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What is cloud technology?
Cloud technology is a form of computing that uses the internet (the cloud) to deliver computing services. Some of the common computing services include analytics, software, networking, databases, storage and servers. The cloud infrastructure also allows sharing of data and computer resources. In simpler terms, it is the delivery of ICT services through the internet using applications and web-based
tools. The computing resources have no direct link to the software packages and data stored in the server. So, an electronic device like a computer can use cloud technology as long as it can access the internet.
Cloud technology advantages
- Cost – it makes computing to be cheap. How? You are not involved in the running of cloud data centres. If you were to have an on-site data center, you would need to invest in software, hardware, technology and expertise needed to run it smoothly.
- Speed – usually, cloud services renders services on demand at top speed even if the service is requiring a lot of computing resources.
- Global scale – you can access cloud technology from any geographical location provided you have access to the internet. Better still, if your computing resources need increases, the technology also scales.
- Productivity – it removes the burden of handling some time-consuming tasks associated with on-site data centres allowing you to focus on pressing business tasks.
- Performance – companies offering cloud technology, regularly upgrade their software and hardware to ensure their services are competitive in terms of performance.
- Reliability – the technology makes it hard to lose data as it is stored in redundant sites. Also, makes disaster recovery as well as data backup easier.
Cloud technology disadvantages
- Downtime — in some cases, though rarely, services offered through cloud technology may be suspended because of technical issues. Your internet connection may cause downtime if it is unstable.
- Security — there is always an element of a security risk when accessing cloud services as there may be unforeseen vulnerabilities and loopholes.
- Vendor Lock-In – although the technology promises to be flexible, there is no straight forward way of migrating services between vendors.
- Limited Control — the customers using cloud computing don’t have complete control over everything as most things are operated, monitored and managed by service providers.
Will cloud technology help my business?
Of course yes. Cloud technology will your business grow faster and become more profitable. But how? You don’t have to invest in an on-site data centre which can be quite expensive to set up, run and maintain. Reliability, scalability and speed of cloud computing directly lead to increased productivity which in turn leads to more income.
What are my cloud technology options?
There are mainly three options you can choose from and they include the following:
- laaS (Infrastructure as a Service) — it is the simplest of the cloud services. With it, you can get all the IT infrastructure you need from a cloud provider. Infrastructure may involve operating systems, networks storage, virtual machines and servers.
- PaaS (Platform as a Service) — this involves providing an on-demand environment to developers. The developers can use it to develop, test, deliver and manage software applications.
- SaaS (Software as a service) — it is a way of delivering on demand applications online and mostly on a subscription basis. The management, maintenance of the software’s is done by the cloud service provider.
More cloud technology information
Depending on who is offering the cloud technology, the services vary a little bit. Though a lot of them offer a user-friendly and browser-based interface that is easy to access and use. In addition, some cloud services can be accessed in a number of ways hence giving the customers multiple options of ordering resources and managing their accounts.
Cloud technology as discussed above, is a new trend that businesses, both start-up and established, are adopting to maximise productivity at a low cost. In the last ten years, the technology has been on the rise as business started realising its benefits. Although it has some limitations, its advantages are more than its disadvantages.