What is cloud computing?
We, and our clients, often get asked this question when talking to others in a business, or even, at a dinner party. Although not the most technical of posts it is actually an answer to one of our frequently asked questions. If you have a better, quicker or funnier response – let us know!
Responses are broken down according to who exactly is doing the asking.
1. In General: Cloud computing is Internet-based computing, whereby shared resources, software and information are provided to computers and other devices on-demand.
Most organisations have data centres which users already connect to over a network. Instead of maintaining all that expensive space and specialist skills in house, Cloud computing means using rented computing resources via the internet to do the same job that dedicated servers do today. Like most models where you rent instead of buying, that adds flexibility. Let’s say you have a big seasonal peak in traffic on your retail systems around Christmas? In the Cloud model you just rent extra servers for the busy 2 months, instead of buying them and leaving them idle for 10 months every year .
2. For end users: Computing without the box.
Take all the normal things that you do on a computer like using software and storing files and instead of storing them on a ‘box’, they are all done on the internet. It is a virtual PC that you can access by the internet, from anywhere, without the box.
3. For CEO’s and CFO’s – The cloud is about moving your IT to a custom fit – that you pay for when you use it, that can be changed faster and more efficiently as the business needs it. It enables your IT team to focus on adding value to business units instead of spending much of their resources ‘keeping the lights on’,
Cloud computing is about having IT, as a service. Your data storage, applications and even PCs are stored in a remote data centre accessed via the internet for cost savings, greater efficiency and security.