Cloud Computing – What is it?

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Introduction

Cloud computing is a boon to business owners. Startups and small businesses often find it difficult to invest in a big way on expensive computer parts, software and IT specialists. What if they could rent and use these facilities as and when they require? Cloud computing is a perfect solution for this.

In the phrase Cloud Computing, the word “cloud” is a metaphor for ” Internet.” Cloud computing is a type of computing where computing resources can be shared and different services, such as software, storage, processing, and applications are available to a business through the internet. If you employ cloud computing, you won’t need local servers or standalone infrastructure for your IT department and applications. You can avail of these facilities through Cloud computing.

Why is Cloud Computing Gaining Popularity?

Cloud technology helps in cost and time saving and simplifies the task of system maintenance. This technology offers you virtual computers/servers, data storage capacity, communication and messaging facility, network capability, development environments, and other cost cutting advantages. Here are some of the benefits of cloud computing:

    • Helps to reduce infrastructure spending: You can achieve greater output with lesser number of people and spending on infrastructure. Your capital cost can be low as you don’t need to invest on hardware and infrastructure. You can scale up or down your facilites as required as your payment for cloud services will be demand based. You can pay as you go for the facilities, software and applications you want to use.
    • Easier globalization of your workforce: Your employees can access the facilties, database, and software anytime and from every time zones in the world as long as they have an Internet connection.
    • Can be used as a virtual office: You can upload your office work on cloud and use virtual office suites like Google Docs, ThinkFree and Microsoft Office Live for improved accessibility, collaboration and secured cloud storage space.
    • Less personnel training needed: Fewer people are required to do work on cloud, and since lesser hardware and software are involved, you can cut down on the training costs.
    • Lesser expenditure on license fees for software: You don’t have to spend on license fees or renewal fees for software. You can source whatever software you need from the cloud as and when required for your projects.
    • No hassles of software updates: Another attractive feature is that the vendor or supplier of cloud computing will take care of all software updates, and security issues.
    • Increases flexibility: As you don’t spend on new hardware,software,and manpower it is easier for you to adapt and move towards new technology and software without a big financial impact.
    • Helps in backup and disaster recovery: Greater number of small-sized companies are implementing cloud-based backup and data recovery solutions . This not only saves time but also large up-front investment.
    • Your data has better security: When your data is uploaded on the cloud, you are assured of safety and security of the data. You don’t have to worry of losing valuable, sensitive data because of machine breakdown, fire or any natural disaster. Your data is stored securely in the cloud, with layers of security.

So more and more businesses are moving to the cloud and it is estimated by the end of 2015, about 90% of UK businesses will be using at least one cloud service.

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