Understanding the Ins and Outs of Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is quickly becoming a necessity for many businesses, yet many small businesses still haven’t jumped on the bandwagon. This technology was first mentioned in the 1960s, but it is expected to grow rapidly in the next few years. According to research from Forrester, the market for cloud computing is “going to increase from about $41 billion in 2011 to $241 billion in 2020.” It is never too late to get started with this technology, and the vast majority of businesses find it to be an integral part of keeping their business up and running smoothly.

What Is Cloud Computing

Cloud computing is a group of services that are distributed via the Internet as opposed to one specific device. All of the data that is using cloud computing is saved on a server at a remote location. You can think of cloud computing in the same way that you think about electricity. Your company uses electricity, but it is generated through a sever stored at a remote location.

Cloud computing is generally the less expensive choice when storing data and is considered one of the most reliable methods. Its performance is monitored and is considered very secure because of the many expensive resources used to ensure security (ones that an individual company may not be able to afford).

Why Cloud Computing Matters

Cloud computing is becoming important because it helps transfer data across different devices very easily. In other words, if your customers are trying to access your data through an IPad, mobile phone, or switching from computer to computer, they will always be able to access the date they want because it is stored in “the cloud.” This allows business owners as well as staff to focus on the aspects of the data as opposed to where the data is stored. Consider some of the key areas below where businesses can benefit from using cloud computing tools:

  • Scheduling – Scheduling and trying to mix schedules of different people can get very confusing. However, using cloud tools can help make this much easier because you do not always need to be in constant communication. If you’re using a cloud tool, such as Google Calendar, then you can simply store your schedule and others can go in and find openings that work for them.
  • Payments – Companies constantly have to pay companies and contract workers that they have outsourced as well as many customers. Cloud computing makes this easy through tools such as PayPal or QuickBooks. Instead of having to manually send each invoice or write out a check, you can store it all in the cloud and your party can access the payments anywhere and on any device.
  • Social Media – All social media is stored in the cloud. Social media scheduling tools such as TweetDeck or Hootsuite also utilize cloud computing technology, so it makes it easy for a user to see what is happening with several accounts.

The list seems never ending when you really think about everything that is stored in the cloud, or on the Internet. Because of its safety and price, it is no question why so many businesses rely on cloud computing for business matters.

How to Get Started with Cloud Computing

The truth is, your company is probably already using cloud computing without even realizing it. However, it is important to realize how it works and why it is important. If you ever come across a situation where you can choose cloud computing or a different system to store data, you want to make sure you are completely informed and make the right decision. In most cases, cloud computing will be the easier choice.

Photo Credit: public-domain-photos.com

Amanda DiSilvestro is a writer on topics ranging from social media to VoIP phone service. She writes for an online resource that gives advice on topics including business credit cards to small businesses and entrepreneurs for the leading business directory, Business.com.

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