The Directors Briefing
The name “Cloud” conjures romantic notions of floating, graspable knowledge. In terms of branding, it’s some way better than the Ronseal variation which would be “Huge stack of servers”. But whatever the functional reality (huge stack of secure servers located close to low-cost electricity is pretty close), the truth is your business is using it to some extent and that extent will grow. Here’s what you need to know:
Steer me through the mist
Essentially, and somewhat unromantically the cloud is an online network that offers data storage and backup. You can access and edit files using multiple devices from any location via the internet, effectively ending the days of carrying a memory stick or external hard drive. Your data is synchronised and hosted on the web, with the capacity to also host applications, rather than keeping your files on your computer’s hard drive and facing the difficulties this can bring. The cloud prevents loss of information and data, enables multiple employees to access, edit and save the same files when working on a project and access material whether you are in the office, at a meeting or abroad. The technology means you can access your data using a laptop, tablet or smartphone too. The idea is that the cloud will make working life simpler, increasing profitability and reliability whilst aiding business development.
Tell me the good stuff
Cloud technology enables you to manage large amounts of information and data without having any effect on the performance of your system. It provides advanced computing technology that’s not only accessible to large corporations but also to SMEs who perhaps wouldn’t normally have the budget to invest in IT. The cloud is dynamic and flexible and is able to meet demands. If you need more file space and storage you can simply contact your Cloud supplier and purchase more. Due to the vast size of online servers, you can store colossal amounts of data online, so you’ll never run out of space or use up any memory.
There must be a down side
As with all IT systems, especially those online, the Cloud does come with its drawbacks, namely its vulnerability to internet hackers. This is, however, something of an everyday threat, one that we face on social media and our company websites. Everything online is susceptible to being hacked, so the threat level is much the same as anything else on the web. The other drawback is software compatibility and the risk of having to upgrade or replace your current network in order to make the switch to Cloud. This is dependent on how up-to-date your current IT software is. So if you are running an older system it’s likely that you will need to upgrade this first so you are then compatible with Cloud technology.
The relatively low risks and minor stumbling blocks are far outweighed by the benefits the Cloud can bring. It will mean that your network won’t need to be updated as regularly for one thing.