Cloud computing is network computing on a large scale. It relies on servers distributed across the Internet, running a cloud-based application software. Its interface runs on browsers in local workstations, laptops, tablets and smartphones. Software applications designed for “the cloud” are installed and administered on third-party Internet-based servers and can be accessed at will. Cloud computing can provide all the functionality of local area network (LAN)-based application software, with a few added benefits.
Cloud computing technology offers affordable and enhanced business communications that may have previously been out of reach for many companies. Faster communication with more options can help ease the move to a decentralized model, which is becoming increasingly popular for many companies. Cloud technology providers are capitalizing on this trend by offering dependable and cost-effective IP-based connections, making it easy for managers to communicate in a variety of ways with employees all over the world. Thanks to the increased speed and dependability of the cloud, employees can work using tablets and smartphones without fear of losing data.
Video conferencing with remote employees is quickly becoming a regular activity. Built-in call screening, parking, forwarding, caller ID, blocking, do not disturb, free calling between staff members and more are part of this new cloud communication model. Video and on-screen communication are becoming standard facets of many businesses, regardless of their size.
Cloud computing can also provide easy access to data, projects and vital business software from any location in the world that provides a fast Internet connection. Professionals no longer have to carry a full suite of business software and special applications in a tablet or laptop. Instead, they can use any device the runs a browser. If a computer fails or is stolen, professionals can still get back to work as soon as they get another device.
Cloud computing eliminates the worry about replacing and configuring lost or stolen application software since the software is on the cloud. The same goes for password-protected data stored in cloud repositories.
Like most software, business software goes through upgrade cycles for security patches, new features, and the occasional bug fix. Cloud computing places the responsibility of upgrades on the cloud software vendor, which can help make technical support more efficient. The task of training and supporting a full IT department dedicated to network infrastructure, security patches, operating system upgrades and crewing user help desks is fast becoming a thing of the past.
Collaboration is a big part of many businesses, and cloud computing can offer fast, easy and dependable collaboration for team members anywhere in the world. Files on the cloud can be accessed at any time, by any member of the team for review, updates or feedback. A remote worker can add a scene to a multimedia file or webisode, save it on the cloud and a team of designers can all have immediate access to it.
In addition, a graphic artist can change an element in an advertisement or flyer based upon an unforeseen request, have it approved by management or the client and then pass it along to the printer without presenting any physical package or presence. Multiple people can access the same file or project simultaneously, making collaboration faster and more efficient.