Heard the term “Cloud Computing” and don’t know what it is? Read on for the lowdown.
Cloud computing is a new term for many of us. If you are new to the world of online buying and selling due to the recent viral outbreak, then you need basic explanations to start you off. Let’s talk about what cloud computing is and why you are hearing about it everywhere. Spoiler alert: it’s really not as complex as you think.
What is Cloud Computing?
The “Cloud” is the internet world. If it exists in digital format, somewhere offsite from where you are, then it exists in the cloud. The best way to explain this is with some examples out of your everyday office life.
When you type an email and send it to a colleague or boss, that email is sent through the cloud. It leaves your computer and travels through the internet to another user. We can best think of the internet as a digital workspace.
When we create an online store to represent our business on the internet, this lets us buy and sell through the cloud. We create a website which acts as our digital storefront, inviting customers in so we can sell to them. Any online store within our website is in the cloud, our site itself, in fact, is within the cloud. It is not a physical, tangible thing. We cannot hold it in our hands. It exists purely within the internet.
Cloud computing is the use of computer processes to access the cloud. It is an umbrella term, used to describe everything from cloud computing jobs like web developer or server technician, to clocking in at work from your home computer.
The Features of Cloud Computing
So how do you know if it’s cloud computing or just computing you are using? You look at the features of the activity and see if it matches the qualifications.
Features of cloud computing involve an offsite location, meaning you send data elsewhere to be processed. According to specialists IBM, cloud computing lets you use infrastructure established elsewhere via the internet. There is a myriad of benefits to this because it lets you use internet resources you don’t have to maintain yourself.
To put this in simpler terms, cloud computing is any computing task that means you are using internet resources created by someone else.
A Few Benefits
There are obvious benefits to this. Some of the best are:
- Your company pays for less maintenance
- Your company does not need to establish the infrastructure itself
- Outsourcing data storage is more affordable than onsite data storage
- You do not need a whole IT department, saving overheads
- Clients have easier access to their own data should they need it
- Offsite storage is searchable, so you can still retrieve data when you need to
Let’s round this off by saying that using the internet itself is using infrastructure created by someone else. So if you are using the hardware of your computer to write a Word document, that’s not using the cloud. If you then save that word document to your Google Drive, you are saving it to the cloud.