Cloud computing is a phrase that has been used in the world of information technology for quite some time now, but recently has come to everyone’s attention. Many of us are already part of the cloud infrastructure in some form or other, for example if you are a user of Web-based e-mail service like Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail or Gmail.
Getting More and More Popular
So why is cloud computing becoming so popular with business? Firstly, there are a number of financial benefits. Your standard office environment requires software and licensing for each individual computer. This can be extremely expensive, particularly if you are running a large corporation. By using the Cloud you only have to load one application that allows workers to a web-based service that hosts the required programs such as Netsuite who even have different clouds for different sectors.
This could simply be a web browser, leaving the system of computers running the Cloud to take over the responsibility of managing the applications. With the cloud updating applications and programs at a continuous pace, you will have access to the latest programmes without the cost of purchasing. A central server monitors the system, managing traffic and client demands. There are set protocols and the cloud uses middleware software, which allows networked computers to communicate with each other. This maximises the productive output of individual servers. The system is purposely designed to cope with a sudden increase in workload, where as an-house system may struggle to process or crash.
Big Advantage for 2014
Another advantage is that a worker can access the cloud from any device with web access, allowing more freedom for those who are often on the move, or need to work from home other offices. This potentially reduces the need for and cost of extra equipment in the office and allow for round the clock access to your network.
The will of course be concerns about the security of the Cloud. Companies have an obligation to maintain privacy when it comes to client information, in accordance with the Data Protect Act. Although some may argue that having so much information stored in one place is risky, the providers of cloud services disagree. Jean-Philippe Courtois, the president of Microsoft International told the BBC – In this interview “We put together multiple points of replication… multiple lines of defence… multiple levels of sophistication… that a single company just could not afford.” If your company deals with highly sensitive information, you have the option of using a private cloud.
This still maintains all the benefits of the public cloud, but has added security and only authorised members of a network can gain access.
Todays Economic Climate
In today’s economic climate, both small and large companies can benefit from using this type of system. The need to reduce costs does not mean a reduction in the need for effective IT systems, in fact quite the opposite. With a guaranteed reliable service from a cloud provider, even small companies can stand shoulder to shoulder with larger competitors without the extra cost that would otherwise be required. Larger companies will find using this type of service an easy way to manage large amounts of data securely and effectively.