When Joni Mitchell sang the words, "I really don't know clouds at all" back in 1969, she couldn't have anticipated the 21st-century definition. Nonetheless, some of us feel the same way—we don't really get it, either.
If you're as confused as Joni, here's a quick layman's explanation of clouds—cloud technology, that is.
Where is My Data, Exactly?
Despite the implication of the word, your data isn't really in the clouds. (You knew that.) What you do know is that it isn't next to you, in your office filing cabinet or on your computer hard drive. Cloud tech allows your data to be stored on high capacity computers that you can access from your location. These computers store your data and allow you to run applications from any remote location where the internet is available.
In the Beginning
In cloud tech's earliest days, servers did the real work, but "dumb terminals" (we didn't make that up) were essential for delivering the real power of mainframe computers.
Even if your business hasn't signed on for cloud tech services, you've been using the cloud just the same. Every time you connect to the internet to search for information, you access the cloud via remote servers located all over the world.
How Cloud Tech Benefits You Today
Cloud tech allows your small to medium business to access robust computer capabilities without creating or maintaining expensive servers to house your data. By using space on powerful remote servers, your company can maximise your power and storage capabilities at a cost you can afford.
Here are just a few of the many advantages:
Data stored in the cloud is more secure than that stored in on-site servers.
Managed cloud service providers bring affordable expertise to the small business owner.
Server maintenance issues like downtimes and traffic are offloaded to cloud tech providers so that you can concentrate on your real business.