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


In the past three years, there have been dramatic changes in how business computing happens, especially in large corporations. Traditionally, companies build their IT infrastructure, buy expensive equipment and servers and install everything locally. They need to keep the hardware running, software compatible while making sure that the information input and output actually meets the company’s needs.

Things have changed. With the advent of cloud computing, a company can have reliable and secure business computing delivered like a utility service. Today we no longer dig wells for water or run our electricity generator. These services are available as a utility service. So also with IT, 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 is delivered over the Internet like a utility service that can be accessed through any device connected to the Internet. Computing horsepower resides and happens outside the company on external servers, so no computing hardware needs to be owned and operated by the company. In fact, the well-known market research firm, Gartner, estimated that by the end of 2012, 20% of all companies will not own IT assets! The transition to the cloud is underway.

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

Imagine that the server room or server area is gone, and there are no more large capital expenditures on equipment and facilities. Imagine desktop computers that don’t crash and hard drives that don’t fail, but with the same user experience. Imagine a safe, secure environment for your systems and data taken care of by experts who aren’t on your direct payroll for a fixed monthly fee that covers everything for less than what you’re currently paying. This is what cloud computing could look like now.

3.Why doesn’t everyone do it?

Cloud computing technology has been commonly used by large companies for a while now. Now small companies are increasingly changing to this way of managing information technology. These specialized managed IT companies help small businesses move their IT to the cloud and then run their IT efficiently – accelerating the trend.

4.With Cloud Computing, Should You Buy Servers?

No, there is no cost burden of server ownership, and therefore no expensive capital expenditures. You buy Server Usage from a virtual server created for you in an offshore data center and pay for it via a small monthly fee.

5.Company program

In a cloud computing setup, a company’s existing servers, along with their existing enterprise software, are moved to newly created virtual servers that are just their servers. The company accesses everything as before as usual, except that it is now delivered over the Internet rather than through the company’s local area network.

6.How cloud computing can get rid of computers

With full implementation of cloud computing, there are no servers or computers on job sites. Data is securely protected and continuously monitored on servers in a secure local physical environment and is backed up behind a firewall. All computers are changed 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 screens with all their familiar programs like Office, Outlook etc.. They will be able to save to “My Docs” and other drives as usual.

The cloud management company will take care of the hardware, Microsoft software licensing, antivirus, spam filtering, security, secure backup, server and virtual desktop monitoring, and all the other IT issues you’d rather not worry about. Desktops are easy to add as you grow, or just as easy to remove if you need to downsize, and pay for what you need.

7.Cloud computing and IT person/department

The typical IT person who works for or for a company spends up to 80% of their time keeping things running—computers, hard drives, office software updates, virus spam protection issues. It is “business busy” and does nothing to improve the company’s performance. By using a cloud computing solution, the company does not have to spend time on these activities. More time can be spent on activities that support work; Or, if appropriate, staff may be laid off or redeployed.

8.Can cloud computing save money?

It’s easy to forget how much IT costs. In addition to “hard costs” such as the cost of hardware, infrastructure, and software licenses, there are intangible “hard costs” such as IT staffing, troubleshooting, and energy costs for running servers, desktop hardware, and cooling the server room and building. Normally you should be looking for full cost savings in the range of 30-50% per year. With these levels of savings, a business owner should, at a minimum, consider cloud computing in their organization.

9.IT experts often say that cloud computing is less secure than on-premises infrastructure. Is this correct?

Usually because of the physical security and data security used, the security protection of the cloud is always much better than most of the company’s on-premises network. Online security is very high with firewalls being barriers and being constantly monitored. Advanced backup and data recovery means that even disaster can recover from quickly. And because all company data is held on remote company servers and is not kept all over the place (such as local hard drives, flash drives, etc.), the potential for software and data contamination and theft is reduced.

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

This is a very important topic. Too often companies believe their server rooms are somehow immune from disaster, and they are often woefully ill-prepared for disaster. Simply making tape backups, placing tapes in fireproof boxes and other methods can give a false sense of security. The truth is, if disaster strikes, you need the latest backup data recovery technology so you can be up and running in minutes or hours, not days, weeks, or never! Cloud computing solutions usually take additional snapshots that are backed up to multiple physical locations elsewhere to make sure you’ll be up and running again very quickly.

11- Move offices if you use cloud computing

Moving offices or facilities is trivial when the company has a cloud computing setup. Because the infrastructure is in place (separate for old and new company facilities), data can be accessed from anywhere. In theory, once the Internet connection of the new website is up and running, the entire company can be up and running and back to normal as quickly as skinny clients can be connected to the Internet!

12- Mobile computing

With cloud computing, Virtual Desktop can be accessed anywhere and anytime. Other solutions require your desktop computer to be on, and your office’s internet connection to be live. Most devices connected to the Internet, such as laptops, tablets, and smartphones, can be used to connect to your desktop. Imagine being able to run Excel, PowerPoint or any software for your company from your iPad or smartphone! And security remains at a high level for remote access because only keystrokes and screen refreshes are sent between the data center and your smart device, but no actual data is sent.

In short, the benefits of moving to the cloud are great. Cloud computing is already the way information technology is increasingly being approached and so owners would be wise to take a look at the technology and embrace it now.

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