What is cloud computing? – 12 facts every small to medium sized business owner should know

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In the last 3 years there have been dramatic changes in the way business computing is done, especially in larger organizations. Traditionally, companies build their own IT infrastructure, buy expensive equipment and servers, and install everything locally. They must keep the hardware running, the software compliant, while ensuring that information input and output actually meets the needs of the business.

things have changed. With the advent of cloud computing, a company can get reliable and secure business computing like a utility service. Today we no longer dig wells for water or operate our own generator for electricity. These services are available as a utility service. With IT, too, you can “buy” IT infrastructure as a service, pay for what you need, and focus on the business, not the technology.

1.What is cloud computing?

Computing provided over the Internet as a service that can be accessed from any device with an Internet connection. Computing power resides off-site and runs on external servers, eliminating the need for corporate-owned and operated computing hardware. In fact, the well-known market research company Gartner has estimated that by the end of 2012, 20% of all companies will have no IT assets! The move to the cloud is underway.

2.What would full cloud computing look like in my office?

Imagine your server room or server area gone, no more major investments in equipment and facilities. Imagine desktops that don’t crash and hard drives that don’t fail, but with the same user experience. Imagine a secure environment for your systems and data, cared for by experts not on your direct payroll, for a flat monthly fee that covers everything at a lower cost than you currently pay. This is what cloud computing can look like NOW.

3.Why doesn’t everyone do it?

Large companies have been using cloud computing technology for some time. Smaller companies are now increasingly switching to this type of IT operation. Specialized managed IT companies are helping these smaller businesses move their IT to the cloud and then run their IT efficiently—and that’s accelerating the trend.

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4.Do you have to buy the cloud computing server?

no There is no cost burden of owning servers and therefore no expensive investments. You buy “server usage” from a virtual server built for you in an external data center and pay for it with a simple monthly fee.

5.Company specific software

In a cloud computing setup, a company’s current servers with their existing company software are migrated to newly created virtual servers owned only by them. The company accesses everything as usual, except that it is now communicated over the Internet and not the company’s local network.

6.How Cloud Computing Can Get Rid of PCs

With a full cloud computing implementation, there are no servers or PCs at the business locations. Data is securely protected on servers in a secure local physical environment and is continuously monitored and secured behind a firewall. All PCs will be switched to “virtualized desktops”. Employees will have a thin client, mouse, keyboard and monitor, but nothing will change in their computing experience. They will be looking at their screen with all their familiar programs like Office, Outlook, etc. You can save to “My Documents” and other drives as usual.

The cloud management company takes care of equipment, Microsoft software licensing, antivirus, spam filtering, security, secure backup, server and virtual desktop monitoring, and any other IT issues you’d rather not worry about. It’s easy to add desktops when you grow, or just as easy to remove when you need to downsize, all while paying for what you need.

7.Cloud computing and the IT person/department

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The typical IT worker working in or for a company spends up to 80% of their time keeping things running – PCs, hard drives, office software updates, virus protection issues. It is “diligent work” that does nothing to improve the company’s performance. With a cloud computing solution, a company does not have to spend time on these activities. More time can be spent on activities that support the business; or staff may be reduced or redeployed as appropriate.

8th.Can cloud computing save money?

It’s easy to forget how much information technology costs. In addition to the “hard costs” such as hardware, infrastructure and software license costs, there are the more intangible “soft costs” such as IT staff, troubleshooting, energy costs for running the servers and desktops, and cooling the server room and building. Typically you should be looking for cost savings in the range of 30-50% per year. Given these savings, a business owner should at least consider cloud computing in their organization.

9.IT people often say that cloud computing is less secure than on-premises infrastructure. Is that true?

Typically, cloud security protection is almost always much better than most on-premises corporate networks due to the physical security and data security used. Security over the Internet is extremely high with firewalls forming barriers and constantly monitored. Advanced backup and data recovery means even a disaster can be recovered quickly. And since all company data is stored on the company’s remote servers and not everywhere (e.g. on local hard drives, USB sticks, etc.), the possibility of software and data contamination and theft is reduced.

10. What happens if a cloud server goes down or there is catastrophic data loss?

This is a very important issue. Organizations often think their own server rooms are somehow immune to disasters, and they are also very often woefully unprepared for disasters. Merely creating tape backups, placing tapes in fireproof boxes, and other methods can give a false sense of security. The reality is that in the event of a disaster, you need the very latest backup data recovery technology to be up and running in minutes or hours, not days or weeks or never! Cloud computing solutions typically create incremental snapshots that are physically backed up to multiple locations in other locations to ensure you’re up and running again very quickly.

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11. Office relocation when using cloud computing

Moving offices or facilities is trivial when a company has a cloud computing facility. Since the infrastructure is in place (separate from the old and new company facilities), the data can be accessed from anywhere. In theory, once the internet connection to the new location is up and running, the entire company can be up and running as fast as thin clients can be connected to the internet and back to normal!

12.Mobile Computing

With cloud computing, you can access your virtual desktop anytime, anywhere. Other solutions require your office PC to be turned on and your office Internet connection to be active. Most internet-connected devices such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones can be used to connect to your desktop. Imagine being able to run Excel, PowerPoint or other business specific software from an iPad or smartphone! And security remains at a high level for remote access, as only keystrokes and screen updates are sent between the data center and your smart device, but no actual data.

In summary, the benefits of moving to the cloud are great. Cloud computing is already fast becoming a way of doing IT, and owners should now start looking at and embracing the technology.

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