Technology seems to breed buzzwords as a way to keep everyone guessing. The buzzword of the year right now seems to be “cloud”, and definitely has people guessing. It SOUNDS intriguing, but what does it really mean?
Cloud computing means that you’re using files or programs that are stored somewhere other than on your computer’s hard drive. If you have a ‘DropBox’ or ‘Google Docs’ account, you’re already using the cloud. If you access company files from a remote server, you could very well be using “the cloud” and not even know it. When someone says “the cloud”, it really just refers to a remote storage location that they can access.
There are several advantages to using the cloud, but accessibility seems to be the primary one. Storing your files on the cloud means you can access them from multiple computers or devices (phone, tablet, etc.). You can work on a report in the office, then go home and finish up from your home computer. When you’re on vacation, you could use the hotel’s Business Center computer to access your files, or access them from your iPad while on the airplane.
Storing your files on the cloud also gives you peace of mind with regards to data loss (assuming your cloud provider is properly protecting data on their end). If your laptop suddenly stops working you can fire up your tablet, navigate to your cloud location, and still access that presentation you need for the meeting this morning. Since the file is actually stored on a remote server, it is not lost when your computer crashes.
One of the reasons that companies are going to cloud environments is to eliminate the need to maintain file servers in the office. Moving to the cloud allows companies to reduce the liabilities that come with having onsite servers. If there is a fire in your office building, your data is safely stored in a remote data center and can be accessed without interruption.
Today’s technology supports secure, highly available data access via the cloud. It is a concept that is here to stay because it works and has value. If you would like to learn more about how cloud computing can help your company achieve its goals, just let us know. The experts at BVA maintain our own cloud, as well as managing private cloud environments for our clients, and we’ll gladly help you determine if this type of environment would benefit your organization!