It should come as no surprise, when I say that technology dominates our lives. We are constantly connected to each other, whether it is in a private or professional capacity. Gone are the days of missed calls, paper mails and only connecting to emails five days a week.
These days, we can link our phones, tables and watches to pick up emails, save documents and more. Wireless connectivity has revolutionised the way we do business. This is a simple fact of life. How does this new wireless connectivity, however, influence the running of our businesses? How do we benefit from revolutionary breakthroughs like the Cloud? What is the Cloud?
For some, ‘the Cloud’ is a mythical entity, and they’re not entirely sure how it works. All they know is that it isn’t really real – an oxymoron I am well aware. Since it is not a tangible server that is in the next room, or billed directly to their business, it seems logical that it doesn’t really exist.
As a small business owner, the Cloud should make you jump in proverbial joy, as it means you don’t need to invest large amounts of money on equipment that will devalue relatively quickly. Instead of buying a server, you pay a monthly or annual subscription for Cloud services and only pay for the storage you use.
What is the cloud?
The Cloud is a remotely-located collection of servers, which can be accessed from anywhere in the world. Each Cloud server has a different function, for example; some servers are used to run programmes like Adobe Photoshop or provide a particular service. Other Cloud servers are solely used for storing data.
How can the Cloud benefit your business?
A question frequently asked by business owners who are used to the more traditional method of storing data/ files on tangible servers is, why should I use the Cloud? To put it plainly, the Cloud can help save your business thousands of rands. Using the Cloud, is especially useful as a small business or start-up.
While larger organisations can replace and upgrade its data centre infrastructure fairly easily, to gain greater capacity; or ensure ongoing support for business applications. Smaller businesses may face challenges in acquiring Cloud services because of limited budgets and staff resources.
In a recent article on the benefits of Cloud computing: “Where in the past, people would run applications or programs from software downloaded on a physical computer or server in their building, Cloud computing allows people to access similar applications through the Internet.”
Working off the Cloud allows your company to be cost-effective and efficient, as resources are readily available and incredibly easy to access.
Is the Cloud Safe?
Another common question asked by business people, considering Cloud services, is how secure will their data and information be. To be blunt, the Cloud is great for saving non-personal information such as lists and to-do lists. But, using the Cloud to store confidential data definitely makes people wary.
The most notable failings of the Cloud have been celebrity picture hacks/ scandals in recent years. However, should you pay for the use of the Cloud, your data can and will be encrypted. Companies such as Google have made this system an automated service for its paying customers.
While the Cloud comes with many pros and equally as many cons, you need to look at what is right for you and your business. Whether you work remotely and need constant data connectivity or whether you would like access to the most recent software updates without paying through the proverbial nose, the Cloud makes good business sense. With most technical advances of today’s business and computing world you need to manage your usage and monitor your information accordingly.
Written by Dovetail’s Ralf Rolle. Article originally written for and posted on Bizonnect.