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The Cloud Is Coming of Age

The Cloud Is Coming of Age

For the past decade, cloud computing has grown fairly rapidly, but as a new decade, and a pesky virus has people (and businesses) leaning on hosted computing solutions more now than ever, it seems like a good time to review the types of cloud options that are available, and how they provide value to businesses just like yours.

What Is the Cloud?

Most people today use cloud services, but they may not completely understand what the cloud is. Essentially, the cloud is computing that is hosted on what is effectively rented hardware. Anything you can do with your onsite IT, you can pretty much do with cloud computing resources. Cloud options are typically managed and maintained by the provider while also being made available for a static monthly rate. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), the leading cloud service is often priced per user, while Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) platforms are billed per gigabyte. 

The benefit of cloud computing is that businesses and individuals can get high-tech tools through cloud providers at a fraction of the cost than they would pay to set up their own private cloud platform with the applicable licenses and the hosting and management of that hardware. This provides the opportunity to fit the solutions to your business without taking on the often hefty expenses associated with implementing new information systems. 

Cloud Options

As stated above there are options for most parts of your business, including:

Hardware 

For the business that needs extra computing resources for specific applications or for application development, the cloud is a good resource. Moreover, many businesses have chosen to virtualize their local resources and run their systems in virtualized environments, allowing them to maximize their investment into their hardware systems. 

Software 

This covers a lot of ground. Let’s look at some of the most popular options:

  • Line of Business - Many businesses have chosen to host their line of business software in the cloud. While they lose control over the management of the software, they do pick up some serious benefits including anywhere/anytime access to the software with an Internet connection and cost stabilization provided by the hosted environment.
  • Productivity - Today there are numerous software titles developed just for productivity. Titles like Microsoft Office 365 and Google’s G Suite are two of the most utilized cloud productivity options. They provide the software needed to be productive with integrations designed to enhance collaboration.
  • Communication - Solutions like Hosted VoIP have revolutionized business communications, providing businesses with the telephone system and conferencing features they need to connect remote and in-house teams, alike. 
  • Security - Today, there are many network security tools available through the cloud. Not only does this reduce the management costs a business is responsible for, it also ensures that, since it is delivered as a service, that it gets the coverage it needs to keep their business secure.

The cloud has also made the Internet of Things relevant. Businesses of all types, and individuals, use a litany of smart devices and “things”. In fact, today there are dozens of different cloud-based platforms available through your pick of reliable cloud hosting services.

To get more information about how cloud computing can help you build a more productive and efficient business call the IT experts at White Mountain IT Services today at 603-889-0800.

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Although we provide remote services and support to businesses in over 20 states, onsite services are limited to within reasonable driving distance from our office in NH.  For locations outside of our service area, we will manage a local vendor to provide onsite assistance when needed.

 

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