A Guide for Understanding How the Cloud Works
Technological advancements and the digitization of businesses has led to an increased demand for faster and more reliable services, and in effect, the birth of cloud computing. The term cloud has particularly become synonymous with faster online activities, safe, and more secure internet transactions. But what is the cloud, how does it work, and how does it impact on your personal or business daily internet activities?
What is the cloud?
Cloud computing, commonly referred to as cloud, alludes to a network of servers dedicated to the delivery of a host of internet services. Traditionally, cloud networks were designed to perform a single function like storage of information. Technological advancements have, however, made it possible for networked servers to perform a myriad of tasks like information storage and real-time data processing.
Examples of the rigid cloud networks include Dropbox and Google drive whose purpose revolves storage of data. The more advanced technologies like WhatsApp and Instagram that allow for the storage and real-time processing of information form the more versatile type of cloud computing.
Where did the idea of cloud computing originate from?
First generation computers, the mainframe, weren’t just exorbitantly priced but were also bulky. This made it almost impossible for an organization to equip each of their departments or staff with a computer even when the nature of their work demanded that they be provided with one. Rather, most institutions would invest in a single computer and install software programs that allowed for its use by the entire organization. This made the digitization process inexpensive and reduced the risk of multiple failures.
Cloud computing borrows heavily from this idea. It seeks to provide a single information resource center accessible through the internet to all institutions interested in the service. In such a case, internet users no longer have to worry about constantly updating their software, backing up their data or losing sensitive personal and company data in the case of virus attack, hacks, or lost devices.
How does the cloud work?
Ideally, the cloud computing technology works by way of taking away the data storage and information processing services from a local computer to the networked servers. These servers maintain the data and processing powers, and all you need on your local computer or phone is a link connecting the two in the form of either an application or software. The networked servers perform all the calculations, fulfill transactions, and store your data, thereby eliminating the need for devices with high processing speeds and large storage capacities.
Who benefits from the cloud services?
While some cloud service operations are specifically dedicated to suit businesses, most are available for use by both individuals and enterprises. For instance, most social media platforms maintain versatile clouds where both individuals and companies can host their accounts for free. Others offer dedicated business services like secure data backup services or other specialized business programs. Most of these dedicated business services are available at a fee, but the cloud access charges are also relatively affordable.
Benefits of cloud computing to your business
Quick access to information: The cloud provides you with a centralized database for all your company data. This makes it easily accessible for all authorized persons from any part of the world and in effect making information sharing between different departments hassle free.
Guarantees safety: The cloud services provider not only assumes the responsibility of continually updating their services but also guarantees security for your business data. The business owner no longer has to worry about keeping sensitive business data secure. Entrepreneurs only have to control access to their cloud-hosted business accounts.
Reduced operational costs: Before the advent of the cloud services, businesses had to invest a lot of resources in purchasing the software, additional storage space to accommodate how it handles data, and even expensive anti-virus programs as well as other physical protectionist measures to keep the company data secure. Cloud services have however narrowed the security of company data to an access key in the form of a password or code and a monthly subscription fee.
By taking business processes online, the cloud computing service lets you concentrate on more important aspects of your business like marketing and maintaining a green bottom line. The technology also goes a long way in helping you save on costs associated with maintaining in-house data processing centers.