Cloud computing has become an important part of everyday life. It has improved the efficiency of our work and personal activities. Cloud computing has allowed us to experience greater convenience, lower costs, and increased efficiency. Cloud technology grew from being a disruptive technology itself to becoming the foundation of many disruptive technologies. Many digital businesses and AI technologies of today require cloud computing to work.

A Definition of Cloud Computing

So what is it? I’m not a fan of Wikipedia’s definition, so I have created my own:

Cloud computing is internet technologies that provide software and storage as a service without needing the knowledge of how to create and operate the infrastructure that supports it.

Information is securely stored on servers available via the internet and available securely from any computer at any location.

Before a business adopts cloud technologies, it should consider both the advantages and disadvantages, such as time involved, technical capability and financial resources. When taking up cloud services, businesses often need to restructure the way they operate in order to maximise the potential of cloud technologies.

Advantages of cloud computing:

  • Cloud computing allows staff to communicate and access data regardless of where they are in the world.
  • Business can benefit from cloud software and infrastructure without having to invest in development and maintenance.
  • It provides flexibility.
  • It is scalable as the business grows.
  • It allows businesses to be more responsive and efficient.
  • It allows the automation of many of the operational tasks.
  • With many cloud services, API’s allow for the transfer of data between cloud platforms.

Disadvantages of cloud computing:

  • Cybersecurity risks and GDPR compliance makes cloud solutions more prone to be affected by security challenges.
  • Staff will need to up skill and learn to use cloud-based services effectively.
  • Some businesses may be apprehensive about adopting cloud services when sensitive information and intellectual property are involved.
  • It is more difficult to audit and control where data about your business resides.
  • It may be more difficult to share data internally.
  • In order to create lock in, providers such as Google, Apple, Microsoft and others make it difficult to use other platforms.
  • BYOD (bring your own device) makes issues of privacy and data sharing more complex.

Examples of common cloud platforms:

  1. Microsoft Azure
  2. Amazon web services
  3. Google cloud

Examples of Cloud Software that cloud services keep in sync:

  1. Active Campaign ( CRM)
  2. Piesync (to keep contacts synced with Google and other services)
  3. Zapier / IFTTT

Different types of cloud:

  1. Public cloud – technologies operated and managed by companies that provide access to services over a public network. Users are not required to purchase any hardware or software.
  2. Private cloud – operated by a single organisation and it’s designed specifically to meet the organisation’s needs. The private cloud can be managed and hosted either internally or externally. Private clouds take advantage of the efficiencies provided by cloud computing while providing the organisation with more control of their resources.
  3. A hybrid cloud refers to the combined use of a private cloud with public cloud services. The advantage of using a hybrid cloud enables companies to manage essential applications and keep sensitive data within a traditional data centre or private cloud. Companies can still take advantage of using the public cloud to access the latest SaaS applications.
  4. Multi-cloud – refers to using multiple cloud services from more than one provider. Many businesses can benefit from using various cloud services for greater flexibility.

Cloud Computing must be part of your business growth strategy. Please contact us to see how we can help you grow your business.