Cloud Technology: Why You Need To Keep A Close Eye On
Cloud is the future.
At least, that’s what the tech world seems to believe. And the rumor is not exactly false, when you consider that just the sector of cloud computing will reach $302.5 billion by 2021.
And cloud tech is even bigger.
To phrase it more accurately, cloud technology is the future.
And it’s easy to see why you don’t need to just keep a close eye on it…
You should also integrate cloud-based services into your company.
Cloud technology has several important advantages:
- It cuts costs for peripheral products
- It allows you to organize all your data in a single place
- It lets you access all that data, anywhere and from any device
Sounds good, doesn’t it?
There are a lot of benefits when it comes to cloud storage, cloud computing and cloud-based services.
It’s almost like the cloud 9 of contemporary informational technology, pun intended.
You’ve heard it from us first.
Keep a close eye on it.
But not just because it’s a growing industry.
There’s plenty of reasons to be hyped about cloud technology.
What Is Cloud Technology?
Basically, cloud technology means that a company provides you with storage and services that you’re accessing over the Internet.
So you don’t have to worry about buying software or hardware needed for the work that you’re doing.
You also don’t have to worry about storing anything into your existing computer’s hard drive.
It’s all stored in ‘the cloud’ - aka the Internet - and you can have access to these services anytime, on any device.
A tech partner will provide all these services to you for a pay as-you-go price that scales according to your needs.
Sounds really good, right?
But it gets better.
Examples of cloud-based services
You might have heard of them, so here are a few real-life examples.
Two of the most popular cloud services are Microsoft 365 and Google Drive and they offer you applications and services such as Microsoft OneDrive, SharePoint Online or Google Docs, if we talk about Google Cloud Services.
This means that you can work on any device, considering they have access to the Internet and your work is saved automatically after each change, no matter how small.
Just as a side note, if you’re comparing options: we like Microsoft’s suite, and we set all of our clients up with it.
But the rabbit hole goes deeper.
Cloud Computing is the delivery of on-demand computing services over the net.
And there are three types of cloud computing services.
Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS)
Basically, you buy computing hardware, such as storage from a hosting company and they serve up your data on your platform from their servers.
The best example here is AWS - Amazon Web Services (the hosting company) providing cloud storage services for Netflix (the streaming platform).
Software as a Service (SaaS)
This means that you’re using a complete piece of software that is running on the provider’s operating system, but it’s on your device.
SharePoint Online is one of the most popular Saas around and it helps companies and teams to share and manage their content more efficiently.
But CRMs, or other complex management software is what you’ll usually see in this category.
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
As the name suggests, cloud platform services basically provide developers with a web based platform to develop their own applications without having to worry about operating systems, updated and so on.
The most popular PaaS are Windows Azure (which we love), Google App Engine and AWS Elastic Beanstalk.
Cloud Technology: What Are the Benefits?
If you’re using technology in your daily life, chances are you probably have already heard about cloud technology.
Or at least cloud storage.
What you haven’t heard of, though, is that cloud technology has some pretty unique characteristics.
Cloud technology is not your responsibility
Yes. This might sound a bit confusing but let us explain.
When you have access to services and storage in the cloud, all you have to worry about is working on your project.
Issues like software updates or not having enough storage space on your hard drive or even worrying about your computer not being powerful enough to handle some of the software you’re using, these are all issues of the past.
Paying for updates and waiting for them to install or having to save the projects every 5 minutes, or, heck, even worrying about viruses compromising your data - these are not your responsibilities.
These are all managed by the company that provides for you cloud based services.
You just have to worry about getting your work done.
Cloud technology is scalable
This is probably one of the most important features of cloud technology.
Scalability in cloud technology means that you can increase or decrease the size or the power of your preferred IT solution as it fits your needs, in a matter of minutes.
Scalability also means that you can add resources to this solution and have access to them just as quickly.
As you can figure it out, scalability in cloud technology has its own set of benefits:
- It’s fast and easy to implement - some clicks and an online payment and you’re done.
- It makes your job easier - because you don’t have to buy hardware storage and install it into your computer when you run out of space.
- It saves you lots of money - because you only pay for what you need at the moment and you don’t have to spend money on unnecessary hardware.
- It’s flexible and non-disruptive - if you want to work on a new project or add a new team member you just add some new resources to the existing ones, without disrupting
Clouds can be public, private or hybrid
Cloud technology is available in a public setting or a private setting. In a way these settings are the cloud versions of Internet and Intranet.
Public clouds are often free to a certain extent and then if you want to have access to more services, you will have to pay a price according to your needs.
The most common public cloud services are those that Google provides: such as Google Docs, Sheets, etc., making them very useful for someone who’s just starting a company.
Private clouds provide the same services, but they are only available to those that have access to them through a secure network connection, very similar to an Intranet.
If you have read our latest article on Intranet, then you know what we’re talking about here. If not, head over to the article and make sure you read it.
Private clouds are made through public clouds using virtual private networks (VPN) connections and they are suitable for companies and corporations.
Hybrid clouds are a combination of the first two, meaning that a public cloud is connected to a company’s IT infrastructure.
They are usually preferred by companies because they combine the best of both worlds, allowing a seamless migration between private clouds and public clouds.
Hybrid clouds are a perfect option for temporary projects, because your team could store the temporary project on a public cloud without occupying the company’s private cloud storage space.
If the project gets bigger and more important it can always be migrated into a private cloud.
Cloud technology is naturally safe and secure
It’s easy to fear your data being compromised in a cloud setting.
It’s all online, so anyone could hack it.
If you employ cloud-based services from respected companies like Microsoft, then you also employ some of the world’s best security programs intended to keep your data safe and secure. You can even choose the region your cloud is located in, and this is done when you don’t want certain governments to be able to subpoena your data, for example.
Some would argue that it’s even more secure to store data into the cloud than to store it on your hard drive.
More so, you can choose the location of the servers that host your clouds. If your company is based in Europe, you can always choose to host your clouds on servers based in the US.
Given the rules that European Union has regarding the transfer of data between different countries, you don’t have to worry about your data falling into unauthorized hands.
Cloud technology is mobile too
This is another reason why cloud technology is a fascinating concept.
Storing your data on the cloud and having to work on cloud based services means that your mobile device (laptop, smartphone, tablet, etc.) can become a workpoint to wrap up your projects anywhere and anytime, given that you have an internet connection.
And yeah, this is also safe and secure and needed during these trying times, when we have to practice social distancing
Mobile cloud technology will become even more prevalent in the future. The world already has 5 billion mobile subscriptions and it doesn’t seem like that it will slow down any time soon.
In addition to this, people are starting to work on their own devices more and more.
Using your own phone, tablet or personal laptop to get the work done within the cloud surely seems like the future.
So are there no drawbacks?
Well we love cloud technology, but we also want to give you a fair take.
So let’s look at some downsides.
Downsides of Cloud Technology
But before we get into it, remember - with the right tech partner, all of these can be avoided, or their impact minimized.
Cloud tech requires a permanent internet connection
Preferably, this internet connection has to be strong too, especially when working with big files.
Basically, cloud technology means that you can work as long as you have a stable internet connection.
Sure, some cloud based services, like Microsoft OneDrive, can be accessed offline as well, but you have to set up the offline access first.
After you do that, the files will be downloaded into your device’s hard drive.
But let’s be honest here…
As long as you’re not traveling to a remote cabin (probably to relax anyway), what are the chances you’ll be left with no internet access?
Cloud technology can become expensive in the long run
If you think about scalability, then you know that the bigger a project becomes, the more resources you need.
You will have to pay for these resources.
Generally, cloud computing is cheaper in the long run, because you don’t have to worry about software and hardware maintenance and administration.
Some cloud companies even allow you to pay as-you-go or to pay a monthly subscription based on a certain packet.
However, cloud computing can also prove expensive, especially when your project doesn’t seem to see the light of day or the development is taking longer than expected.
Or even worse, if there is little progress, you will still need to pay the subscriptions in order to have access to your data and keep working.
Always make sure that you have the option to scale not only up, but down as well.
Cloud technology is not in your control
Remember when we said that cloud technology is not your responsibility? It’s not in your control, either.
Let’s say you are working on your project and the servers fall. You have no control over your provider’s servers and the only thing you have left to do is to just wait.
Same goes for cloud-based services that are no longer receiving any support from the provider.
For example, back in 2012, Google Docs dropped the support of old Word formats such as DOC, .XLS and .PPT, upsetting many users.
Same could go for you if your provider stops supporting the services for various reasons (bankruptcy, etc.).
Therefore, we recommend you take into account the price, the availability and the degree of dependency if you’re thinking about migrating to the cloud.
But if you factor that, and have the right partners around, cloud technology is the way to go.
Oh and, if you don’t know who to work with for the right cloud tech solutions, make sure you get in touch with us.
In the end…
Migrating to the cloud should be one of your company’s goals.
We are talking about:
- Working remotely from anywhere in the world.
- Having access to the data from any device.
- Not having to worry about paying for unnecessary software.
Cloud technology means all the above.
And we also know how important it is especially during this trying pandemic.
What do you say? Will you take this into consideration?