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Cloud Computing is transforming the way organisations consume computer services. Where in the past you had to have local systems and servers to run various applications, in the cloud, they are managed by an external provider that charges you for the use.
With cloud computing, you pay for your users just like you pay for electricity. Power is something you just plug into the wall; you turn a switch on and off and you get charged for the amount you use. You don't have to worry about where the power station is, or maintaining the power station or anything like that. All you care about is consuming the service. The concept is the same with cloud computing. It takes the focus away from having to manage, maintain and support all of the local servers and whatnot. The cloud moves all of that into a hosted environment whereby you have someone else managing it. Now all you do is consume the service via a web browser, and someone else handles all the backend process, and all the servers, configuration and maintenance.
Why Cloud Computing important?
- Cost savings. In the past, it’s been quite expensive to run, manage and deploy local systems; it has also taken a lot of capital. Most cases involve very technical people that you have to compensate with a lot of money to maintain all the stuff for you. Since you no longer need to run, manage and deploy the systems, there are big cost savings to be had.
- Scalability. Cloud computing means you no longer need to worry about having to upgrade systems since it’s all hosted elsewhere. You literally just need to make a phone call or click a button to increase your server capacity. If you acquire a company tomorrow and they have 50 staff, the cloud gives you unlimited elastic scale so you can add those 50 users and get them up and running straight away.
- Keep up with the latest technology. With cloud computing, you never have to worry about upgrading and updating. The cloud makes sure you are getting the latest servers and are always upgraded with the next version. When a new patch comes out, it is automatically deployed, so you don't have to worry about any of that technical stuff anymore. Cloud computing keeps you on the cutting edge with the most up-to-date technology.
- Mobility. Since the cloud is hosted, you are no longer confined to the office. You can take your information mobile and work from tablets and mobile devices. Staff can work from an office computer, from home, or from a client site. The cloud increases the efficiency of an organisation by giving staff more mobility. They can be on-site with a client and still enter notes directly into sales reports.
- Disaster recovery. Improved up-time is the result of better disaster recovering in the cloud. Your cloud hosting can take advantage of the best enterprise systems; in the event of server failure, it automatically fails over to another server. This is something that you definitely cannot achieve inside a small organisational IT environment, because to implement that sort of disaster recovery would be costly and capital intensive.