If you’re not aware of what cloud computing is, you are probably among the 95% of people already using cloud services, like online banking and social networks. Cloud computing is the use of hardware and software to deliver a service over a network (typically the Internet). Users can access files and use applications from any device that can access the Internet with cloud computing.
An example of a cloud computing provider is Google’s Gmail. Gmail users can access files and applications hosted by Google through the Internet from any device.
There is a wide range of companies and industry verticals that use cloud computing, such as Amazon. Small, medium, and large size, public and private companies alike, use cloud computing to reduce technology acquisition costs.
While no storage solution is 100% safe, cloud storage providers can offer a safer and more accessible place for companies to store data than the traditional computing methods. Cloud computing service providers usually maintain multiple copies or backups of the data during instances of security threats, data loss, data breach, etc.
Protecting your data and systems is an important part of business continuity planning. Whether you experience a natural disaster, power failure, or other crisis, having your data stored in the cloud ensures it is backed up and protected in a secure and safe location. Being able to access your data again quickly allows you to conduct business as usual, minimizing any downtime and loss of productivity.
Flexibility of Work Practices
Cloud computing allows employees to be more flexible in their work practices. For example, you can access data from home, on holiday, and from work (providing you have an internet connection). Resources in the cloud can be easily stored, retrieved, recovered, or processed with just a couple of clicks.
Efficiency and Low Cost
By using cloud infrastructure, you don’t have to spend huge amounts of money on purchasing and maintaining equipment. You don’t have to invest in hardware, facilities, utilities, or building out a large data center to grow your business. You do not even need large IT teams to handle your cloud data center operations. You can enjoy the expertise of your cloud provider’s staff.
According to Bruce Schneier, “The downside is that you will have limited customization options. Cloud computing is cheaper because of the economics of scale. And like any outsourced task, you tend to get what you want. A restaurant with a limited menu is cheaper than a personal chef who can cook anything you want. Fewer options at a much lower price: it’s a feature, not a bug.” He also suggests that “the cloud provider might not meet your legal needs” and that businesses need to weigh the benefits of cloud computing against the risks.