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An overview of Cloud Computing

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Cloud Computing is the use of remote servers over the Internet to store and manage data (rather than on your own computer or network).


What is Cloud Computing?

The term "Cloud Computing" refers to the practice of using a network of remote servers hosted on the Internet to store, manage, and process data, rather than a local server or a personal computer.


Essentially using applications and storing information in the cloud makes your information accessible online anytime from any device.


Why are businesses moving to the Cloud?

Cloud-based software is one of the most secure ways to store information, and in the event of a natural disaster your productivity doesn't need to be effected. As long as you have access to the Internet, you're back up and running!


The key reasons that businesses cite for moving to the Cloud include:


●     The lack of skills to manage an IT system in-house


●     The cost of procuring and maintaining IT hardware


●     Cloud systems offer cost advantages


●     Wishing to improve the security of their data or improve disaster recovery plans


●     To make it easier to share and collaborate with other businesses and individuals


PC World have written a great article – Should you move your small business to the Cloud which includes useful information on the pros, the cons and some tips for moving to the Cloud. For more information on the benefits and risks of cloud computing and an outline of 'how to get started' please view Cloud computing for SMEs.


Is it possible to move all my IT services to the Cloud?

The short answer is yes but it’s important to only use leading Cloud service providers and the best of systems. It is also important to consider integration when using multiple Cloud solutions.


Is the Cloud secure?

The Cloud is generally more secure than anything most organisations could achieve internally. Leading cloud providers spend millions of dollars and use teams of IT security experts to ensure their systems have world-class security.


Is the Cloud just hype?

We’re often asked whether the Cloud is just another fad. Won’t technology simply change again in a couple of years? Won’t companies have to rip it all out and start again with the next new thing? The Cloud is a significant generational shift which will impact organisations for years to come.


Where will my data be stored?

This depends on which provider you use.  Depending your provider and where you live you may find your data is stored in a different country.


Data sovereignty (the concept that digital data is subject to the laws or legal jurisdiction of the country in which it is stored) can be a complicated topic.  We suggest you read the 10 things to know about Data Security and Sovereignty.       We also suggest you investigate what your local government recommends.  - Here in NZ our Privacy Commissioner has produced a useful guideline, but other countries have taken a different approach.  For example, Canada are investigating no cross border data storage and in the UK the government offers G-Cloud - a programme to promote government-wide adoption of cloud computing.


I'm in control of my systems now. Won’t I lose that control moving to the Cloud?

Does the inability to touch your systems mean you have more control or less? We often find as systems are migrated to the Cloud that organisations discover a new sense of control, one that enables them to change and react faster than previously possible. Data can be accessed from any device, as long as you have Internet access.

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