As we are a technology based organization we get asked about all the latest buzz words and applications in the technological arena. Our most recent enquiries have been about "the cloud”.
What is the cloud? Simply put it is information that is stored “on” the internet. What actually happens requires a few further steps. These steps are commonly referred to a cloud computing.
Cloud computing is the ability to perform tasks over the internet with the aid of technology.
Cloud computing comprises of the upload, storage, download and processing of information basically.
If you have a Gmail or msn email account you are using cloud based computing. You would create an email, send it (upload), it would be processed and sent to who you wish to send it to (download).
People choose to move to cloud based computing because of the numerous benefits.
Benefits of using this technology include
- Significant Cost reductions – Many of the costly components of a network such as a server is paid for by the company that is going to store your information.
- Improved Access to information - One is able to use information that is stored on a cloud 24 hours of the day. From home or a foreign country provided that there is an internet access.
- Improved security – Companies that store information for clients have to have the world’s best security features. Large organizations trust these companies with sensitive information and have strict contracts in place. This is a benefit that is passed down to the average user as the maximum measure of security is applied to all clients of the hosting company.
The most common uses of cloud technology include cloud data storage and cloud servers.
In a cloud storage scenario you would upload information to a pc off site across the internet. This enables you to have access to this information anywhere in the world and generally via very simple means. This method is purely to store and access information. A drop box or Google drive are perfect examples of this technology.
The cloud server form of cloud technology on the other hand involves going from a physical server in your building to a server that is off-site. This means all your information, programs and applications are now moved off-site. You will now only be able to access your server through an internet link.
Cloud services are ways in which cloud based computing can be used to help a business.
These can be split into three categories.
- Infrastructure as a service (Iaas) - is a pay as you go access to storage, network, servers and other computing resources in the cloud. This means that a company would rent out hardware to you at a specific rate.
- Platform as a service (Paas) offers access to a cloud based environment in which users can build and deliver applications. The provider supplies infrastructure. This method is utilized by medium sized businesses that cannot afford to outlay capital for hardware but need advanced systems to run their software on. They also pay a fee either monthly or annually.
- Software as a service (SaaS) is when a service provider delivers software and applications through the internet. Users subscribe to the software and access it via the web or vendor API's. the simplest example I can refer is that of an application on the Google play store. They hold it , and charge you for when you wish to require it.
Cloud functionally has become integral to most business operations. The benefits will always outweigh the drawbacks as the major trend of this technology integration in recent years has only deepened.
Call us today and we can advise on how we can get your ERP to work off the cloud .
"Soaring above the Rest"