Overview of the cloud

You hear it everywhere:

  • “The data is stored in the cloud.”
  • “Run our app in the cloud.”
  • “Upload that to the cloud.”

Cloud this, about that, cloud bank (okay, I made up that last one). You have a vague sense of what everyone means by “the cloud”, but you don’t know exactly what it is. Except you think it has something to do with the Internet.

You’re on the right track. In fact, speaking in broad terms, the “cloud” is the Internet. For example, let’s say you upload some data to a “cloud service.” The data moves through the Internet to servers operated by the company running the service.

Or say you run an app by the cloud. You usually run the app after going to a website. It’s not just apps. You can run entire software packages in the cloud. (The tech industry has a name and acronym for this. Of course they do. They call it “SaaS”, or “Software as a Service.”)

You’re Already in the Cloud

You probably already use “cloud services” and/or SAA S. Do you use:

  • Evernote?
  • Flickr?

Or how about:

  • Office 365?
  • Microsoft dynamics CRM?
  • Google docs?
  • QuickBooks on the web?

All of these are cloud services or SaaS. And millions of people and thousands of businesses use them every day.

Growth of the Cloud

According to Gartner, thousands more businesses will use them in the future. SaaS space is projected to reach $160 billion in revenue by 2016. The other “aaS” stacks, “Infrastructure as a Service” and “Platform as a Service”, are projected to show remarkable growth as well.

So in all likelihood, your business will be ”in the cloud” to an extent you couldn’t believe just a couple of years ago. What does this mean for your data?

Putting Your Business in the Cloud

Lots of small and medium sized businesses are taking advantage of the cloud to save on IT hardware and infrastructure, software and licensing, and better security. But there are some things you want to consider before moving to the cloud:

  • Can anyone access my data?
  • Do I have regulatory implications?
  • Where exactly is my data? How do I get it restored if necessary?
  • What happens when my cloud servicers performs upgrades or maintenance? Can my customers and staff access my systems? Will I get advance notification?
  • What happens if I miss a payment? Will I lose all my data?
  • What if I decide to leave the cloud? Do I still own my data, or does the cloud vendor? How do I get my data back?
  • What if the vendor goes out of business?

The IT experts at Waypoint would love to review your business and its readiness for the cloud, as well as all your other IT needs and cyber security vulnerabilities, for free.  Please click here to sign up for a free, no risk IT assessment.

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