What are cloud services?
Everyone is talking about cloud services but what exactly are they?
Traditionally the model for business IT services has been that each individual PC has installed the software that the user needs – Microsoft Office for example. Some applications may reside on central servers and be accessed by all the users on the corporate network – Microsoft Exchange is an example. In this case the employees benefit by being able to share files, calendars etc across multiple users. While this has worked reasonably well for many organisations it does have some fundamental problems:
- The organisation has to pay for licenses for every PC
- When new software updates are launched there are additional costs of upgrade
- Managing upgrades and version control become a headache
- Ensuring security updates and patches are installed is troublesome
- PCs have to be relatively high spec (and therefore costly) i.e. they have to have large enough disks to load all the software and be fast enough to run the most powerful application the user uses
- Data becomes fragmented across multiple users PCs
- Putting back-up processes in place is complex and they are often ineffective leading to lost data
- Confidential data stored on PCs becomes a data security risk
The philosophy of cloud computing is that applications like Microsoft Office (Office 365) and user data are all stored on the internet. Typically the applications the users use and the data files associated with them are accessed via a browser. All a user needs are an internet connection and their passwords and they can work from anywhere using a variety of devices from PCs, laptops, tablets and even smartphones. Using cloud based services has compelling benefits for the client: Always use the most up-to-date versions of the applications
- Simple monthly charging for software use
- Data backed-up regularly and in the background
- Files can be accessed by all team members
- Lower spec and hence lower cost PCs required
- Adding and removing users is simple
Using cloud services makes organisations more flexible, efficient and secure.
Absols has helped many businesses in Maidstone, Medway and the rest of Kent reap the benefits of cloud computing. Find out more about our cloud services using the menu on the right.