~by Ivan Dimitrov~
Asking about cloud is likely to lead to a conversation about the weather. But, if you’re a woman who is responsible for running a business, the cloud better prompt thoughts that span far beyond pretty, white and fluffy shapes of unicorns.
It’s essential to be informed about how the cloud can speed up efficiency in your business, all while lowering costs — otherwise you may just see some rain in your future.
Taking the “Gray” out of the Cloud
The term “cloud” is a common term in business. But, it’s one of those terms that people hear and then just move on. You know the one concept that you pretend to understand but can’t quite figure out — yeah that’s the cloud to most people. So here’s some clarification.
The concept of cloud computing has actually been around for some time. In fact, it originated in the 1960’s. A man by the name of Joseph Carl Robnett Licklider was working to find a way to connect people and data from anywhere at anytime. Licklider’s theories were certainly before his time. However, many major technology companies built upon Licklider’s theories, and together the concept of the cloud emerged.
The Evolution of the Cloud
Amazon is credited with opening up the cloud to small businesses. In 2006, it launched Amazon Web Services — a program for small business owners to harness the power of the web without spending money on hiring a team of tech gurus to maintain a storage infrastructure. In brief, small businesses could use Amazon’s infrastructure, security and storage for all of their digital needs.
Companies of all shapes and sizes used Amazon’s white label web services to help them establish a digital presence. Here are just a few:
Why do you Need the Cloud?
Simply put, the cloud is a metaphor for the Internet with storage benefits. When you opt to use a cloud service to help your business, you’re literally storing all of your business’s files on a server, which allows your files to float around in cyber space. The thought of all of your business’s information floating around online may seem scary, but rest assured, it’s not. It’s actually beneficial in many ways.
Here are four ways online storage can save your business time and money.
First of all, with cloud storage you can access your files from anywhere. Gone are the days of cluttering up your computer’s hard drive with those pesky files you need. Forget about thumb drives that spread computer viruses faster than too much wine at a club on a Saturday night. A cloud service for your business keeps your files safe and secure and accessible from anywhere that has an internet connection.
You can easily create cloud storage folders on your computer. So, there’s no need to go online and upload files to remote servers. You can use the same process you use to save files on your computer to save on the cloud. So you don’t have to change anything except what folder you save to.
With a cloud storage service, you can share files with your co-workers. You don’t need to complete something, email it to someone to change, and then have it emailed back. The email train can simply migrate to the cloud. By sharing one file, everyone involved in completing the job has access to the same document, and changes are saved in one place. It simplifies everything.
3. Loss Prevention
Cloud servers are backed up nightly. And you can revert your files to previous versions. So you will never lose your work again.
The biggest benefit of cloud storage is cost. You can completely eliminate the need to purchase expensive hardware to store data. With little hardware, there’s little need for the cost associated with maintaining and updating. That means less expensive tech people on the payroll.
When you’re looking for the right cloud service provider, look at the results of speed tests to see which service has the fastest and most efficient options. Also, make sure your files are encrypted so that any and all sensitive information is protected.
Remember, a woman in charge needs to have the right tools to make decisions. With a cloud storage service, you’re setting yourself up to ensure you have all the necessary information you need at your finger tips — at all times. Never get caught off guard again, and if you do, look to the cloud for answers.
Ivan Dimitrov is a programmer with a passion for technology. He enjoys blogging about actionable life and business hacks to help people live and operate more efficiently.