Cloud Computing – Benefits and Best Practices
Cloud computing, or virtualisation as it is sometimes called, is one of the hottest trends in information technology. This innovative new way of doing business allows companies to store their vital information and frequently used applications offsite using the internet for access.
So how does cloud computing benefit business?
For most companies, cloud computing is a great way to reduce IT costs and equipment requirements by storing the bulk of the company’s electronic data and computing applications offsite and accessing it through the internet.
Rather than having copies of the software installed on each computer or on a centralized server, cloud computing uses the process of virtualisation to provide access to that same software through the company’s internet connection.
Virtualisation significantly reduces the cost of IT maintenance as all updates are performed offsite; which again decreases staffing costs and provides access to the company’s data and software offsite as well as in the office.
Cloud computing also makes telecommuting and business travel easier by providing the same level of accessibility for all staff members; no matter where they are physically located.
For higher-end implementations, productivity can again be increased by allowing employees to interact with the company’s software through a simple, intuitive interface designed to promote integrated processing and requiring a lessened learning curve for staff members.
Is cloud computing right for my company?
While this new technological advance offers significant advantages for some companies, it is not for everyone. For example, companies who cannot afford to experience any downtime due to internet outages are perhaps not good candidates for cloud computing services in its current stage of development.
One of the biggest concerns about cloud computing and virtualisation implementation is the possibility of data theft or loss. Without appropriate defences, sensitive financial and proprietary information could be at risk of being intercepted or stolen from unprotected or poorly secured systems. However, Cloud computing best practices require a higher level of security and greater vigilance than that required for office-based server systems, which reduces this possibility.
For the very nature of cloud computing systems being accessible online, most servers are protected by firewalls and commercial security systems; responsible for protecting passwords and instituting greater security measures is essential to protect corporate information.
When considering Cloud implementation companies should select an experienced and reputable company that adheres to these cloud computing best practices in protecting data. This can guard the company against unauthorized data access and employees against identity theft and other risks of online transactions.
The wave of the future
The unmatched convenience and flexibility that cloud computing offers to businesses makes it an attractive choice for managing IT requirements. With the added bonus that companies can save money on IT infrastructure, maintenance, ensure that staff members can access vital information on the move, and take advantage of opportunities to increase overall productivity, it is unsurprising that more companies are looking to ride this ‘wave of the future’.
As cloud computing best practices become standardized, the risks of virtualisation are minimized and it is likely that more and more companies will choose cloud computing implementations to manage their corporate computing needs.
Amy Greenacre writes on behalf of ITHound.com, business technology article library; for the latest cloud computing white papers.