Cloud Computing: The What and Why

Cloud Computing

Cloud computing has seen a surge in the past decade, and the term is regularly tossed around by IT professionals in most verticals. While it is gaining momentum, not everyone understands what cloud computing actually is, or why it is an option SMEs and large corporations alike should be taking advantage of. From the easy access to online IT training to offline storage opportunities, there are many reasons to look into leveraging this technology.

Read on to understand what cloud computing is, how it has developed with the rise of the internet, and why businesses of all kinds are moving their computing needs to the cloud.

What is Cloud Computing and Where Did It Come From?

In simple terms, cloud computing is the provision of computing services, like apps and software, over the internet. The service negates the need for individuals or businesses to manage their own software and hardware.

JCR Licklider helped develop the Advanced Research Projects Agency Network (ARPANET). In the 1960’s, he had a vision for a future where everyone could be connected and access data and programs from anywhere in the world.

Since that initial seed was planted, many others have contributed to make cloud computing a reality. Most notable is computer scientist John McCarthy, who helped champion the idea of computation provided as a public utility similar to gas or electricity.

As the internet has evolved, so has the implementation of cloud computing, or computing as a utility. Salesforce were one of the first corporations to offer enterprise SaaS in the late ‘90s, followed by AWS in 2002.

Today, Microsoft, Google, Apple, and many other big and small tech companies offer a range of cloud based services and applications that are used by millions. The use of both public and private cloud is on the rise.

Why Cloud Computing is Great For Businesses of All Sizes

It is likely that you are already utilizing cloud services in one way or another. While you may run local software such as Microsoft Office, storage of documents and other data may be kept on Microsoft OneDrive. What you may not know is that the service is part of the cloud.

Similarly, Google Drive and Apple iCloud are all web-based services and applications that are essentially cloud services. In fact, web-based applications and service are cloud services.

There are a number of benefits that come when you leverage the cloud, no matter what sized business you run or are a part of.

Reduced IT costs: Making use of cloud computing means there is no need to spend thousands of dollars on hardware and software. It also negates the need to set up racks of servers to store all the data you process, create, and use. Nor will you need your own team of IT experts to manage everything for you.

Scale up or down quickly: Cloud computing allows businesses to scale up (or down) computing services when needed, with little fuss. In a few clicks, more or less computing resources can be accessed. Whether it’s adjusting processing power, storage space, or bandwidth, this will give businesses ultimate flexibility from anywhere in the world.

Speed of service: Generally, cloud computing is on demand, meaning huge amounts of computing resources can be allocated quickly. Businesses are under less pressure to meet fluctuating computing requirements as they can be responded to quickly and easily.

Performance and Productivity: Cloud computing lightens the load on many IT management tasks, giving teams plenty of time to spend on other business goals. Hardware setup, upgrades, and software patches are all managed by the cloud provider. Performance is also kept at premium levels by the cloud provider who ensures the latest efficient computing hardware is used to minimize network latency for clients.

Dependability: With apps and data stored in the cloud, backing up files and recovering data becomes much easier and far less expensive. If, for example, you experience a fire at your place of business, you can rest assured that your information is safe. Data is mirrored at multiple sites on the cloud provider’s network, seamlessly enabling business continuity.

It’s clear to see that taking advantage of cloud computing could have a major, positive impact on your company. Consider integrating it into your business today.

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