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What is Cloud Computing?

The practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer.

Everyone is talking about “the cloud”

But what does it mean?
Business applications are moving to the cloud. It’s not just a fad—the shift from traditional software models to the Internet has steadily gained momentum over the last 10 years. Looking ahead, the next decade of cloud computing promises new ways to collaborate everywhere, including through mobile devices.
Life before cloud computing
Traditional business applications have always been very complicated and expensive. The amount and variety of hardware and software required to run them are daunting. You need a whole team of experts to install, configure, test, run, secure, and update them.

When you multiply this effort across dozens or hundreds of apps, it’s easy to see why the biggest companies with the best IT departments aren’t getting the apps they need. Small and mid-sized businesses don’t stand a chance.

Cloud computing: a better way

With cloud computing, you eliminate those headaches because you’re not managing hardware and software—that’s the responsibility of your Cloud provider. The shared infrastructure means it works like a utility: You only pay for what you need, upgrades are automatic, and scaling up or down is easy.

Cloud-based apps can be up and running in hours or days, and they cost less. With a cloud app, you just open a browser, log in, customize the app, and start using it.

Businesses are running all kinds of apps in the cloud, like customer relationship management (CRM), HR, accounting, and much more.

What can I move to the cloud?

Businesses are running all kinds of apps in the cloud, like:

  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
  • HR Packages
  • Accounting Packages
  • Line of Business Applications
  • Servers and Virtual Servers
  • Hosted Exchange, Google Apps, Business Email Solutions
  • Application Software such as Office or Adobe
  • Marketing Applications
  • Online Storage/File Servers/File Sharing
What can I move to the cloud?

Businesses are running all kinds of apps in the cloud, like:

  • Data and Image Backups
  • Phone Service and Systems
  • Spam and Content Filtering
  • Terminal/Remote Desktop Services
    • Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)
  • Computer and Mobile Device Management, Patching, Maintenance, Monitoring
  • AntiVirus/AntiMalware Solutions
Why should my company use Cloud Computing?
  • Ease and speed of deployment.
  • Less expensive to deploy than traditional on premise solutions.
  • Less costly to maintain or service.
  • ROI on initial investment if any is much shorter than on premise solutions.
  • Automated backups.
  • Ease and cost of administration/management.
  • Ease of quick access to resources.
  • Mobile Apps.
  • Increased business and employee productivity and efficiency.
  • $ Savings!
Anything I should know before jumping in feet first?
  • Cloud solutions don’t necessarily work for every business. Not all cloud solutions work for all businesses.
  • Ensure you are using business grade cloud solutions not consumer grade.
    • Permissions, security, redundancy, backups, etc…
  • Beware of “False Cloud” Solutions.
  • Ensure your solution has backups of your data or implement them if not.
  • Cross Platform and Application Compatibility.
  • Consult a cloud computing expert.