When it comes to the web, cloud technology is the latest trend, with a number of hosting companies pushing the benefits onto their customers. But, before you invest in this new technology, it's important to understand exactly what it is and what it will do for your business.
What is cloud technology?
Cloud technology is simply a bank of servers (these can be in a single location or spread out across a number of locations to improve the resilience of the cloud infrastructure). They share capacity therefore making the network more efficient. The key to cloud computing however, is the ability for end users to “dial in” over a network and directly access the computing power of the cloud.
Impact on IT infrastructure
Many organisations retain onsite servers and complex network solutions but of course, these need to be maintained, made secure and kept up-to-date. Cloud technology provides the network and server solution with secure access, improved resilience and micros payment access to software (you only pay for the software that you use, when you use it).
This combined cloud solution will have a significant direct and indirect cost impact on IT solutions. The advent of the cloud will make establishing, servicing and maintaining an integrated IT infrastructure highly affordable.
Changing the way we work
Cloud computing will improve accessibility of information. This may be company-bespoke computer systems, data information or important business collateral. These will now be held on “the cloud” network allowing the end user to access information from a number of peripheral devices.
The technology will continue to change the way we work, breaking the reliance on accessing a computer terminal. Individuals will be able to access public devices in order to access private information and facilitate a more inclusive social and customer experience.
Smart devices, smart work!
With devices like the Apple iPhone, we have already witnessed a change in the way we access information. Just the use of maps has negated the need for satellite navigation and continues to illustrate the drive for technology convergence. Smart devices are delivering a simple interface that allows individuals to mould technology around the way we lead our lives and facilitate powerful social engagement by accessing real time deep information anywhere and anytime!
Limitations of cloud networks
As you may have guessed, the limitation of a cloud network is the network itself. In order to have a robust cloud solution, you must have good internet access and although we are increasingly moving to a powerful internet infrastructure in the UK, this is not the same in every country. If you have a business that operates in a number of countries, you may wish to consider the networks across the whole company area of operation before adopting a cloud solution.
The future is in the clouds
Although there are some minor teething problems, cloud technology is definitely the future with reduced costs, simplified support and enhanced capability. We are on the verge of a new age of IT provision!