“Ah sure we have all that in the cloud these days…”, but what is it?
The Cloud has been pegged as the way forward for some time now, but only in recent times have serious and affordable solutions become available for businesses. So how can it help you expand and grow your business while avoiding the capital costs of a typical IT infrastructure?
Cloud computing is a really just an umbrella term for using off-site (internet-based) banks of computers to handle processing, applications, file storage, or anything else for that matter.
To better understand cloud computing, imagine if you could have all the computing resources you need for your business applications at the same external place without worrying about the cost of purchasing machines, management of those machines, maintenance or even scalability implications due to the physical infrastructure required to handle the demands of your business.
Cloud computing is simply a set of pooled computing resources and services (“cloud”) delivered over the internet. Cloud computing usually provides these computing resources as “a service” over the Internet in the form of
- Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
- Platform as a Service (PaaS)
- Software as a Service (SaaS)
In essence, Cloud computing should enable you to concentrate more on your core business ( sales, manufacturing etc ) and not have to worry about the time and money that would be eaten up by a typical IT infrastructure.
The general idea of cloud storage is that a large bank of computers sitting in a data centre on the Internet. A site in New York, China (or even Ireland) handles the storage for all your files, just like having a large hard drive or network drive right at your fingertips.
The obvious benefit to small business of keeping your files in the cloud is that you don’t have to buy new Hard Disks, PC’s , Servers etc for your office and you can grow your business without your storage needs requiring an IT department or in house expertise.
With businesses starting and growing faster than ever, streamlining your business applications, workflow and data management so you don’t waste time on IT issues is certainly something to consider.
Cloud solutions are very affordable and every business should at least look in to the benefits. We recommend talking to your IT advisor to see if the solution is a good fit for your organisation. (Maybe it is …maybe not).
The web is full of information too, so don’t be afraid to do some research of your own. In our next blog we will be talking about “Thin Clients”...which has nothing to do with skinny customers!
Guest blog post by Jonathan Browne, Managing Director of Gemini Technology, an IT Consultancy firm based in Dublin.