Storing your data on the cloud has many advantages. For starters, software stored on hard drives is expensive and needs to be updated constantly by reinstalling it. Cloud computing on the other hand can come at an affordable monthly premium or be completely free of charge, but far from being ‘cheap and cheerful’, internet giants like Google invest a lot of time in ironing out bugs and improving the user experience to encourage more people to use their programmes.
Everything is also dynamic on the cloud. So to use a simplistic example you would need to install a dictionary or connect to the internet in order to use a dictionary app on installed software, whereas on the cloud, you are already online and can access a dictionary in less than a second without navigating away from your page. There are a host of other advantages that would appeal to developers and more business-minded individuals. For example, you have access to “big data” – basically the wealth of data that is available online stored in large databases such as Facebook, Google and your own inhouse or franchise data – to help you make sound business decisions or to use while developing apps. The cloud also offers developers scalability and flexibility where they can increase the number of users without needing to modify their code. Finally, data is backed up with ease as the company using the cloud service is not required to maintain their own server room.
Ignoring cloud computing is akin to ignoring the future of software and database systems according to Jonathan Kropt who equates it to when Kodak ignored digital camera technology in favour of traditional film technology. “Kodak chose to ignore digital cameras and protect its film business. By the time it realised this technology shift could not be ignored, it was on a downhill slope and today it is gone,” said Cloud On Demand CEO Jonathan Kropf, who spoke at the ITWeb Cloud Computing 2014 Summit which took place on 16 September 2014.
As with any revolutionary new development in technology, cloud computing has its risks too. The primary concern of course is security, especially for ecommerce companies holding a massive database of credit card details. It is easy to mitigate this risk, however, by choosing a cloud platform with a firm commitment to security. Google and Microsoft are two big players in the industry who have ample experience in delivering a secure online experience, however you can also take further precautions to protect your data on the cloud, while keeping in mind that data stored on your computer is also not 100% safe from hackers. The reliability of internet connectivity is also a concern, which is why it is essential to choose a reliable ISP.
Cloud computing is ideal for small to medium size businesses because of the cost factor. Not only is the upfront cost minimal but these businesses benefit from free or low cost IT support as well without requiring an inhouse team and documents are easy to work on in collaboration. Big businesses also benefit from the scalability and wealth of online data that cloud computing provides. As long as you use it judiciously, cloud computing offers an intelligent solution for developers, IT technicians, business owners, and a host of other professionals including writers, translators and engineers.
Cloud computing is one of Macrolan’s specialities where we offer you a choice of services including Microsoft’s versatile Azure cloud service. As locally-based IT specialists, we will support your business every step of the way and offer expert advice on security and backup systems. Contact us now for more information on our cloud services and dedicated support.