What Is Cloud Computing? Everything You Need to Know About the Cloud

cloud-computing

April 25, 2023

Cloud computing is one of those terms that sounds far more complex than it is. Industry jargon tends to cloud the issue further, leaving many business owners feeling like it’s a topic best left to their IT department or Managed IT Services Provider (MSP). 

It certainly pays to have IT experts in your corner handling all the technical details. However, it’s also incredibly valuable for business owners to have a solid working understanding of cloud computing and the risks and benefits it brings. To that end, we’ve created the following jargon-free guide, covering the most common questions clients ask about the cloud. 

We’ll start with a clear and straightforward definition of cloud computing before delving into the FAQs. By the end of the article, you should be in a strong position to make smart decisions about deploying this technology in your enterprise. 

What is cloud computing in simple terms?

When we talk about “the cloud,” we’re simply referring to a global network of remote servers. These servers allow you to access digital services without the need for on-site servers of your own. Cloud computing describes the delivery of these computing services via the internet. Cloud-based services include everything from databases, software, and storage to networking, analytics, and intelligence. 

Armed with that simple definition, you have the foundation you need to understand the finer details of the cloud. Let’s now dive into the most common questions business owners ask about cloud computing. 

What are the benefits of cloud computing?

Migrating to the cloud delivers improvements in speed, productivity, performance, and reliability. Since cloud computing gives you access to flexible resources, it also paves the way for faster innovation and unbeatable efficiency when it comes time to scale or pivot. 

In terms of operation costs, cloud computing eliminates the need for businesses to invest in physical infrastructure like servers, data centres, and hardware. That means you’ll have no maintenance or repair costs to worry about, and you can look forward to lower energy bills and reduced IT costs overall. 

Working with an MSP like Invotec, you only pay for the cloud services you use. This ensures you can dial in your IT budget with absolute precision, saving you money while helping you operate more efficiently.

What risks will cloud computing expose me to?

Like all good things, cloud computing does come with a unique set of risks. Since cloud-based services are delivered via the internet, connectivity problems can halt work if you don’t have physical backups. 

Network misconfigurations can allow bad actors to gain access to the system, so working with a reputable cloud services provider is crucial. Doing so will also protect you against the other main risks of cloud computing, which include data loss, unintentional data exposure, and identity theft.   

How does cloud security work?

Given the risks described above, security is obviously a significant concern for businesses migrating to the cloud. Thankfully, cloud security can be incredibly robust in protecting your data, system, and network. With an effective cloud-based backup and disaster recovery service, you can ensure your system is safe and restorable, even if a data leak or ransomware attempt occurs. 

You’ll have encryption, identity management, and other factors safeguarding you in the digital space. Your cloud provider will also have physical security measures protecting servers and other IT infrastructure. These measures include strict access control, alarm systems, sensors, integrated security cameras, fences, and more.

What are the four types of cloud computing? 

You may have heard that there are four styles of cloud computing: private clouds, public clouds, hybrid clouds, and multi-clouds. However, knowing the categories doesn’t do much to clear up any confusion you may have. So let’s take a quick look at what each type of cloud computing architecture offers. 

Public cloud

This type of cloud is operated by a third-party cloud services provider that works with more than one client. Microsoft Azure is the most famous example of a public cloud. You’ve probably also heard of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google Cloud. 

With a public cloud, your chosen provider handles all the software, hardware, and infrastructure. You simply access your desired services and manage your account via the internet. 

Private cloud

As the name suggests, private clouds are used by just one enterprise. You can host your private cloud in a data centre stored on your premises or outsource the service to a third-party provider who can host and maintain it on a private network. 

Hybrid cloud

Hybrid cloud environments allow businesses to use both of the cloud computing types mentioned above. You can host certain data and applications on your private cloud and others on the public cloud. Your cloud services provider should make it easy for you to move seamlessly between the two environments, delivering improvements in efficiency and security. 

Multi-cloud

The term “multi-cloud” encompasses the hybrid approach in that it involves having more than one cloud environment. However, it is a slightly broader term that also covers the use of separate cloud environments. For example, if you had two private clouds, this would be considered a multi-cloud approach rather than a hybrid approach. 

What’s the best way to manage cloud migration? 

If you have an in-house IT team, they can certainly make your transition to the cloud smoother. However, hiring additional staff or taking your in-house team away from their usual duties is unnecessary. By employing an outsourced IT management company as your cloud provider, you’ll have a team of experts managing the transition for you. The beauty of working with an IT outsourcing company is that they’ll take on most of the technical details of your cloud migration. 

Should I develop a cloud strategy? 

The short answer is “Yes.” 

Developing a strategy is crucial for understanding which type of cloud solution will be best for your business. It’ll also help you pin down other factors, such as the time frame you should be looking at for your migration. Some business owners may be ready to dive right in and transition fully to the cloud. Others are operating in circumstances that necessitate a slower, more gradual approach. Each business also has different needs that demand a unique mix of services. 

By understanding the drivers pushing your shift to the cloud, you’re in a strong position to determine which solutions these drivers require. If this isn’t something you’re 100% confident in creating, Invotec offers free consultations during which we can help you clarify your needs and settle on the ideal strategy. 

How much do cloud computing services cost?

Most cloud service providers work with a flexible pay-as-you-go pricing model. In other words, you’ll only pay for the services you use, and you’ll pay in manageable monthly instalments. You’ll also be able to scale up or down as needed, ensuring you can stick to your IT budget and meet your changing business needs. 

Of course, this also means there’s no set figure for cloud computing services. Instead, you must contact providers to get customised quotes for your specific requirements. Thankfully, that’s easy to do. 

You can get started by calling Invotec on 1300 468 683 or scrolling down to fill out the contact form below. One of our IT experts will listen to your needs and budget and deliver a tailored plan and quote designed to help you achieve your goals. Contact us today to upgrade to the ease and affordable efficiency of the cloud. 

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