Even though the use of the “cloud” has proliferated many aspects of everyday life, business, security, education, and more, the concept is still unfamiliar to many people. The cloud is accessible to everyone, but information about its nature and use is not as accessible as it could be. Many people know that clouds are the white shapes moving in the sky that are composed of water droplets and/or ice crystals. But how do atmospheric clouds relate to this new technological concept, and what is this new technology relevant? The cloud is a network of data, software, and services that run completely on the internet and are not tied to a specific device. Like the water particles of atmospheric clouds, data stored in the internet “cloud” floats around and can be seen (aka accessed) from a multitude of vantage points. Many individuals, businesses, and entities have yet to tap into the benefits of the cloud. This technology offers many computing benefits, particularly to small businesses.
What is Cloud Computing?
Cloud computing is the process of storing and accessing data, systems, and programs over the internet. Prior to the advent of the cloud, all data had to be stored physically on a computer, in a component called a hard drive. With cloud computing, local, hard drive storage is no longer needed. Many types of devices can access data, from anywhere and at any time. This is particularly useful for the emerging Internet of Things (IoT) in which many devices, instruments, systems, machines, and people need to connect all over the world.
Within the vast ecosystem of the internet, various providers host cloud systems for data storage and access. Some businesses deploy Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) cloud hosting where the company subscribes to the application that facilitates its cloud internet access. Some businesses use Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) cloud housing in which the business uses a custom application designed in-house. Other businesses use Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) cloud hosting where they rent infrastructure from major companies like Amazon, Google, or Microsoft. The enterprise size and needs usually dictate the type of cloud hosting strategy. For every business size, cloud computing can be incredibly useful, and cloud computing is especially beneficial for small businesses to gain a competitive edge.
One of the most important benefits of cloud computing to small businesses is the increased security of the stored data. When partnering with a trusted, skilled cloud company, small businesses receive the advantages of robust cybersecurity research, detection, mitigation, and elimination technologies. The chores of updating hardware and software, encrypting information, and monitoring traffic does not have to be conducted by the small business. The cloud provider skillfully and flawlessly manages these critical tasks so that business can proceed without interruption.
Remote Access, Mobility, and Recovery
Through cloud computing, data, records, processes, and systems can be accessed and controlled anytime and anywhere a network connection is available. Remote access and mobility open up endless possibilities to grow businesses and enable businesses to weather any outside complications like natural disasters, pandemics, or corporate rent hikes. Employees can work from home, on site, and in the office. Furthermore, if office property is damaged or lost, the intellectual property stored on the cloud remains unscathed. Once the devices are replaced, business can carry on as usual.
Low Cost and Low Maintenance
Cloud computing reduces IT costs and maintenance needs because everything is streamlined by the cloud provider who takes care of all of the equipment and software updates. Because all of the cloud services are bundled together under an expert provider, all of the tasks and processes are streamlined. A large, in-house IT team is not necessary, and the business can focus solely on growth and profitability.
Collaboration and Transparency
Cloud computing opens up exciting opportunities for collaboration and transparency. Team members can see document changes in real-time and even track document work history. Information can be shared securely between team members. Cloud computing allows for greater amounts of quality control because cloud computing allows for the consistency of data to be maintained.
Scalability and Flexibility
With anything related to technology, it is imperative to have an eye on the future. A serious benefit of cloud computing is the built-in scalability and flexibility. By very definition, the architecture of cloud computing is endless. Extra bandwidth can be acquired instantaneously, and new business demands can be met in seconds.
Small businesses all over the world trust Encora with its custom-designed Cloud Enablement infrastructure. Encora is an industry leader in helping businesses like yours meet both their present and future needs. Through cloud architecture and implementation, application development, migration, management, security, support, and on-demand SaaS product engineering, Encora provides the most complete and sophisticated cloud computing solutions. To optimize costs and maximize value, activate Encora’s Cloud Enablement for your business today!