These days, it seems that everyone is on “the cloud,” and although we’re not talking about cloud nine, we might as well be. The cloud refers to cloud computing, and it has opened the door to new ways for consumers to back up their personal music and photo collections without having to pack all the data onto an external hard drive, not to mention new ways for businesses to store, secure, and allow access to data without hosting on-site servers.
Cloud computing is even more, though. With help from companies that specialize in cloud IT solutions in Chicago, businesses are going further, expanding their usage to include running apps and accessing software solutions via the cloud. What, exactly, is cloud computing? How does it work and what can businesses gain by making the switch from server-based computing? Here’s what you need to know.
What is Cloud Computing?
According to Oxford Dictionaries, cloud computing is “The practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer.” In other words, it’s off-site data storage. However, it’s different from traditional data storage in a variety of ways.
For one thing, it is virtually unlimited, and because it is often delivered on a pay-as-you-go kind of basis, businesses have the opportunity to scale up or down as needed, without having to overpay for pre-set data packages. Cloud computing power is on-demand.
In addition, cloud computing is less of a product than it is a service. Because of the way data was stored and accessed once upon a time (via finite computer hard drive or dedicated server space) it made sense to sell storage in packets of gigabytes, terabytes, and so on. These days you don’t even have to download software to access programs and apps.
With the right cloud IT solutions (in Chicago and worldwide), businesses can now tap into software-as-a-service (SaaS), subscribing to programs and applications that live in the cloud. They can also utilize platform-as-a-service (PaaS) options that allow them to create and use their own, custom applications via cloud resources. There’s even infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), allowing businesses to piggyback on the networking capabilities of internet giants like Google and Amazon that have built massive infrastructures and are essentially willing to rent it out.
You don’t need to understand precisely how cloud computing works in order to use it to full advantage – that’s what professionals providing cloud IT solutions in Chicago are for. However, when you have a basic understanding of what the cloud can do for your business, you’re going to find new ways to store, share, and manage data more efficiently and cost-effectively.
How Can Cloud IT Solutions Chicago Help Your Business?
There are several benefits to be gained from upgrading to cloud computing. For one thing, you’ll never again have to worry about limits on virtual space. No matter how much data you store or how much networking power you need, the cloud can provide. While you might worry about access, you’ll find that cloud computing often provides for both quicker and safer solutions than either on-site or traditional off-site storage.
You’ll also save money. Setting up and maintaining computing and networking infrastructure is expensive, and you’ll need trained staff on hand to manage it. Cloud computing is on-demand, and you can quickly and easily scale up or down depending on your needs for storage, sharing, and software services.
With experts in cloud IT solutions Chicago on your side, you’ll find that there are virtually zero drawbacks associated with cloud computing. You have only to gain by tapping into the cloud and finding the solutions that improve your operations.