So why all the hype? If you’re wondering what all this cloud computing talk is about, you’re not alone: for many, the definition is as vague as the cumulous it’s named for. It might be a groundbreaking tech service, but as a term, the cloud has light and fluffy connotations. The mental image is vapour and air. Many would be forgiven for thinking that their information is just floating about on the internet.
Well, don’t worry, it’s not. Basically, cloud computing involves storing your data on a server rather than in the hard drive of your own computer. So, innovative as it is, cloud does not reinvent the wheel. You may have, unknowingly, already used it. Google Apps is a form of cloud computing for instance, providing common business applications online that are accessed from a web browser, while the software and data are stored on the servers.
Nothing too fancy happens to data in the cloud: by virtue of web accessibility, it just becomes easier to reach. Tristan Rogers, managing director of software provider, Concrete Group admits there is nothing strange or strictly new about the range of services on offer: “All it is, is a computer that’s connected to the internet.”
Well, that it is. And more.
Cloud allows more flexible working; remote working; collaborative and shared working spaces. And because it’s web-based and can be delivered as a service, businesses don’t have to go through their IT department. All they have to do is look at an offering, determine whether it is fit for service, and off they go.
Types of cloud computing to consider include: data transit, i.e. the amount of bandwidth you use; online software applications, also known as software as a service; and computer processing power, known as hardware as a service.
As time goes on, and more data, applications and services are based ‘in the cloud’, more and more possibilities will open up. The sky’s the limit.