The cloud is a movement from on premise data storage to off-site storage of data that can be accessed from anywhere with an Internet connection. The cloud allows you to send, receive, and collaborate on documents easier than ever before. Users can now work on documents within the cloud and never have to download/upload files. Millions of people use the cloud every day.
Popular Cloud Services:
Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is the most popular use of the cloud. SaaS allows companies to purchase licenses for certain software products that are used by employees. The company doesn't own the software, but instead rents a license and only pays for licenses for relevant users thus potentially decreasing costs.
Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) is a broader use of cloud functionality. Using IaaS, a company can outsource as much (or as little) of the overall technology infrastructure as they want. Cloud services that can be outsourced include data management and networking, among other services. Using IaaS can significantly decrease or even eliminate the need for a business to have an internal IT department.
Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) is the highest level of cloud service. By using PaaS, businesses can create software and applications via hardware that runs on the cloud. By using hardware connected via the cloud, all employees within an organization can be connected.
While the thought of storing data in an outsourced location in the cloud, may sound disconcerting there are many benefits to cloud technology. Perhaps the most important thing in business is the bottom line. Cloud solutions save resources, including time and money. Cloud solutions are efficient and scalable - a company saves time via efficiency and money because licenses are purchased per user instead of for the entire company. While saving money is incredibly important, perhaps the most important benefit of the cloud is security. Storing data in the cloud may not seem secure, but using the cloud actually increases corporate security.
Like it or not, cloud technology is here to stay. The cloud is growing and more services are constantly being added. Stay tuned for more information on cloud services and technology.