It could be almost anyone!
At JCD we think it’s important to stay up to date with the latest technology trends so two of our Tech team, James and David recently visited the London Cloud Expo seeking out new ideas and solutions that would be good for our customers.
So what is the cloud?
The short answer – The term cloud has absolutely nothing to do with the fluffy clouds in the sky. It’s one of those trendy tech terms a lot of people use but often people don’t fully understand what it means.
The cloud is made up of servers usually hosted in data centers across the globe joined together via the internet. If you use any kind of social media, hosted email or online data drive, you’re already using the cloud.
The long answer – essentially the cloud is a network of servers that perform various functions such as storing data or delivering services such as email and online CRM systems. When you take a picture on your smartphone and it synchronises with your computer and other devices, it is doing this via a cloud server that communicates with, and keeps all your devices in sync. When you access your hosted email service, you are connecting to a cloud server.
The cloud is made up of servers usually hosted in data centers across the globe joined together via the internet to offer the end user a seamless connection to various services. Your smartphone or computer utilizing several cloud services could be connected to multiple servers spread right across the world bringing access to all your data and services to the palm of your hand. We now truly live in a connected world making doing business globally such much easier.
How to make the Cloud work for you and your business
One very attractive reality of modern cloud computing is the fact you are not tied to one office, it’s easy to work from anywhere you have an internet connection. This allows for a lot more flexibility in how employees work and where they work.
Cloud technology certainly appears to be the future and the benefits it offers are great and certainly worth looking in to. The integration of cloud products continues to improve all the time meaning much slicker workflows for business. Also with the demands now faced by many businesses, being able to work productively on the move is key to being productive. With the mobile data speeds now achievable with 4G and the advancement in cloud offerings, we are moving into an era of a truly mobile workforce.
What services can you have in the cloud?
The list is really endless but to give a few examples….
- Data Storage
- Phone systems
- Banking and Financial services
How Safe is the Cloud?
The short answer – using trusted providers, VERY.
The long answer – J C Designs only deal with trusted providers such as Microsoft and Amazon, the connection between your devices and the cloud servers is encrypted using complex algorithms to conceal cloud-protected information. Although encrypted information is not 100% uncrackable, decrypting it would require a vast amount of processing power, specialist software, and a lot of time. Can it be done? Yes, but equally you could say that about on-premise hosted services. Anything that is internet accessible always carries a small risk. There are important guidelines to follow to keep you secure such as a strong password policy also some services offer two factor authentication making hacking even more difficult.
How easy is it to access the Cloud
The short answer – provided you have a quality internet connection, VERY.
The long answer With Fibre internet connections now widely available in most areas the reality of hosting your IT services in the cloud has never been easier. Large companies will generally have some on-premise servers but for small businesses it is now possible to have everything cloud hosted meaning users can work from anywhere seamlessly with colleagues in different locations, provided they have a quality internet connection. Utilizing Microsoft Azure Active Directory and Intune services we can now handle all your logon requests in the cloud along with emails, data, databases and remotely deploy company apps to your mobile devices etc …
Let’s summarise some of the key benefits of cloud computing ….
- Reduced IT costs, Moving to cloud computing often means lower powered on-premise servers can be used as they are not doing so much work. Cloud services are often billed monthly allowing businesses to spread cost.
- Scalability, generally you can start small and expand as your business grows. With cloud based servers you can add extra resources as you need them and also scale back. If you have a particularly busy month, you can have the extra power when you need it without paying for it all year round.
- Business continuity, the more services you have hosted off site, the less susceptible you are to internal disasters.
- Collaboration efficiency, many cloud services interlink with each other seamlessly particularly Microsoft’s line up of products under Office 365 umbrella allowing greater efficiency of workflow.
- Reduced in-house maintenance overheads, Cloud hosts generally take care of keeping the systems patched and updated keeping you secure and online and alleviating your business of server maintenance overheads.
How do we find out more?
The short answer – For more information on how cloud computing could benefit your business, get in touch with our team today and we would be more than happy to discuss what’s on offer with you.