What is Cloud Computing? And Should You Be Using It?

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Over the last few years there has been a lot of talk on cloud computing. But what is cloud computing? Nowadays it seems to be everywhere and if you don’t know what’s going on, the chances are you’ll feel you’re missing out on something important.

To try and clear this matter up and put you in a better position of knowledge, we thought we’d give you the lowdown on cloud computing and how it can help your business.

Simply put, cloud computing involves the storage and access of data over the Internet. This is in replacement to using your hard drive for data storage. The cloud isn’t referring to a specific programme – It’s just another term for the Internet.

If you save files and programmes to your computer or laptop’s hard drive, this is not utilising cloud capability. Instead, this is known as local storage and means you can access data on that device quickly and easily.

But what if you need others to have the same access to that data? This is exactly when cloud computing comes in handy as it ensures anyone with the Internet (and granted access) can find those same files you’ve saved online.

With cloud computing there’s the opportunity to open a file, edit the data and then resave so it’s synchronised with the online file. Another user will then have access to the updated file and can view or make their own changes. For businesses, it helps save a lot of time rather than sending the file back and forth. Essentially, if you utilise cloud computing it’s accessible 24/7 with an online connection.

Business Cloud Solutions

Many businesses choose to pay for a cloud solution specific to their requirements. The business will subscribe to an online application on the Internet, where data will be securely stored and accessible by employees. This is known as Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

A second option for businesses is Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), where a custom application can be created, dedicated to that business’s requirements.
Thirdly there’s Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), where larger companies such as Google and Amazon provide software other companies can rent out.

This cloud computing has become big business too. According to management consulting firm McKinsey & Company, 80% of large companies are looking to utilise a cloud solution in the near future.

Examples of Cloud Solutions

For those who aren’t too sure on cloud computing, there’s often much confusion between local and online storage. That’s because cloud solutions are easily accessible, with Microsoft Office offering similar versions of Word, Excel and PowerPoint online with no need to download programmes or applications.
There are some other cloud solutions your business may well be using, including:

Google Drive Many companies now use Google Drive to ensure employees have access to the same data. To make access straightforward, the drive can be found on computers, tablets and even smartphones. All Google’s services are considered as cloud computing, including Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Reader.

Apple iCloud OK, so the giveaway is mostly in the name, but this Apple service is mostly for online storage of data. With iCloud you can synchronise mail, contacts and calendars on devices such as iOS or Mac.

Qlic Qlic offer a dedicated service to each client, so your cloud solution is personalised. The encrypted cloud backup solution can give you daily off-site backup with the ability to roll back corrupt files to previous versions and provide full data restoration in the event of a disaster recovery scenario.

Cloud Computing Offers a Better Way

Before cloud computing became an online technological sensation, businesses were forced into spending money on expensive solutions requiring a range of hardware and software to run effectively. There would often be a full team dedicated to this side of the business.

Cloud computing helps avoid this problem and ensures the managing of hardware and software is a whole lot easier. This is where utilising a professional cloud solution company like Qlic would be desirable. With the help of industry experts you can slash costs and information and data are well protected at all times.

Nowadays, cloud solutions should be treated in the same manner as your gas or electricity bill. You’ll only pay for what you need and upgrades are made automatically. You can easily scale up or down and ensure your business has exactly what it needs.

There isn’t a huge time delay either and your cloud solution could be up and running in a matter of just days or weeks. You’ll have your own browser login, customised to your business and with set permissions for each business employee. Therefore, you can ensure unauthorised personnel don’t have access to sensitive information.

Why You Should Embrace Cloud

Businesses of all shapes and sizes are embracing a cloud solution and if you’re still not up to speed, you’re seriously missing out. No matter the industry or business type, cloud is applicable to all and provides the necessary security and reliability.

Cloud is becoming increasingly popular and thousands of companies all over the UK are taking advantage of the opportunities on offer.

Qlic have helped hundreds of organisations integrate the cloud into their IT infrastructure. Our experience helps us recommend the best cloud solutions for your business, allowing you to focus on using IT as a tool, while we handle the monitoring and maintenance. All our cloud services are based in the UK and we are a Microsoft Silver Cloud Services Partner, so you can rest assured that our solutions meet the highest security and compliance requirements for your business. If you would like to discuss Cloud Solutions for your business contact now on 020 8269 6878 or visit www.qlicnfp.com/managed-it-services/cloud-solutions/ to find out more.

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