What is Cloud Computing?PW Data Group
Cloud Computing – the latest Technology Strategy that´s changing the way Business’ run
Cloud has even reached our TV screens pushed by some of the key Cloud players such as BT, Amazon EC2 and Google. But what is this “Cloud” and what does it mean to your company?
Some have compared Cloud computing to the supply of electricity – The user doesn´t know where it comes from or how it works, but when they flick the switch… hey presto. Some say it´s simply virtualisation repackaged, which conceptually isn´t far wrong. However, regardless of where it comes from we cannot ignore the fact that Cloud Computing has arrived and offers some interesting potential.
What is driving Cloud Computing?
The increase in bandwidth speeds and online security is allowing companies to access data intensive applications from remote locations. Whether that´s an internal company server or from off-site data centres, the connection speed allowing us to access stored applications is making Cloud computing possible. The main factor that´s driving cloud as an IT solution for many organisations is the pay-as-you-go expenditure model which eliminates the initial capital outlay which ultimately increases the potential ROI.
Is Cloud Computing right for my business?
Only you know what´s best for your organisation (unless you work with a solutions provider who can help). Most companies already work under some form of cloud solution with applications and data being stored on internal servers accessed from the users´ desktop. Your biggest decision is deciding which (if any) applications you want to run from the cloud. You may wish to keep control over some applications for security reasons, but cloud more data intensive systems. You may want to create a ‘private cloud’ were you host applications in your own cloud within your company, or outsource them entirely to a data centre. The criticality to your business and the initial cost will be the biggest factors driving your decisions.
How secure is Cloud Computing?
Security has always being the biggest talking point where any transfer or storage of information is concerned. Some security concerns are more than justified but most are fuelled by uncertainty. How many of us were reluctant to shop online in the beginning? And now, without a second thought we send our bank details across continents to pay for goods in some of the most corrupt and unstable environments in the world.
Nearly all organisations use 3rd parties to control security such as antivirus software, alarm systems, CCTV networks and security patrols. Why do we do this, because someone else can do this better than we can. So is keeping our most important data in-house the best and most secure option? Data centres spend millions on security, with some of the highest encryption coding to protect data, much higher than the average office. From one secure location, it´s easier to transfer and access critical information for roaming users, and also eliminates the chance of leaving critical documents on a train!
How do I get to the cloud?
Before you can even consider cloud computing you need to ensure you have adequate infrastructure and security to connect to the cloud efficiently. There is little/no point outsourcing applications if you can´t work in real time due to a slow connection or interruption. Even if cloud computing isn´t something that fits with your organisation today, being prepared will offer seamless integration when the time is right.
Help with Cloud Computing
Our consultants can help you choose the right solution for your organisation whether that´s Cloud computing, virtualisation or server storage. What´s important is that we increase your business efficiency while lowering your costs.