Cloud-based systems have become more popular since the pandemic. With teams working remotely, they needed a way to connect and store their information. But what is the cloud? What is cloud-based? And is it right for your business?
It might sound like something mystical, but it’s really very simple once it’s explained clearly. We’ve put together all the information you need to understand going cloud-based.
What Is "The Cloud"?
What people commonly refer to as the cloud is simply a cloud-based system for hosting services via the internet. ‘The cloud’ usually means the servers, databases and software that can be accessed through the web from the majority of devices that have an internet connection.
There are lots of different cloud services, including everything from storage for your smartphone photos and files to large-scale systems for businesses.
The cloud is ultimately just a metaphor for things stored and operated remotely and accessed through the internet. When you have something stored or run through the cloud, it means you access it by being online.
The benefits of the cloud are that it doesn’t require as much physical memory space on devices, you don’t need to have your own servers, it’s easy to use and makes everything much more accessible to teams without restricting you to a certain location.
What Does Cloud-Based Mean?
Going cloud-based means storing or hosting your systems or data online instead of locally on devices.
A good example is Google Documents. Someone can send you a web link to a Google doc, and then when you click on that link, it takes you to their document which is being held online and not saved to your computer’s physical memory.
You need to be connected to the web to be able to view and edit the Google doc, as it’s hosted entirely online, instead of being sent to you as a file that you’d save to your computer.
Lots of companies are moving toward cloud-based systems because of this convenience and seemingly limitless scalability. Especially since the pandemic forced everyone to go remote. Almost any business can benefit from making some of their processes cloud-based, for example with storage of customer data or hosting software all of your employees can access remotely.
What Does Cloud-Based Look Like In An SME?
Cloud-based systems are hugely popular in small to medium enterprises. This is because it offers a level of flexibility and accessibility that often means lower costs. A good example of cloud-based in action in a medium-sized company would be the use of cloud storage solution, Dropbox.
At Data Innovations, we help companies utilize cloud services like Dropbox For Business to increase productivity and make an otherwise pesky task super simple. With Dropbox For Business, employees can share web links to files of all types, allowing others to access them whether they’re in the office or working remotely. Dropbox also acts as a central storage space, putting important files in one place so they’re easily accessible to everyone who needs them and making sharing large files quick and simple.
Cloud storage has become more of a necessity for growing companies that would normally use computers and laptops to store their files. In fact, new laptops are built with smaller hard drives to enhance their portability, which makes them more reliant on cloud solutions.
Other tech is following suit, so integrating cloud-based into your company is going to be an essential step to futureproof your business and keep up with the move toward the cloud in everyday ways. Especially as many of the newer laptops have smaller internal storage space.
Is It Easy To Go Cloud-Based?
Yes and no.
For a huge company, moving to the cloud can be complex. There are tons of systems, lots of people, lots of servers, hardware, software and training all needing to be organized and moved over. Whereas in a small business there is a lot less to think about.
You’ll find that there are large cloud migration companies out there which are used by big corporations who need extensive work done. For small companies, there are IT businesses like us, that help you figure out what exactly you need to get moved to the cloud. Some people feel confident in attempting to move things over themselves, but this does carry the risk of mishaps and problems. At Data Innovations, we can do your migration for you so you know that all of your documents, emails and sensitive information are safe.
Is Cloud-Based Right For Your Business?
Most businesses can benefit from moving some or all of their services to cloud-based, as this reduces your upfront costs in things like servers, external hard drives and physical devices. Not to mention that going cloud-based means increased availability of information and data for your team or clients and easier integration with remote working.
As time goes on, most businesses are going to utilize the cloud more and more, making cloud migration an important consideration for companies of all industries and sizes.
If you’d like to learn more about the cloud solutions we offer at Data Innovations take a look at our cloud services here.