The term cloud computing is thrown around a lot these days. But the question is, ‘what exactly is cloud computing and how can it benefit your business”?

Picture this scenario. You are an executive at a large corporation. One of your many responsibilities includes making sure that your employees have the correct software and hardware they need to be able to do their jobs. These days, simply buying computers for all of your employees just isn’t enough. You also need to purchase software as well as software licenses in most cases to give them the tools they need to get their job done. You have to make sure your current software license allows another user when you hire someone new or you need to buy more software.

There’s a significant workload shift in a cloud computing system. How so? This is because your computers no longer have to do all the heavy work when it comes to running your applications. This happens because the network of computers that make up your cloud takes care of it instead. This means that the hardware and software requirements on your part decrease. The only requirement the user’s computer has is to be able to run the cloud computing system’s interface software. This can be as simple as a web browser while the cloud’s network takes care of everything else.

The good news is that instead of installing a whole suite of software for each and every computer, one application is all that would be needed. The application would let workers log into a Web-based service, which hosts all the needed programs. This is all the user would need for his or her job. Machines owned by another company would run everything remotely from word processing to email to complex data analysis programs. This system is called cloud computing. It has the potential to change the entire computer industry.

The system works like an e-mail account with a Web-based e-mail service like Hotmail, Yahoo! Mail or Gmail. If you have one of those types of accounts, then you have used cloud based systems before without even realising it. The idea is that instead of running an e-mail program on your computer, you simply log in to a Web e-mail account remotely wherever you are in the world. All the needed software and storage for your account isn’t stored on your computer but on the service’s computer cloud.

A question that comes to mind at this point is, why would you rely on another computer system to run programs and store your valuable data? Here are just a few basic reasons:

  • Workers would be able to access their applications and data from anywhere in the world, 24 hrs a day and 365 days a year.
  • It could reduce your hardware costs
  • Your company would not have to buy a set of software or software licenses fir every one of your employees. The only fee payable would be a metered fee to a cloud computing company.
  • Your company might save money on IT support

Cloud computing applications are practically limitless. If you have the right middleware, a cloud computing setup could execute all the programs any normal computer would run. Everything from a simple word processing software right through to customized computer programs that are designed for a specific company would be able to work on a cloud computing system.

Hayden McMaster