What is the “cloud”, and how will it benefit my business?

When companies search for business web hosting in Australia, they’re faced with all the hype about “cloud computing”, “cloud hosting”, “cloud emails” etc. This is a buzzword that tends to confuse many people, however all it really means is that you are storing your information on the Internet.

People seemed to have adopted the term “cloud” to cover all things online, and now it is used by just about everyone. For example, Adobe now offers Photoshop only via the cloud, Amazon offers cloud storage and hosting, while Google, Fed X, Cisco, Microsoft, LinkedIn, Dropbox and other major players are all moving to cloud-based software solutions. This means that more and more software is being managed or used through web browsers or dedicated apps rather than traditional desktop program installations.

Local versus cloud storage

Storing a file “locally” means that the file is physically saved to your device, whether that be a computer, tablet, phone, USB flash drive, or external hard drive. If the file is uploaded to the Internet in some way — such as by posting a photo on social media, creating a document in Google Drive, or backing up files to Dropbox — then that file is now in the cloud.

Online backup solutions such as Dropbox.com or OneDrive (part of Office 365) will allow you to keep a copy in both locations, and keep those files synchronised, so if you create a new file locally, it stores it in the cloud as well (though you can pick and choose which files this applies to).

Is the cloud secure?

Some people have concerns about the security of the cloud. But in reality, while there is a risk of your online data being compromised, the same can be said about the data stored on your computer or any other device which connects to the Internet.

Hackers are always trying to find passwords and other private information, and they don’t restrict those activities to online data; data is frequently stolen from personal devices because there’s often not much security in place.

So in some ways, the cloud can actually be a safer way to store your information — if you choose a software provider who places great emphasis on security and privacy.

What are the benefits?

In a nutshell:

  • Multiple people can access to the same files/resources, even at the same time.
  • Large files can be sent between users much more quickly and securely than via email or in the post.
  • It’s relatively inexpensive for some software purposes (such as backups), compared to in-house servers.
  • Your data can be restored quickly from online backups, if you had a disaster at your office, such as a fire.
  • It’s easy to scale your resources (such as storage space) up and down as your needs change, compared to physically installing/removing hardware locally.
  • It’s much more cost effective to host your website with a reputable local hosting provider than running your own dedicated in-house web server.

Are you making the most of the cloud?

Whether it be online backups, web hosting, file editing, software, or anything in between, the cloud offers countless ways to make your business more secure, profitable, and efficient than ever before.

For more information on business web hosting in Australia, or details on what other business solutions we can offer, call GO Creative on 07 3333 2932 or get a free online quote.

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