Believe it or not, but the cloud is here to stay. While that might frighten some, others are embracing it whether wearily or wholeheartedly. The cloud is not a new concept, but it is one that is staring us in the face on an almost daily basis nowadays. What is the cloud? Why do we need it? And can it be trusted? These are all questions I’m going to attempt to answer here.

What is the cloud?

Simply put, the cloud is a group of servers that sit in data centers all over the world. These servers are accessed via the internet to run software and databases that sit on those servers. By utilizing cloud computing, users and companies do not have to manage physical servers to run software applications on their own hardware.

What is all the excitement about the cloud?

Many applications and services are moving to the cloud, a trend that is likely to continue into the future. The cloud offers many benefits, such as increased scalability, accessibility, and flexibility for applications and services. Businesses and individuals can minimize the cost and complexities of their own IT infrastructure when accessing their applications or data by relying on cloud resources. Gone are the days when all our data sits on our local devices such as laptops, workstations, or servers eating up space unnecessarily while waiting to be accessed. With the creation of Microsoft OneDrive, Google Drive and similar cloud applications, accessing files anytime from anywhere could not have gotten easier.

Is everything going to the cloud?

Not everything can go to the cloud, at least not yet! There are still many applications and services that work better locally. This would include applications that require low latency or higher bandwidth that cannot yet be reliably achieved over the internet. There are even some industries that have regulatory requirements to have their data stored on premise. But that is not to say that for these instances a cloud solution may not eventually become available.

Is the cloud more secure?

To the average person, moving to the cloud will provide access to more services and applications from anywhere as long as an internet connection is available. However, personal data will be stored on servers owned by third-party companies, which can raise concerns about privacy and security. It is important for users to understand the risks and benefits of using cloud-based services and to take appropriate measures to protect their data. That is not to say that similar and other risks don’t exist when data is stored locally, but that is a discussion for another day. To protect your data anywhere a recovery solution is essential. This is where backup solutions come in very handy. Also, let’s not forget about the importance of turning on MFA for all cloud applications to add an additional layer of protection.

Don’t want to move to the cloud?

If you don’t want to move to the cloud, then I might have bad news for you. Many of the things people used to do offline are now done via cloud services. Streaming music, video and TV services are slowly replacing physical devices such as DVD players. If you are using any of the Microsoft Office products or equivalent Google Suite products you are most likely already in the cloud. And if you are participating in any of the myriad of social media platforms then let me be the first to welcome you to the cloud.

Why is it worth moving to the cloud?

The cloud is offering the option of secure, anytime access to mobile and desktop devices so that users can use any combination of locations and technology that suits their work and lifestyle. Cloud software, services, and infrastructure are accessible from any device. As teams are increasingly deployed in the field, on client premises, at home or in the office, via the cloud location does not really matter. The cloud has allowed collaboration to become more effective, all supported by a single platform and all the apps one needs. The cloud is enabling team members from all around the world to collaborate as if they were sitting in the same room. This seamless interaction has increased productivity and efficiency dramatically for many businesses globally.

Benefits of the cloud

  • Reduce costs by eliminating the need for physical hardware
  • Easily add capacity as your needs change
  • Enjoy automatic updates with no downtime and less impact on business performance
  • No requirements for local upgrades
  • Increased reliability
  • Access from anywhere

I personally believe that moving services and applications to the cloud is a huge advancement in technology, as it helps cut costs for smaller businesses. By eliminating on-premises servers and the labor to maintain it, businesses will be able to grow by focusing on other important aspects of their business.

Learn More About Cloud Solutions from Professional Computer Concepts

The cloud is still a big mystery for many Bay Area businesses, and that’s okay! Professional Computer Concepts is here to help. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us with any questions you have about cloud solutions and how they may benefit your business.