What is Cloud Computing?

By Gary Williams, Published Friday, 9th September 2022

The term ‘cloud computing’ has been around for a long time now, but if you’re not sure what it means, or why you need it, you’re not alone.

What does cloud computing mean?

Cloud computing is a fluffy concept for many people. That’s no surprise, because it can mean a number of different but closely related things. What kind of things? Here are just a few examples that we’re sure you’ll recognise. Cloud computing is what your Alexa or Google Home does, where your personal emails are stored, how you access your smart home from an app or where your organisation stores its data or runs its website. What all these things have in common is cloud computing – a service accessed over the internet and provided by someone else.

In the workplace, traditional IT services are usually provided by a physical server. All the responsibility for their maintenance lies with your company or someone acting on your behalf. Cloud computing changes all that. It lets you move services from your local server onto an external platform. This removes your responsibility for the upkeep of the hardware and, in some cases, the service itself, as well as your responsibility for accessing it over the internet in a secure way.

Cloud computing is forever changing and expanding, so the definition of exactly what it means is always changing as well. For example, there’s the Microsoft 365 platform, which offers email, Teams (telephony, conferencing, collaboration), Business Intelligence, Identity Manager and much more . There are also webpage-based services such as Xero for accounting and Netflix for entertainment, so it really is no exaggeration to say that cloud computing is the future of IT.

What’s in it for you?

The benefit of cloud computing over an internal service depends very much on your needs and your preferences. It can be a flexible and cost-effective option when you compare it with the costs and lifecycle of purchasing your own hardware. Cloud computing allows you to increase and decrease resource or services as needed. The ongoing subscription cost format can be a more measurable way of understanding your ‘per head’ IT costs when compared with the usual up-front costs of purchasing hardware and licences, warranties and upgrades. You won’t have to worry about the maintenance and security of cloud systems either, as responsibility for these is taken off your shoulders. A responsible cloud provider will also give you the peace of mind that your data is secure and well looked after. Mobility is another key feature of cloud computing. With more and more of us working from different locations, it’s useful to know that cloud computing can be accessed from anywhere with an internet connection where configuration allows. This can give your organisation a quick and robust response to any disaster recovery situation.

We’d love to show you how cloud computing can work for you and your organisation, so please get in touch and let’s start a conversation.

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Gary Williams

By Gary Williams

Gary Williams is Technical Director for Datcom. He has over 10 years experience in the IT industry advising, implementing and supporting IT solutions.


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