What is the cloud?
17th June 2015
It is common to hear people talking about the mysterious ‘cloud’ without explaining exactly what it is. In this blog we reveal what ‘the cloud’ means, where it is and how your business could benefit.
What does ‘the cloud’ mean?
The term ‘the cloud’ comes from cloud computing, which first came into use in the 1990s. Cloud computing involved using a network of computers rather than a single machine.
Now the term ‘the cloud’ is an all-encompassing term normally used to refer to accessing data via the internet. Instead of storing your data, files and applications locally – on your hard drive or on your server in your office – they are stored elsewhere and accessed via the internet.
Although the premise of cloud computing has been around for a while, cloud storage has only become popular over the last few years as internet speeds have become fast enough to access data over an internet connection.
Where is the cloud?
Although your files are no longer stored on your computer or in your office, they are not actually in the sky! When you store something ‘in the cloud’ you access it via the internet, but it is still stored in a physical location. In fact, it is probably backed up in several physical locations around the world.
How could your business use the cloud?
A large percentage of businesses are now using cloud services in some way – whether that’s to store and access files, host applications or email. Some popular cloud services include:
A cloud version of Microsoft Office and Outlook, meaning employees can work from virtually anywhere on almost any device. Read our Microsoft 365 blog.
Onedrive is suitable for businesses and personal use, and allows you to keep all your files in one place and access them from your phone, tablet, and computer.
Azure is an integrated cloud computing platform including analytics, computing, database, mobile, networking, storage and web services. Azure enables businesses to create powerful solutions that allow for rapid development, deployment and expansion without the traditional infrastructure overheads.
How could you benefit from the cloud?
Moving to the cloud can have a number of benefits for businesses including cost savings, increased efficiency and improved business continuity.
Save money on hardware
Instead of having to buy and upgrade hardware equipment, you only pay for the amount of cloud storage you need. Using cloud servers also reduces the risk of downtime as data is normally backed up in more than one location.
Hosting your data in the cloud means you can work anywhere in the world, and access from many devices, providing you have internet access. This can give your business greater flexibility about how and when you employ people as well as improving customer service.
Improved business continuity
Using cloud services means that you have better continuity for your business, the investment in high end enterprise grade equipment has been made for you. Also your backups and disaster recovery are all taken care of as part of the service, giving you true peace of mind.
Find out more at our next event
Come along to our next meet the experts event on Wednesday 15th July from 6pm until 7.30pm to find out:
- If your business could benefit from the cloud
- When to move to the cloud
- What options are available
There will also be a Q&A session to answer any cloud-related questions you may have.
Drinks and nibbles will be provided, and the evening is open to all. To attend, please contact us to let us know you’re coming.
Location: PC Comms, Unit 6 Wills Business Park, Salmon Parade, Bridgwater TA6 5JT.