How to explain the cloud

If you run a data-heavy business that depends on the internet, you need to store data, and you need processing power, IT support, and cybersecurity. Doing all that onsite in your office requires hardware and other physical things (servers, surge protectors, buildings) known as infrastructure. The cloud is essentially a remote shared infrastructure.

Infrastructure costs money to set up, which increases the startup costs of a new business. Scaling it up or down costs money too, adding to the expense of growing your business, splitting it up, or even moving offices.

Cloud services make this more streamlined and affordable

By providing remote infrastructure for line of business (LOB) applications or storage to multiple users, cloud companies can take advantage of scalability, rather like how, in the Industrial Revolution, factories made products more cheaply and efficiently by making them at scale.

Cloud is on-demand

Because cloud companies provide services on a large scale, they can sell you as much or as little service as you need. Capabilities don’t go to waste because there are other cloud users who will need it too. Paying for only the service you need can mean saving a lot of money compared to using your own infrastructure. Bear in mind, however, that you have to estimate your needs accurately. It’s best to consult with your managed services provider (MSP) to get the most accurate idea of your cloud needs.

Using cloud services instead of your own physical infrastructure also makes it more affordable to scale up your business, incorporate new systems and solutions, and move your physical office.

Security

Some businesses may deal with sensitive data that can’t be safely stored on public infrastructure. Some of them use private onsite clouds open only to their organizations. Others use a virtual private cloud (VPC), in which an offsite cloud provider makes virtual and physical partitions between different organizations’ data. Cloud providers have also been hardening their cybersecurity lately, and most recent breaches have come from internal employees, regardless of how or where the data was stored. Whether your business can rely on cloud services, and what kind, is another thing to talk to your MSP about.

Conclusion

The cloud is often an offsite digital infrastructure that provides storage and technical functions your business systems need for daily use and efficiency. It is cheaper and more scalable than using your own technical infrastructure, and more than likely it is the way most businesses will be going. However, at this point and time you are relying on a third party to maintain that cloud (which could result in downtime if they have issues, and you aren’t their most important client) and on the hope that you have a reliable internet connection. The cloud can also be less secure than a locally hosted server in some cases. As with most things in technology there is a give and take.

Save time. Save money. Save the headache.

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