We keep hearing more and more mentions of the cloud recently. Well, we all know for sure that these references are not about the cottony rain bearing shapes floating in the sky. Then what exactly is the “cloud” and why in the world are online business owners and organizations going gaga over it?
As you already know, I am fond of breaking down complex stuff into easily understandable smaller bits for my beloved readers. So here I am with today’s post focused on the cloud and a determination to get all of my readers familiarized with it.
What is the Cloud?
The cloud is nothing but an online storage arrangement for files, folders or data and accessible for use whenever required. We all are using the cloud in various forms in day to day life without even knowing a thing about it.
The best and simplest example is your email. All the info or data contained in your email folders are stored on the cloud and is accessible to you from any computer or smart phone in the world with an internet connection. All the major email service providers like yahoo, gmail, hotmail etc provide you with free storage space up to a certain limit.
Other examples are file sharing sites, google docs, mobile push and sync services etc.
Different Kinds of Cloud Computing Available for Online Business Owners
There are 3 different varieties of cloud computing subscriptions available for use and they are listed below:
Software as a service (SaaS)
As the name suggests, the cloud service provider offers storage for softwares and every authorized subscriber gets access to use the software. There is absolutely no need for you to block storage space on your computer or any gadget to install the said software. You simply need to pay for the SaaS cloud service and you are free to access the software without even having to worry about downloading the latest updates to it.
2. Platform as a service (PaaS)
In this arrangement, the cloud computing service provider offers complete platform to the business owners like servers, storage and networks. The customers are free to make use of their platform to host the data or applications that they want to. The business owners / clients only need to develop their application or set up their data. All the other worries regarding expensive hardware needed to host the applications and data will be provided by the PaaS cloud computing service provider
3. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS)
This is the most comprehensive kind of cloud computing service which takes care of all the details like storage, servers, security, operating environment etc. IaaS often forms the basis for other services such as the SaaS and PaaS.
Why Should Every Online Business Owner Get Familiar With the Cloud Concept?
There are many reasons to get cozy with the cloud concept if you are an online business owner.
The first reason is that the rate at which online businesses are embracing the cloud (especially the SaaS) in 2012 has doubled when compared to last year. The industry experts forecast that more and more businesses will take to the cloud in the coming years and it pays to be updated with the latest trends, right?
Cheaper and More Secure Storage
It makes more economical sense in opting for a cheaper cloud service rather than investing hugely in hardware to store files and sensitive data. Moreover, the cloud service providers are multibillion dollar organizations whose only business is providing secure online storage to other businesses.
So you can be more assured about the security of your data stored in a cloud when compared to the data stored physically in your gadgets or CDs or USBs which are highly vulnerable to theft, damage and virus attacks.
Easier Interactions and Sharing
When you run an online business, you may have to collaborate and interact with other people who happen to be your business partners, clients or assistants. Whatever be the nature of your interaction with them, it makes sense in storing data that needs to be shared between you, on a cloud.
Even if you are physically apart, your business interaction can go on seamlessly because of the accessibility of all authorized members to the data stored on the cloud.
Setting up an office is by no means cheap. Even if you are considering an online business, you will need basic office stuff like a word processor, software that is relevant to your business, applications that take up huge storage space on your computer, virtual meeting software and so on.
Instead of paying separately for each of these and then again for hardware to accommodate all the storage needs, why not take the smarter decision of signing up for a cloud based service that offers a fully functional virtual office? Makes sense, doesn’t it?
Being successful at any business, be it offline or online requires skill, passion and determination. But above all it also calls for the business owner to be updated about the latest developments and innovations in the related fields.
Being on online business owner calls for you to stay abreast of all the latest innovation on the web and the cloud concept is one such hot cake you cannot afford to ignore.
Category: Small business