What is the Cloud?
First a simple definition about cloud computing considering it is such a vague and encompassing term. Cloud computing is any type of software or storage that is not contained within the computer using the software or accessing the storage. This includes anything from a Local Area Network (LAN), to Network-Attached Storage (NAS) boxes, to more current technology such as Gmail, and Google Drive.
Advantages of the Cloud
There are three main advantages to cloud technology; data back-up, mobility, and collaboration. Each can be accomplished through hardware and software maintained by your business, or off-site internet solutions.
Back-up of your data is the best insurance for the continuity of your business in the event of a disaster. Internet cloud storage options are now available through Amazon, Google, and others. While Google currently has the best price for storage, it is still significantly more expensive than a NAS box at maintaining the same storage level. For example 6 TB of data storage on Google Drive is $350 per month, while the same amount of storage in a NAS box configuration would be $1200 for the hardware. As you can see, the NAS box pays for itself in less than 4 months, and the hardware can last 3 years if maintained properly.
Your fast paced life needs fast paced technology. Cloud computing allows for greater mobility while maintaining connectivity with your office, colleagues, and important documents. This can be accomplished via a NAS box or internet solutions such as a combination of Google docs and e-mail.
Creativity in business usually requires two or more people working together to reach the optimal outcome. Collaboration has become easier and more fluid through applications such as Google docs. Here you and your colleagues can create a document, presentation, spreadsheet, or drawing together in real time. This saves significant time over making a document and e-mailing it for comments then integrating the comments, then sending the document again for final approval.
Technologically speaking, a hybrid solution of business owned cloud and internet cloud would be a great way to start discovering how this technological shift can help you grow your business and drastically increase your efficiency.