Businesses everywhere are weighing the risks and benefits of converting to the Cloud. But the concept of cloud computing can seem foggy. What exactly is this elusive Cloud? And how do you convert to it? The basic function of the Cloud is the storage and hosting of data on external hardware. This data includes software applications, documents, information databases, and content management systems.
The Cloud can be used for large-scale or small-scale operations for both business and personal use. Converting to the Cloud centralizes your data for quick access anytime, anywhere. As long as you have access to a web browser and internet connection, you can get in on the Cloud.
Personal cloud-based services such as Google Documents, Slideshare, and DropBox allow users to create, upload and share files remotely. This eliminates the need for hardware such as USB drives and increases data security in the case of a hard drive crash. But the Cloud also has a light side. Listen to music online through services such as Spotify, SoundCloud, and Grooveshark. Create and save custom playlists to your online account. Play games online through websites such as AddictingGames and SmashinGames. Even Facebook is a form of the Cloud with its ability to store pictures, information, and video.
Amazon and IBM are two of the most common server hosts for large-scale business use. These servers host application services and data. The centralization allows a single application to be accessed by multiple users. Send a document without worrying about inconsistent software updates and product versions. Decrease storage costs by eliminating the need for internal hardware and servers.
With its ability to centralize and streamline business data and operations management, the transition to the Cloud is occurring across industries at varying levels of complexity. Instantaneous location-based data access is essential for both businesses and individuals. As mobile devices with Internet connection flood the marketplace, the silver lining of the Cloud is shining brighter than ever.