People love to invent new slangs for words. For the older generation, cool was not only meant to describe the weather, but it also meant trendy or modern. Then people started to give a new meaning to the word ‘sick’ which now doesn’t only mean feeling ill, but it actually meant it was amazing or nice, or trendy. And just when you thought these were just jargons that young people made up, the IT industry came up with the term ‘the cloud’.
I’m sure at one point or another you’ve heard people mention ‘the cloud’ In fact, your phone might have given you a pop up that said something along the lines of your cloud storage is almost full.
But what is “the cloud” and how will it benefit you and your business?
The Cloud Simplified
The cloud in modern times is a term used not only to describe those white fluffy things in the sky made from water vapor, but it also means software programs and services like drawing document management software programs or that run on the Internet instead of being found locally in your company’s servers.
You can log on or access cloud services thru Internet browsers like Firefox, Google Chrome, Safari or Opera to name a few. These services can also be accessed thru mobile apps that are exclusive to each company
The term ‘cloud computing’ was first coined up in 1996 inside the office of Compaq computer by a group of technology executives who was writing a business plan and called it ‘cloud computing’.
But, the first public use of the terms was in August 2006 in San Jose California by Eric Schmidt who described “cloud computing” as one solution to data storage.
The Cloud and Where It Resides
Cloud campuses, another fancy term which means physical servers or big computers are places where cloud data is stored. In essence, it is where the cloud lives. Cloud campuses are located in vast acres of land whose only main purpose is to house these gigantic servers. Some of the most well-known cloud campuses are the following:
- Amazon in Ashburn, Va
- Microsoft in Boydton, Va,
- Google in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
- Apple in Maiden N.C.,Equinix
- NSA in Utah
- Facebook in Prineville Oregon
BENEFITS OF USING CLOUD COMPUTING
Cloud computing has transformed the way people use software programs – it enabled people to use an application program like a utility ( like water or electricity) instead of having to build and maintain the infrastructure as so that the data can be stored in the house.
But this is not the only way that “the cloud” can benefit your business. Here are four ways:
Data Security is one of the main concerns of any organization. It’s a very valid concern because how can files, programs, and software be protected securely when they are not on site?
People think that the cloud is not secure, but the opposite is true. The cloud s full-time job is to monitor the security of the information stored in its servers thru the use of encryption. For example, cloud-based construction management software Procore says via their website that their data is encrypted by 256- bit encryption with a secure hash algorithm for message authentication and uses RSA as the encryption key. Information between Procore and its users are encrypted with HTTPS and protected by TLS 1.2. All the technical jargon just means that data is fully secure on both ends.
Backing up your data on the cloud also provides security just in case anything happens to the hardware that stores your data like the hard disk suddenly conking out, or maybe losing your USB drive.
It Cost Less
In addition to data security concerns, the cost is another worry for any business that wants to migrate to new technology.
Cloud computing is a cost-effective way to use software programs and to store data because it doesn’t need infrastructure and maintenance because everything is hosted in your host’s servers. Software programs that are hosted in the cloud automatically update itself at no cost to your company.
In addition to these, software programs that are hosted in the cloud often include what is called an API or an Application Programming Interface. This means that just in case you need it, you can find applications that are “compatible” instead of having to pay extra to customize the software programs that you want to be integrated into your existing system.
Software that is hosted on the cloud means that you can take it anywhere you want for as long as it’s installed in a portable device that has access to the internet. Now, you don’t have to be glued to your office if you need to use a particular software program or need to retrieve any kind of data – you can do so, on the go.
Cloud computing also allows your employees to be more flexible when it comes to their work. Now, they don’t have to access data and software from the office, they can do so anywhere, including their homes, or when they or holiday or even the daily commute to and from work.
The cloud makes it easier for your employees to communicate with each other to share information regarding project updates, deadline changes, new assignments etc. Making sure that everybody is in the loop when it comes to information has never been easier.