Cloud computing is a broader term for the delivery of scalable, hosted services through the Internet. It’s a kind of Internet-based computing environment where servers, storage and applications are delivered to computers and mobiles as a service. It’s based on sharing and optimizing computing resources. All data is stored on-line, so users can access it 24/7. All you need is an Internet connection.
In Europe, Cloud computing is still at its beginning. According to a study of the Eurostat, only 19% of enterprises use the Cloud. One of the main reasons why they moved to the Cloud is to reduce costs.
Cloud computing is one of the most outstanding tools that small and medium enterprises can utilize to gain a competitive edge and optimize costs.
Are you in the Cloud?
You don’t have to pay somebody to maintain and update your software – everything is the Cloud vendor’s responsibility. There’s no need to purchase applications – it’s much more cost efficient to rent them via the Cloud, with all maintenance fixes and version upgrades included. Desktop software versions are usually more expensive and complex to license and manage. A good example of a Cloud service and application is Microsoft Office 365, which you can buy as an annual subscription. You’re able to choose a subscription plan that fits your exact needs (services, software, or both). Another example is Microsoft Dynamics CRM Online; a cloud suite of applications for managing Customer-related business processes for just a monthly per-user fee.
If you decide to take advantage of the Cloud, you don’t have to invest in a complex on-premises IT infrastructure. Cloud applications are updated and patched regularly, so you don’t have to waste your time and money on worrying about forward and backward compatibility. Cloud computing allows employees access to applications and data via any of today’s relevant software platforms (Android, iOS, Windows). Without Cloud Services, when something is installed locally on a computer or server, users can usually access the program and content only from that specific computer or network. Therefore, it’s much more flexible and easier to use a Cloud application than to buy a server and all the required server software. The possibility of data loss in the Cloud is very low due to multiple layers of redundancy. Also, because of high-grade security mechanisms that Cloud providers employ, security risks are also minimized when using Cloud Services.
- Quick and easy implementation
- Cost reduction
- Service flexibility