Last updated on 24. May 2020
The terms cloud and cloud computing are used more and more often when it comes to information technology in companies. If you want to know more about these technologies and how they can be put to good use in your business, you can read more about the cloud in this article.
What is the Cloud?
The term cloud has established itself as the abbreviation for “cloud computing”. This describes the interaction of different computers (servers), which take over tasks in a network. They can be used for various purposes, such as storing data and making programs available from the network.
The network of different servers ensures that even if one or more computers fail, the data and functions of the network are still available. The interaction of the servers is therefore called cloud.
The users themselves do not have an overview of the connections between the servers and their number. For users, the cloud presents itself as a computing unit. The American NIST Institute has developed a definition for cloud computing that defines certain terms and the 5 characteristics that characterize a cloud.
- Users must be able to use a cloud on demand (on-demand self-service). Users need to be able to access the capacity in a cloud without someone else intervening.
- Access must be possible with known technologies (Broad Network Access). Normally, a connection to the cloud services is established via the Internet. This must be possible with the usual devices such as computers, smartphones, laptops, tablets, etc..
- Users must be able to recognize the cloud as a single resource (resource pooling). All capacities that are made available to the user must be recognizable from the outside as a uniform resource, without the individual server being able to be recognized.
- The resources made available must be adaptable (resource pooling). This can be done manually or automatically, giving the user the impression of unlimited storage space.
- A cloud must have an internal monitoring (Measured Service) with which the individual servers can be monitored and their offers can be optimized automatically.
What can the Cloud Provide for a Business?
One of the most commonly used tasks of a cloud is to provide users with secure storage space that they can access through the Internet at any time. These storage locations can be used to securely store sensitive data that can be accessed by many authorized users from virtually anywhere in the world. But it offers much more. The computers in a cloud network can perform tasks and provide computing power.
A cloud can make a company’s workflow easier if data can be more easily shared within the corporate structure and the right people can work with it. Access to the data can follow from different devices, so that employees outside the company can also use the required data. The access rights can be defined by the company so that the right people have access to the corresponding data.
One of the most important factors, however, is data security. The servers of the cloud are mirrored on different servers and backup copies are made automatically. The loss of data due to defective computers or user errors is completely excluded. Cloud vendors specialize in securing data and can now guarantee extremely secure storage and applications.
What can Modern Cloud Solutions Offer?
Cloud technology is now regarded as one of the most important areas of digitisation. Increasingly, solutions are being offered that can make companies more flexible and efficient. In addition to providing storage space, cloud services are increasingly being offered for other services as well.
Due to the favourable prices it is also worthwhile for small businesses to rent software as a service. It is especially difficult for young companies to raise the costs for new software. Installation and maintenance can be a problem, so SaaS solutions are becoming increasingly popular in many industries.
Digital workspaces not only use the memory of a cloud, users are provided with a complete working environment and computing power. At the workstations, inexpensive devices can be used that use the computing power and the software on the servers. Businesses can rely on the security of the cloud and the systems grow with the demands of the business. The costs adapt to the demand and the provision of new jobs is fast and cost-effective.
This technology offers the possibility to handle the complete communication. Telephone calls, conferences, email and data can be handled via a secure cloud. Due to the constantly falling costs, this technology is also interesting for small and medium-sized companies, especially if they have to attach importance to protected communication.
The Future of the Cloud
According to a survey by Crisp Research, the cloud is already a pillar of their IT technologies for more than 80% of German SMEs. It is no longer a question, digitization is an important factor in business management and the cloud plays a crucial role. It makes it possible to make the benefits of digitization available to every employee, on every device and worldwide.
In the future, flexibility will characterize the workplace, regardless of the workplace, the number of employees and the hardware used, data and information must be easily found and freely available to employees. Job models will change and small and medium-sized enterprises will also have to adapt to a more flexible presence culture. Working in traditional office environments is being replaced by digital workplace environments. The providers of cloud services will specialise and also offer efficient solutions for small segments.
The efficient handling of information and data is becoming increasingly important for the competitiveness of companies. The cloud offers the opportunity to provide new concepts that can also be used in small and medium-sized enterprises. Digital workspaces already offer concepts that small businesses can use to work efficiently and grow. The use of modern technology will control the growth opportunities of SMEs in the future and the cloud will play an increasingly important role.
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