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Cloud computing

A heaven-sent answer to IT overheads

By Advantum

The Cloud is a term used to describe software that is used online. In other words, you get the benefit of software systems without investing in your own IT infrastructure (hardware and software). 

Everything has already been taken care of; you just need to use it.

The most popular of cloud computing services is called Software as a Service (SaaS). This emerging paradigm was brought about by the need for companies to realize the benefits of software without significant up-front investment in dollars and time. This is especially true for growing companies with restricted cash flows that need to remain competitive. Cloud computing minimizes the effort required to set up your information systems, thus allowing you to stay focused on business processes.

Many of the places we visit on the internet are web-based software applications provided by The Cloud. Common examples are social media (Facebook, Twitter, etc); but business solutions are also available.

Mail services

Google Corporate Mail Services allows you to store and retrieve electronic mail at the office or on the go without the hassle of owning and maintaining an email server. It allows shipping concerns to process their freight transactions online from anywhere in the world. All that is needed is an internet connection.

Other examples of cloud services include applications related to: 
 Project management

  • Customer relationship management
  • Accounting
  • Human resource management.

Some key benefits of moving to The Cloud:

  • The service is available all day, every day (99 per cent of the time)
There is no need to employ technical staff or invest in infrastructure that will rapidly become obsolete
Cloud services are usually affordable and charges are on a pay-as-you-go basis each month.

Despite the benefits, there are some risks to consider. The provider has control over your data and must therefore be trusted to maintain your system properly and respect your right to privacy and security.

Cloud computing caters to the needs of today’s fast-paced business environment because it supports your strategy to maintain a competitive edge and operate profitably. Notwithstanding the inherent risks, once proper mitigation measures are in place, the benefits offered by this hallmark of the Information Age cannot be ignored.