What is the Cloud?

You’ve heard of the Cloud, but what is the cloud? You might have even used "the Cloud," but do you know what the Cloud is and how it works?

The Cloud has gotten quite the reputation over the years. Nearly everyone, from your favorite social networking site to your favorite software provider, is taking advantage of Cloud computing. In this article, we’ll explore the specifics behind the Cloud and define its role in the modern workplace.

What is the Cloud?

The Cloud is the "physical" form of a process called Cloud Computing. In simple terms, Cloud Computing is the process of saving and accessing data on servers over the Internet rather than on local servers or a computer’s hard drive. So, the Cloud is the "physical" place where the information from Cloud computing is stored.

Think of all the times you’ve uploaded a file to Google Drive. That file is saved to your account and is then accessible anywhere you have Internet access. This is an example of saving data on the Cloud.

As for accessing data, we recently purchased Adobe’s Creative Cloud product. Rather than purchasing disks that would require us to download the programs on our computers, we simply paid a subscription fee that allowed us to access the programs over the Internet.

Business in the Cloud

The Cloud has also drastically expanded a company’s ability to do business.

For starters, businesses can now take advantages of a Cloud PBX rather than investing in an on-site phone system. A Cloud PBX will give you the same functionality as an in-house phone system like Call Recording, Call Forwarding and IVR but will cost a lot less and give you a lot more flexibility.

Because of the Cloud, VoIP Call Centers have been popping up all over the world. A VoIP Call Center gives a company an enormous amount of flexibility because the Call Center runs entirely over the Internet. This means that not only can these Call Center employees work all over the world, the operators can too.

Benefits to the Cloud

The two main benefits to making the switch to the Cloud are cost and flexibility.

Rather than investing in a large of amount of hardware or equipment that will require continuous repair and upgrades, the Cloud gives companies the opportunity to host all of this over the Internet. Company scalability is a breeze with the help of the Cloud.

Flexibility is another huge benefit to making the switch to the cloud. Utilizing programs and data over the Cloud gives you the ability to access it regardless of where you are; all you need is an Internet connection.

Salesforce.com is a great example. Salesforce is a Customer Relationship Management program accessible in the Cloud. Not only does it save a company money because you aren't required to download any software or take up space on your your computer’s hard drive, it gives employees extreme flexibility because they can access this program anywhere.

So what is the Cloud? Plain and simple, it's where your data from Cloud computing is saved on the Internet. Regardless of whether you use the Cloud for business or personal files, the Cloud is here to stay. It’s extremely cost-effective and offers great flexibility. If you aren’t in the Cloud, what’re you waiting for?