What is Cloud Computing?

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The advent of cloud computing means an end to business as usual for the IT departments of many small to mid-sized companies. Everything from customer service to HRIS (Human Resources) and data centers are now being accessed and served via cloud solutions. The benefits are enormous and include increased availability of company resources for both employees and customers, lessened IT costs, greater versatility and heightened data security.

What is Cloud Computing?

In the simplest terms, cloud computing is the hosting and maintenance by a third party of any or all of a client company’s computer functions. This third party maintains and manages a collection of computers or servers at an off-site location. In return for a monthly fee, the client company, their employees and their customers have access to these computers. The client company, however, is not responsible for any of the day-to-day maintenance, back-up or security. In addition, the entire process is transparent to the any and all users.

The Cloud Computing Edge

A cloud computing solution has some distinct advantages over an in-house solution for meeting a company’s computing and database needs. They include the following:

Expanded Access
Employees can access needed data at any time of the day or night and can collaborate with colleagues from any location with any internet connection. In addition, customers can access vital data such as statements or order status without the need for costly human interaction from you customer service department. In short, information flow is more timely and conducted in a more expeditious manner.

Lower IT Costs
Technology, in its various forms, can save huge amounts of time and energy. Still, it must be maintained. A dedicated IT staff can serve this purpose but their cost may not be justified by the amount of work that they must do. In a cloud-based solution, the hardware, software and staff are all provided by the vendor. The costs of these items is spread across a number of clients and is, therefore, superior in quality but less expensive for each individual clients. Similarly, all upgrades, backups and expansions of the system are handled by the provider and their implementation is typically transparent to the client and to their customers.

Increased Security
Security with a cloud-based solution is also far better than with a traditional in-house solution. In general, the offsite location sees far fewer people than an office or manufacturing facility. In addition, the provider is intimately involved with the equipment on a daily basis. These two facts mean that the equipment is monitored far more closely than in an in-house solution.Online security is also enhanced. More money can be spent on the best and most robust security as the cost is again spread across many customers. In short, clients will be provided with the best online security at the least cost.

The Bottom Line

Cloud computing can help your company leverage its IT assets across the entire organization. It will benefit the individuals of your organization and your clients plus the company as a whole. In addition, new IT resources can be more rapidly and affordably implemented accomplished with a minimum of administrative headaches. In short, cloud computing provides all the benefits of a world class IT without the attendant costs and aggravation.

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