What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is changing the way businesses operate, helping them improve their efficiency and create a more collaborative environment—all while helping businesses to save costs. More and more organizations are switching to cloud computing and reaping the numerous benefits that the cloud offers. But what exactly is cloud computing? 

From In-house to the Cloud

Cloud computing moves the infrastructure needed for running applications and programs from being on a physical computer or server to a network-based infrastructure. Instead of all the hosting and computing taking place on individual computers, it takes place on remote cloud servers that can be accessed via the internet and are maintained by a host or provider. Ultimately, cloud computing allows companies to store and access their data through secure internet-based platforms. Storage, applications, and other features can all be accessed online. This access reduces the need for a robust in-house physical infrastructure as well as the load on individual devices since applications can be accessed right online instead of being downloaded onto a computer. It can also help free up memory and reduce hardware maintenance costs. 

Cloud Computing Service Models

Cloud computing has different models available to best meet companies’ data storage needs, including Software as a Service, Infrastructure as a Service, and Platform as a Service. Companies can choose to use just one of these models or a combination of them. These different models allow companies to access the technical services and applications they need to run their business over the internet instead of needing to have the physical hardware or infrastructure in place at the office.

Benefits of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing helps companies operate more efficiently and effectively, providing many advantages to more traditional hardware-based applications and storage options. One benefit of cloud computing is the flexibility it offers companies. Employees can access data at any time and from any place as long as they can connect to the cloud, which promotes collaboration and allows individuals or teams across various locations to work together simultaneously via the cloud. Greater security offered by the cloud enables this type of collaboration by keeping data safe through advanced security features as well as data back-up and recovery options. The cloud is also more cost-effective, reducing IT costs and allowing companies to only pay for features and data storage options that they need. 

Safeguarding Measures

While cloud computing offers numerous benefits to companies who make the switch, there are still potential risks involved with using the cloud. To mitigate these risks, there are certain considerations that companies can make to help safeguard themselves and their data. Companies must think about how their data will be stored, who will have access to their data, how their data will be protected, and cross-platform operability. Such conditions should be addressed in agreements with service providers before shifting to the cloud.

Reaping the Benefits

Cloud computing provides an opportunity for businesses to change the way they operate. By moving the infrastructure for company data management from physical on-site hardware to Internet-based cloud platforms, companies will enhance data security, promote collaboration, improve efficiency, and reduce costs. While making the switch brings benefits, companies must still be cognizant of risks and how to safeguard their data. However, by making the switch, companies will reap the benefits and see a return on their investment. 

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