Have you ever wondered what the ‘Cloud’ is, where all the information is stored, what some concrete examples are, and most importantly, is it safe?
Simply put, much of what cloud technology consists of is largely based on the initial idea of the internet itself. The cloud allows you to establish a direct connection to a server, providing a single source of information, accessible wherever there is a reliable connection. Being able to quickly access entertainment, social networks, and even personal information on-the-go or on your computer can be attributed to this.
As competitive cloud technology, like Microsoft’s Azure, came online in the 2010s, consumer companies began to exercise the potential of cloud technology with stable high-speed internet,and smartphones. Netflix was the most notable company to radically transform their movie mailing service, using single-access servers to deliver hundreds of television shows and movies instantaneously. Practically overnight, their business exploded as they took the information and services that people demanded, and made them available for instant access.
If there is one thing that cloud technology can do, the keywords have always been tied back to ‘instant access.’
With an exponential increase in demand for cloud services, the technology quickly evolved.Security systems and protocols have been implemented with encrypted information just as secure as on-prem servers, without sacrificing agility or accessibility. Resources are more reliably available as our cellular and data networks upgraded from 3G to LTE, 4G, and soon enough, 5G.Maintenance and update costs have plummeted as fewer devices and much less hardware are required to install and maintain records, data, or content.
The ways in which Cloud services are best used by businesses, small and large, is typically one of two models:
Platform as a Service (PaaS)
The ability for a consumer to access servers and deploy applications or software on cloud-based infrastructure.
Customers: GE Healthcare, Airbnb, American and Canadian governments
Software as a Service (SaaS)
When a business develops a piece of software or application that is accessible to various clients through an interface like a web browser.
Customers: Netflix, Square, ClearDent
Now, as cloud technology fully matures, businesses across multiple industries are reaching their peak productivity while lowering costs. According to a Gartner forecast, 2019 saw an increase of 17.5% for small businesses moving their infrastructure into the cloud. Even looking at the short term, it’s expected that 2022 will see more than a 20% increase in organizations relying on servers outside their offices compared to 2018. That increase includes everything from mom-and-pop retail stores to law firms and medical offices.
Truth be told, there has never been a better time to adopt cloud technology, and reap the benefits for your business.