Introduction to Cloud Computing – article by Mach5 IT Solutions

Cloud Computing – it often seems like every man and his dog are offering a Cloud Computing service and inviting you to get on board with them.  But what exactly isCloud Computing and what benefits can it bring to your business?  Is it an answer to many of the problems faced by modern businesses with a mobile workforce, rising infrastructure costs and exponentially increasing amounts of data to store and access – from anywhere?  Or just an overblown, over-hyped remote backup facility over which you have no control?  Mach5 IT Solutions’ brief overview of ‘the Cloud’ will help you decide.

Do you have a Gmail or similar email service account?  Answer yes and you’re already using the Cloud.  The software running the service isn’t sitting on your computer and neither are your emails.  In fact, you don’t even need your own computer; all you require is access to any device with an interface, a simple web browser, connecting you with your emails being stored on someone’s server, somewhere.  Do you care where?  Probably not – you just want your information to be secure and have the ability to access it – anytime, anywhere.

Take that simple scenario and scale it up to cover your hardware, software and licensing, network infrastructure, storage, mobility, data administration, access and security issues.  Instead of purchasing all your own specialised hardware and software, keeping licenses up-to-date, storing all your own data and maintaining a secure yet easy-to-access and mobile-friendly network – why not rent?  Rent the storage space for all your data, and only pay for what you need; add or remove space as your circumstances change.  Subscribe to application and security software required to run and protect your business systems – it’s always up-to-date, grows with you as new employees join and you never need to worry about licensing.  Keep all your data synchronised across all platforms and ensure the latest version of all documentation is available to every one of your staff, whatever device they’re using and regardless of where they’re located.

Some other common Cloud services you may already be familiar with include: Dropbox – stores data and keeps it synchronised between multiple devices & users; iTunes – Apple stores your digital music collection on servers throughout North America; social media services such as Facebook and Twitter maintain all your information in data centres around the world.  A common feature of such services is the provision of high levels of security, backups and multiple redundancy in case of failure – your data and the service you provide is no longer dependent on your own physical computers remaining problem-free.

Essentially, the Cloud comprises vast complexes given over to data storage, network infrastructure for accessing that data, security and backup systems to maintain data integrity and ensure your information is available wherever and whenever you need it.  You might live in Australia and your data could be stored on physical hardware somewhere in Europe – with backups in America, Iceland, Russia or the UK.

In a nutshell, that’s the power that Cloud Computing brings you – reduced capital costs, pay-as-you-go services, accessibility, security, scalability and ease-of-use.

To get a deeper understanding of how Cloud Computing can help your business, talk to the experts at Mach5 IT Solutions and discover how cost-effective it can be to reduce your own software/hardware infrastructure costs and improve your productivity by moving to ‘the Cloud’.

Contact Mach5 IT for further details today.

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