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What Is the Cloud, How Does It Work, & Why Should My SMB Use It?
The cloud is any online file storage system. It allows users to access data at any time and place - think DropBox or Google Drive.
What Is the Cloud & How Does It Work?
“The Cloud” refers to online file storage. While hard drives are still the preferred method of data storage, more and more users – and companies – are moving their information to cloud storage. When information is in the cloud, it can be accessed from anywhere. The most common cloud storage systems include DropBox and Google Drive.
It’s becoming more common to pay for extra cloud storage rather than physical hard drives. Cloud files are in less danger of being lost, accidentally deleted, or destroyed – though the cloud has its risks as well.
While the term “cloud computing” has become a buzz word in the past 10 years or so, the idea itself isn’t new.
Cloud computing refers to a process of sharing resources to optimize performance, security, and stability. Practically speaking, that means using centralized networked servers to store and process information, rather than a single machine. Instead of many individual, physical servers for each company, there is one location that houses several networked servers.
Think of it like an information bank where people store data rather than money.
Why Should SMBs Move to the Cloud?
The cloud increases business flexibility and mobility. It allows employees to access documents on the go, easily collaborate on shared documents, and bring clients to the table remotely.
It’s also highly scalable – increasing storage is simple and affordable, and makes for easier staff transitions and business growth.
For the most part, it’s a set-it-and-forget-it technology. Cloud-based systems update automatically, save changes automatically, and everyone will see the most recent version of any file or document.
Many of the organizational issues that stem from a lack of transparency and communication are solved by moving to the cloud. It’s certainly not a magic bullet or cure-all, but it’s much easier to run a business in the 21st century when you keep your operations modern.
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