The Benefits and Advantages of Cloud Computing
Vitality of the Cloud: Why Your Business Needs It
More and more in the modern world, we see businesses moving their processing to the cloud. With this sort of growth, there can be little doubt that cloud computing is not merely a fad to disappear in a few years. However, despite its popularity, there is still some dearth of knowledge concerning the ins and outs of this new trend. While answering this question, it is also important to understand the great advantages of using the cloud.
So, first things first, one needs to figure out what cloud computing really is. Essentially, it is a method of storing and accessing data. This method utilizes the cloud, a network of servers, each with a unique function, to store data accessible from anywhere one might be. Many email servers utilize the cloud, allowing you to view and send emails from any device with internet access.
The cloud is a rather general term, referring to a system with many distinctions in it. These distinctions can be broken up into cloud location and cloud services. Cloud location refers mainly to the type of customer or organization using the cloud. Among these locations are public, private, hybrid, and community. A public location refers to a cloud maintained by a company specifically suited to cloud computing, rather than one customer. Private is the exact opposite of public, being a cloud with only one user, whether it be a single customer or an organization. A hybrid cloud location combines the two services of private and public. When a handful of organization all utilize one infrastructure, it is referred to as a community cloud. Cloud services distinctions refer to how services are acquire by a customer or organization. An Infrastructure as a Service, or IaaS, rents services such as storage space and servers from specific cloud providers. When a customer utilizes Platform as a Service, or PAAS, the use of servers as well as the system software are both rented. Finally, renting only software and databases while leaving the infrastructure to the cloud provider is referred to as Software as a Service, or SAAS.
Now that we have established the fundamentals of the cloud, we can discuss the benefits of utilizing it, and why so many companies are switching over to cloud use.
Primary among the benefits of the cloud is a cost reduction, essential to any business. The driving force behind such cost reductions are the sharp drop of operating and maintenance costs, as opposed to other methods of storage. The cloud is a pay as you go method, so customers are not charged for any unused space. The main alternative to the cloud, installing your very own server, can get pretty pricey. This cost only swells more once you factor in maintenance and possible repair costs. The cloud also requires much less IT staff and equipment.
The cloud also offers unique accessibility that cannot be found in other methods. Data stored in the cloud can be accessed anywhere, so long as one has an internet connection. Any changes made to information in the cloud is immediate, allowing every employee or client to see the updates. This streamlines the work to be done with any data in the cloud, fostering a much higher productivity rate for all employees. Using Cloud EDI Services, companies can easily trade information electronically in the place of faxes. Cloud EDI services allow for efficient communication between companies and clients. Along with efficiency, the cloud provides top-notch security for your data. A server room can be easily affected by things like power loss. The cloud, however, stores data in a safe and secure data center, protecting your data from any sort of anomaly.
With a personal server, software can easily become outdated, slowing down the business that needs to be done. Furthermore, updating this software can be lengthy and cumbersome. With the cloud, software updates are practically unnoticeable, quickly updating any software the moment the patch is available. With the cloud, you always have the most up to date software, without having to give it a second thought.
The cloud can be attractive to smaller companies, as it can prove vital to competing with larger firms. The reduced cost of using the cloud means that less money is spent on IT in general. Small IT expenses open up more cash to be funneled into the more essential parts of your business, your product or service.
For retail, cloud allows a combination and integration of all the best systems and channels. The cloud can utilize systems such as eCommerce, Point of Sale, Accounting, ERP and Inventory, integrating data into all of these systems with fluidity. This reduces the hassle of managing multiple systems and having to input data into a variety of channels. Cloud streamlines tasks like item syndication, order management, and inventory, reducing workload, cost, and time spent.
Overall, the cloud offers customers a fluid and state of the art method for storing and accessing data. Turning to the cloud might worry some more traditional business owners, but the end result cannot be argued with. The money and time saved from the cloud, as well as the increase in efficiency, are too good to pass up in the modern day business arena.