It seems times were simpler when the Cloud was just a fluffy white object in the sky that indicated rain or inspired artists and photographers. These days, everyone talks about storing data and photos ‘in the cloud’ or ‘computing in the cloud.’ If the concept is a little difficult to grasp, we’re going to explain it all for you, including the benefits of the cloud and whether or not it is the best option for your business.
Now before we dive into the technical side of the cloud, it’s worth mentioning that you don’t need to be a tech head to adopt cloud technology. A good provider will assist you all the way through so you don’t need to stress about it. But if you want to understand it a bit better, read on.
What exactly is the cloud?
In the most simple terms, the cloud is a collection of services that are accessed via the internet. They store data, provide software applications, enable computing and other networking and infrastructure solutions. In physical terms, the cloud is made up of data centres full of services and networking equipment all over the world.
When something is stored in the cloud, it’s accessible over the internet. You don’t need to be at a specific computer or location to get to your data – you can access it from anywhere you can get online.
The cloud has revolutionised the way we store and share information, going beyond the limitations of our physical servers to the combined power of multiple servers. A network of servers hosted in the cloud makes it possible to store and process data much faster and more efficiently than hosting your own server or hard drive.
‘SaaS’ – software as a service – refers to cloud-based software and services. PaaS referers to a platform as a service where tailored solutions can be built without having to worry out the infrastructure. IaaS refers to the virtual hardware that can be provided in the cloud without having to worry about the physical hardware. With all those different XaaS cloud options someone else is helping you by abstracting everything to the level you want to work out. This will allow you to focus on what you do best, with you only having to worry about using the software, platform or infrastructure. Some common examples are Google Drive, Dropbox, and Salesforce.
Integrating cloud technology
Hosting your data in the cloud means you free up a lot of time from an IT perspective. You don’t have to buy or maintain hardware or software, worry about setting it up, patching in software or upgrading. The host provider does all of that for you in exchange for a subscription fee.
Transitioning to the cloud happens rapidly, with minimal impact on your organisation and low cost associated with setup. Scaling happens on-demand – if you need more resources, you can get more resources in minutes. Your data is backed up automatically and protected in the event of a disaster like flood or fire, so it’s worry-free.
Is it worth it?
Yes it is. From a manager’s perspective, there are 3 key benefits to moving to the cloud.
- Cost reduction. Because your back end is managed off-site, you eliminate the costs of maintaining hardware and software, replacing it with a regular subscription fee. Your IT staff have more time to focus on the business’ goals without having to worry about maintaining your servers and systems.
- Security. End-to-End encryption codifies your data so that anyone looking at it would only see gibberish. Plus, if your computer fails, you won’t lose your data.
- Accessibility. Cloud-based hosting means you can access your data at any time, from anywhere. You can also control who sees what within your organisation, so only those who need access to certain data and reports have it.
From a technical perspective, the cloud offers:
- Centrality. Everyone operates from one single source of truth, creating consistent and accurate reports.
- Support. 24/7 monitoring and support from the host mean you can be automatically alerted to outages and see problems resolved quickly.
- Flexibility. Access to more resources allows for rapid scaling, within minutes, taking the pressure off planning.
The cloud has the capacity to maximise your organisation’s Business Intelligence potential. Having up-to-date, accurate and easily available data will allow you to make rapid, data-driven decisions.
Toustone’s cloud solution
The team at Toustone have extensive experience in hosting big data. Our hosting solution, combined with Yellowfin’s analytics and AWS capabilities, offer a superior Business Intelligence solution for your business.
Built on a scalable environment with networks across multiple zones, we are able to cater to small, medium and large organisations. Our support team manages all of your backups and thoroughly tests new patches before upgrading your software. We are automatically notified of any outages or problems in service on a 24/7 basis, so we can usually fix the issue before you are even aware of it.
Toustone can set up your cloud-based hosting within hours, causing minimal disruption to your operations and with the highest level of security. Get in touch today to start the process.