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What is the Cloud?

WHAT IS THE CLOUD?

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What is the cloud? Where is the cloud? Are we in the cloud now? These are all questions you've probably heard or even asked yourself. You may have even heard of the term "cloud computing" in the IT world these terms are everywhere, but what do they actually mean?

The Cloud refers to software and services that run on the internet, instead of locally on your computer. Most cloud services can be accessed through a web browser like firefox or google chrome, and some cloud providers even offer dedicated apps.

The ‘cloud’ is simply just a metaphor for the internet. In the simplest terms, cloud computing means storing and accessing data and programs over the Internet instead of your computer's hard drive. It allows people to store their data securely at an offsite location as well as allowing them to process, retrieve and recover their data anywhere anytime.

What are Some Examples of Cloud Streaming Services?

Almost everyone in todays day and age either uses or has head of Netflix, but did you know that Netflix is one of the most common cloud streaming services? It uses the cloud to provide us with hours upon hours of entertainment. Some other cloud streaming services can include, Microsoft one drive, office 365, drop box and Apple icloud.

What are the Benefits of Cloud Computing?

  1. Efficiency/cost reduction: By using cloud infrastructure, you no longer need to spend copious amounts of money by purchasing and maintaining equipment. You no longer have to invest in hardware, facilities, utilities or even building out a large data centre to grow your business. You don’t even need a large IT team to handle your cloud data as you have access to your very own cloud provider. In the cloud, downtime is extremely rare allowing your systems to constantly be running smoothly and efficiently.
  2. Data Security: one of the major concerns of every business is the security of its private and confidential data. With the cloud, you are offered many advanced security features to guarantee that your data is securely stored and handled at all times. The cloud uses features such as authentication, access control and encryption to ensure the safety of your data.
  3. Disaster recovery: One of the greatest things about the cloud it guarantees that your data will always be available. Even if your laptops or computers get damaged, there is no need to worry about your data as its safe and secure in the cloud. This can also be great for those who are in areas prone to natural disasters or power outages as it means there is one less thing you have to worry about in those stressful times.
  4. Mobility: the cloud is one of the most convenient systems out there. It allows you to access all of your data anytime anywhere, even via your smartphones. As long as your connected to the internet you can retrieve, recovery or process any of your data, on any device with just a few clicks.
  5. Increased Collaboration: The cloud can create opportunities for collaboration between employees. You can sync and work on documents or shared apps with ease, often simultaneously, receiving updates in real-time.
  6. Flexibility: The cloud allows for team members to work from anywhere. The cloud centralises your data, which means that you and your employees, and even your clients (if you allow them) to access your company data from any location with internet access.
  7. Environmentally Friendly: The cloud can decrease businesses carbon footprint by reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions. For many companies, reduced energy usage can be a significant money saver. It will also help a business project an environmentally sound image.

Below is a table comparing both the pros and cons of cloud computing:

Pros of Cloud Computing Cons of Cloud Computing
·       Cost efficient ·       You HAVE to be connected to the internet!
·       Sustainable ·       Technical issues
·       Unlimited storage (almost) ·       Prone to attack
·       Backup and recovery .        Ongoing costs
·       Easy access to information any time anywhere as long as you are connected to the internet
·       Disaster recovery
·       Automatic software integration

As with anything it is important to weigh up the pros and the cons side by side. We hope by the table above you see how the pros of the cloud heavily out-weight the cons!

As you can see the cloud is an incredible development in technology and can be extremely beneficial in increasing the security of your data. By having all your private and confidential data stored in the cloud you no longer have to worry about losing all your data during natural disasters or power outages as your data is always there with you. As long as you are connected to the internet, you can view your data anywhere in the world at anytime you please, on any device you wish.

If your still not convinced about the cloud or have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact us on 1300 737 225 and speak to our IT specialist who will be more than happy to provide you with more information on the cloud and why it’s the choice for you.

 

Thank you, 

The Austech Surveillance and IT Team.

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