Cloud Computing – Breaking down the Jargon
In the previous article we explored and debunked some of the myths that business owners have had surround Cloud computing, we highlighted that the apprehension around it is misplaced – but that you must be cautious when choosing a provider, not all are in the business of helping.
We will now explore some of the jargon that professionals use when referring to the Cloud. After reading this article, you will be fluent in Cloud language, allowing you to decide the right course of action for you based on the information each provider is giving you. Knowing what everything means will allow you to ensure that the offering from prospective suppliers is sufficient, but also to help you find value in any tool you choose.
Explaining the Technical Jargon
Infrastructure-as-a-Service – IaaS
Infrastructure-as-a-Service is a type of cloud computing framework which provides computer resources over the internet. Upon choosing an IaaS provider, they will supply and manage the infrastructure upon which your software resides, on a subscription basis.
If you are certain IaaS is the right choice for you, you must – depending on your technical prowess – involve a team of IT professionals to help you through installation and configuration, good providers will take responsibility in the management of it too, in the process taking stress off of you or your teams’ shoulders in the long term. It isn’t easy to understand even for the most technically capable, but it needs to be done right to ensure you are using the Cloud as productively and, even more importantly, as securely as possible.
Software-as-a-Service – SaaS
Software-as-a-service is a method of delivering software that enables data to be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection and web browser. Your provider will take full management and responsibility of both the security and back-up of your data all within your agreed price.
SaaS is the most popular choice of Cloud service by quite some way – some of the most popular SaaS offerings are household names in the modern world; Microsoft 365, Google Workspace, and Xero Accounting to name just a few, but there are thousands of options out there. SaaS takes the stress and arduous process of managing your software and hardware out of your hands, leaving it in the capable hands of your providers expert team, for those with little technical prowess this is a dream, not only is management of your Cloud system stressful but it can be very time consuming and for some an impossibility.
A Cloud Application is software that you access from any device connected to the internet instead of installing it on each computer individually. Cloud applications save you time and money, but can offer reduced services, compared to installing them directly.
Just because it’s easy to know what this one is, doesn’t mean that it is any less important. When you save your data to the Cloud it is stored on remote servers and can be accessed directly from there – meaning you never have to see or have anything to do with storage physically, allowing you to detach slightly and place trust in your provider.
This takes us back to the point we made at the start of our first article, remote working is made possible with the Cloud – and in turn Cloud storage. Both your office and remote teams have seamless access to all of the data they need to complete their job roles to the highest possible standard.
“This is all well and good, but what can the Cloud actually do for my business, how does it benefit me, and my team, in an operational sense rather than just a convenience and security one.” A valid point to make.
The benefits of the Cloud to your Business
The pandemic forced business owners to send their teams home, this opened the doors to problems – hardly any of us were comfortable working from home in the beginning. Collaboration became impossible overnight, our teams were spread across the country, and we didn’t know when we would be able to work properly again. The Cloud made it possible to achieve of collaboration close to that we can achieve in office, in some cases it even improved upon the levels possible in office.
The Cloud allows your team to be spread around the Globe and still have the ability to collaborate, your team both in house and remote, your suppliers and customers, can all be in contact when necessary.
There are apps that utilise the full abilities of Cloud computing – Microsoft Teams for example, the revolutionary tool that is the icing on the cake that is the Microsoft suite, its features allow your team to seamlessly communication from anywhere, seamlessly. The Cloud has allowed us to achieve levels of collaboration that we previously couldn’t have imagined, our teams are more connected than ever before.
Backup and Business continuity
As much as we try to avoid them, disasters do happen, and they can be business defining. You need to have an efficient way of accessing all of your vital business data rapidly should the worst happen, and the Cloud offers exactly that. The Cloud allows you to continue with business-as-usual no matter the circumstances – should you have a business defining disaster, a gas leak, flood, or fire for instance, there is no reason you can’t work from another location with an internet connection, access the Cloud, and it’s like nothing has happened.
The Cloud makes scaling up or down easy, it is frustrating when you need more from your tech, but it simply isn’t able. Business owners have changed, pre Covid business owners were anal about planning, now – for most – this practice isn’t as detailed as it once was, during the peak of the Covid pandemic business owners – like all of us – lived day to day, waiting for the next government guidelines to instruct us what to do next. The Cloud allows you to scale fluidly, you can make a call as is necessary, this gives you a huge advantage over your stagnant competition that must stay at the same capacity they are now regardless of their successes and failures, or of what is happening in the world. We now realise how fragile the workplace is, overnight our lives changed, and next time those that can’t scale at will, could be left behind to fail.
The initial capital investment required for Cloud Computing is far less than with traditional forms of IT. Typically, you only pay for what you are using which makes it incredibly cost effective. You can scale up or down your cloud storage at any time. You can pay for extra storage if needed, or remove any extra storage as and when you want.
Cloud computing is the future of business connectivity, productivity, and security. Regardless of your business size, it can revolutionise work process and offers many benefits.
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