photos, videos and more in the cloud, and you can access them from anywhere so you never have to worry about losing them. Businesses can also store data in the cloud, meaning there is no need to invest in expensive local servers. It is also easier to set up because you can simply sign up to a service and start paying monthly.
Businesses can also allow their employees to access information and services in the cloud from wherever they are, and this can help to increase productivity. The cloud can also help companies to be more efficient and more flexible by making it easier for them to scale up or down.
Security of the Cloud
The big question for many regards the security of the cloud. Security is clearly a concern, but the cloud is secure if used properly. High-profile security breaches make the headlines, but often they come down to human error such as using a weak password. For businesses, ensuring their data is secure is essential. This comes down to choosing a trusted provider with good security systems in place, or using a secure host like IBM iSeries hosting. So choose a cloud provider carefully, especially when it comes to crucial business data.
Take Advantage of the Cloud
The cloud provides so many benefits to people and businesses. If you have been confused about exactly what the cloud is, hopefully this will fill in some gaps in your understanding so that you can take full advantage of all of the benefits for yourself or your business.
About the author: Evan Gregory is a small business consultant who often has clients come to him who have not grown up in the age of the internet and need some tech support as well as business help. He writes for business blogs on a range of e-commerce and tech related topics.
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