You’ve probably heard people talk about using “the cloud” or “cloud computing” or saving documents “in the cloud.” But what does this actually mean?
Cloud computing refers to any software or service that doesn’t run locally on your computer. Instead, they live on the Internet. And the reality is that you use cloud computing every day. For example, you’re using it when you:
- Visit a website
- Download an app on your phone
- Upload a document to SharePoint
- Save images to services such as iPhoto or Amazon Google Drive
So, what are the benefits? For one thing, you don’t have to carry your computer around with you everywhere you go simply to access your files; you just have to log into the service you use from any device that has internet access.
Cloud-based applications allow for greater collaboration (for example, when co-editing a Word doc). It also allows you to avoid the messy process of keeping track of attachments in emails, or trying to figure out which version of the document is the most recent.
And finally, cloud computing offers several cost savings. It eliminates the need for a high-end computer with massive storage. It also means you can get rid of any on-site servers.
If everything is in the cloud, what happens when the internet goes down?
There are several ways to access the cloud when you lose your connection:
- Using your mobile phone, you can tether your connectivity
- You can actually work off your mobile phone or tablet
- And if you’re working through your Outlook, there is an offline mode that allows you to continue creating emails
How secure is cloud computing?
Information and documents stored in the cloud are not any more susceptible to attack than your on-site servers. In fact, when you leverage a large provider like Microsoft, they have invested billions of dollars in security, which actually improves your file security. We can also recommend tiered approaches to information access.
What about the legal obligations around cloud computing?
The cloud is actually safer than using a server locked in a cabinet. Why? There may be legal requirements on how long you have to hold onto certain documents. With a physical server, there is always the risk of damage, or the server breaking. Those aren’t concerns with the cloud.
What if my organization relies on old applications? Can we still move to the cloud?
We come across businesses every single day that have applications they have relied on for years. If you think you would like to continue using that application in the future, the good news is that regardless of what you are using, the processing power and storage can still be put into the cloud. And this way, you don’t need to commit to an office space or physical server on site.
Want to become a cloud-based organization?
We will work with you to create a process that is seamless (and painless!) for you and your employees. Contact us today.
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