Whenever I speak to people about the Cloud, I get mixed reactions that border anywhere from fear to skepticism. If you’re one of those people, rest assured that: a) you’re not alone and b) it’s not as scary as it seems.
First, let’s get through the basics.
What is the Cloud?
Simply put: it’s the marketer’s way of explaining virtualization.
There are a few more bells and whistles but essentially it is making whatever component “virtual”. It means you don’t have to have physical devices located around your office to hold information. In most cases, it means you won’t have to maintain licensing or worry about upgrades as the “Cloud” will take care of that.
Is there just one Cloud?
Like its namesake, there are many clouds that exist out there and, likewise, they can overlap and integrate with one another.
The term “Cloud” is like calling a car ” an automatic”. Is there just one type of automatic car out there? No. Look at all the dealerships who have various brands, makes and models. They’re different but they all operate under the same generic principles.
So too with the Cloud. There are many out there from a variety of sources. Some are big, some are small. Some offer certain features that others may not have. What you use is dependent upon what you need.
Is the Cloud dangerous?
It can be. Whenever you expose your data or information outside there are risks involved. Equally, there are risks to keeping your data within your walls too. Fire, theft, or any number of hardware failures can cost you valuable information on your business.
The best way to proceed is to review the systems you have and provide a proactive plan which ensures critical information and processes, like email and financial data, are properly secured.
What can go into the Cloud?
These days just about anything. You can set up Cloud for:
- archiving and backup
- collaboration tools (like Sharepoint)
- communication devices (like Windows Communicator or WebEX)
- Microsoft Office programs
- accounting systems
…just to name a few…
The only things that generally can’t go on the Cloud are physical products like machines or things your business creates. The trick behind getting on the Cloud is knowing the technology and understanding your business. Some items make more sense to place on the Cloud than others. Depending on a number of factors such as the size of the organization, usage, performance, etc., certain Cloud solutions may work better for you than others. The only way to really find out what you need to place on the Cloud is to speak with your IT professional who understands both your business and the technology out there.
If you need assistance, please contact our Cloud specialist at Solve-IT.ca. We service businesses in Southeastern Ontario for all their computer and technology needs.