If you don’t know what the “cloud” is, you may have a difficult time understand it the way it’s explained. To borrow a quote from Wikipedia, this is how one of the web’s top information sites defines the cloud: “Cloud computing is a metaphor used by Technology or IT Services companies for the delivery of computing requirements as a service to a heterogeneous community of end-recipients.”
To really simplify this for proper comprehension, the cloud isn’t a physical thing per se. It’s a network of applications, platforms and infrastructures, delivering the network, storage, communications, security, monitoring, a database, and other computing basics to your device – accessed by your Internet. Since these many different essentials exist separate of each other but are still simultaneously accessed by you, it’s like everything’s floating around up there in a cloud.
Of course, knowing about the cloud is only half the battle. Are you using the cloud to your full advantage? If not, you may be surprised to learn that there are numerous benefits of using the cloud to run your online business.
- Cost Cutting
For small businesses, the low cost of operating in the cloud is perhaps the biggest draw. Take the iCloud as a quick example. With 5GB of free storage, this is often more than enough for some small Internet businesses. Even if it’s not, storage and servers and backup and everything else you could need in terms of technology can be found for a discount in the cloud. Even hosting in general is cheaper; a VPS package costs just a fraction of traditional hosts.
- Ease of Access
Information is readily available and accessible no matter where you are with the cloud (more on that later), but the relative ease of the entire setup is what really makes life a lot simpler at the end of the day. Accessing features of the cloud is as easy as clicking icons and dragging and dropping things. It’s an evolved genre for mobile individuals using smaller devices, thus it’s far easier to manage.
If you have your business set up on a large PC with traditional servers and hosting packages, you’re working within the confines of what you’ve purchased. With the cloud, however, you can instantly scale up or down, using only what you need when you need it. It’s adaptable IT, and that definitely works to make life a lot easier.
- Security and Backup
There were some initial concerns about security and data backup with the cloud, but these have since been addressed beautifully. Not only can you back your data up in the cloud, but with most packages you will benefit from instant copies made of your data, sent to an off-site backup. For small businesses, this is a great feature.
- Mobile Computing
As touched on above, the cloud was designed for a more mobile market and thus it has evolved with that market in mind. This makes having the cloud perfect for small online businesses. You won’t have to adapt to the mobile market if you’re already operating within it. Creating mobile offices and operating on the fly is part of what cloud computing is all about.
Lower costs, easier access, a larger market, more backup options, and an ability to scale to your specific needs – any way you slice it, the cloud is just superior to traditional setups.