Cloud is a game changer for business. Think of the way retailers like Amazon have achieved far more cloud-based agility than large bricks-and-mortar counterparts.
But if you’re confused with all the marketing campaigns selling cloud solutions and all the reports from experts, you’re not alone.
New cloud users should keep in mind a simple definition of the cloud: It’s someone else’s computer or computers.
The first thing to understand is there are two types of cloud.
First, there’s public cloud, where your business shares the application software, hardware, data centre, and operating system with all of the other users. It’s the low-cost option. Then there is private cloud, which offers greater security and fewer performance issues.
Think of it this way: If an application goes down in a public cloud system, all the other users will suffer an outage. That doesn’t happen in private cloud. It costs more, but many businesses choose that to protect their data.
Cloud is changing buildings. More organisations are switching to cloud-based office systems such as Microsoft’s Office 365 or Google Apps. One big factor driving this is the increasing number of devices people are using these days.
The average person today might be using at least four devices — smartphone, tablet, work desktop or laptop and home desktop — to access their organisation’s office system capabilities in a single week. That puts enormous strain on the company’s IT system. Cloud systems can reduce IT maintenance, installation, security and mobility costs because unlike other packages, they don’t work off a per-device model.
For office management, it also makes a big difference. Cloud can change the office configuration completely. With cloud, people can work from the comfort of their home, while on the road or even on holiday.
Using cloud, you can create a virtual office space for people who are not working there without much investment or the leasing out of extra space.
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