Let’s begin with trying to understand what the Cloud actually is. The term, the “cloud”, confuses people because it creates the connotation that it is not a physical storage device. To clear that up, cloud solutions are a network of servers sharing resources to optimize performance instead of one single machine. It is made up of multiple different computers located in big warehouses in different areas of the world. Each server has a different function, some for providing an online service and some allowing the user to store and access data.
There are three different cloud solutions: public, private, and hybrid.
1. Fun fact about the public cloud is that its growth will reach 44% annually in the next five years. Services and infrastructure are available off-site over the Internet in a public cloud. They are very efficient for sharing resources between team members but are more open to vulnerabilities. One cause of this is that customization for security and performance is harder to change. (If you want to learn more about software customization we have a blog post discussing “good” and “bad” customization, here) The public cloud option is the best choice for businesses that outsource their IT, collaborate on many projects, and have SaaS from a vendor that has a strong security strategy.
2. A private cloud is established for a single business and managed either internally or it is hosted by a third-party. This allows for extreme security and control. A downside to using a private cloud is that it can involve higher costs and a need for on-site maintenance.
3. Lastly, is the hybrid cloud. 51% of organizations use a hybrid cloud. The definition of the hybrid cloud makes sense with its name in that it is a combination of both private and public clouds. Each aspect of a business can be kept in whatever cloud is most efficient for its purpose.
Adobe Creative Cloud is an example of a cloud that provides an user with services. If you are familiar with Adobe you may know that their Photoshop, Illustrator, etc. previously were bought in the form of a physical box set and was called Adobe Creative Suite. Now they are purchased online through a monthly subscription fee.
Some examples of a cloud service with the purpose of storing and accessing data is Dropbox, Instagram, and Google Drive.
Now that we know what the cloud actually is and some examples of it, we can discuss the benefits and downfalls of using one of these cloud solutions for your personal or business use.
1. Can access data from anywhere and 24/7
2. No need for a physical storage center
3. As your business grows, it is easy to add to their Cloud systems
4. Disaster recovery has less downtime and faster recovery of data with the Cloud
1. Internet access is required to access files
2. Loss of full control of your data
3. Data security issues between you and your vendor such as feeling sure of confidentiality of your data, validation that data is genuine and authentic, that data is not altered without permission
If you are interested in incorporating the Cloud for your business contact us at Straight Edge Technology to get a more personalized review of what would be best for your business!