The cloud is a nice name for the services offered via the Internet. For example, if i said i have built you an online shop and i am hosing it for you, you could say you have an online shop in the cloud. So services that make up the cloud are: web sites, bank services (internet banking, banking via your app), collaboration and CRM’s as well as well as data storage.
Here are some examples of cloud bases services – or things said to be in the cloud:
- Companies such as MYOB, Xero and your bank (no doubt) offer you the option to use their ‘online’ options rather their traditional processes or systems. This makes life easier for you and them.
- Companies such as Google and Microsoft offer you their collaboration software via websites now. You simply sign up and pay and you can use their websites to manage your client data (CRM’s), send and receive emails and manage your calendars.
- Companies such as Google (Google Docs) and DropBox allow you to store your data in the cloud. You can use this to store a backup of your data or as a convenient way to share your data with others.
The key questions to ask when discussing cloud services are:
1. Who has access to our data and how is it secured?
2. How do we migrate to the cloud service and (if need be) how do we migrate back out?
3. How are we paying for it?
So now you know what the cloud is and how it’s relevant to you and your business.