What is cloud computing?

16th July 2015

clip_image002Cloud computing sounds complicated, but it simply means storing and accessing data and programs on the internet instead of on your computer’s hard drive.

Whereas in the past people were limited only to the data and programs present on their local hard drives, cloud computing has now opened up new and exciting opportunities for individuals to access endless streams of data through internet connectivity.

For those of you with smartphones and laptops there is a good chance that you will have come across this type of technology before. Take Apple’s iCloud for example. This allows you to connect your Apple device with other Apple devices of your choice and place important files on a shared cloud network. This has the added benefits of backing up these files in the event of any of the individual devices being lost, stolen or broken, whilst also granting users the opportunity to access and share photos, calendars and documents quickly between devices on the same network.

An option for businesses

Cloud computing can be a great option for businesses and can provide them with a wide range of opportunities. Not only does it grant users the opportunity to access files and data for work from anywhere, but it also helps to foster increased collaboration amongst employees by allowing them to sync work on documents and share apps simultaneously as they work together on different tasks and projects.

How secure is cloud computing?

Some people have concerns about how secure cloud computing is, but it is actually as safe an option as the more traditional methods of storage. Of course there are security risks, but then there are risks with other types of storage as well. For example, laptops, USB sticks and portable hard drives can be easily lost or stolen, meaning that all the sensitive files and documents you might have stored on these can quickly become compromised.

There are two key features which make it secure. The first is access passwords which can be changed daily and sent to authorised users only. This means that by placing files on a cloud computing system even if your laptops or tablets are lost, individuals cannot access those files unless they have a password for your cloud network. The second is cloud encryption services which transform data or text into an unreadable format using encryption algorithms before placing it on the storage cloud for safe keeping.

Disaster protection

Furthermore, cloud computing is a good option for businesses when it comes to disaster protection, as storing documents on a cloud server allows files to be easily recovered from the network if the original hard drive fails.

So, in some circumstances cloud computing can be a viable option for businesses, which can help reduce costs and provide a number of benefits, whether it’s the need to store sensitive information or the need to quickly share and sync work between individuals. For more information about what cloud computing can offer you please call us on 01268 575300 or email us on info@ecl.co.uk

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