Cloud Services: The Silver Lining

To paraphrase a certain 1970s film, we’re going to need a bigger dictionary. As innovation in the technological world continues, new terms and phrases are entering the everyday vocabulary of the internet. And – like many web terms – one of the key words of vital importance to individuals and businesses alike takes its cue from a real-world concept: the ‘cloud’.

Since the start of the decade the real advances made within the technological world have been the increasing capabilities of the internet as data storage and connectivity. More and more businesses are now looking towards cloud related services as a way of not only storing and sharing data but reducing costs and resources.

Cloud services are changing the way in which we host and use data. Very simply, cloud computing hosts data and resources in an online pool (the titular ‘cloud’) to be accessed and manipulated on demand – as opposed to data being stored on servers physically located on a business’s premises.

Cloud services effectively present a new model of IT: i.e. as a service. Whereas, once, IT required an in-house infrastructure that could be costly to keep up-to-date, the limitless nature of the cloud keeps IT at the cutting edge, and allows on-the-go, dynamic scaling of resources as and when needed. It also presents a number of real benefits for users as they adopt the technology.

Firstly, security and disaster recovery: the cloud is a safe, secure environment managed by third-party hosting services. By not holding sensitive data on-site, businesses reduce the risk of theft and data loss in the event of a disaster – so business continuity is improved.

Secondly, the intangible nature of cloud services means that organisations can access their resources more efficiently and flexibly – often from anywhere with an internet connection. In responding early to the changing demands of the fast-paced business world, this flexibility is invaluable.

Finally, the cloud is – above all – cost-effective. Delivered as a service, users simply pay for whatever they need, rather than tying themselves down with complex infrastructures.

It’s for these reasons that – every year – more businesses are hosting data online. And as early adopters’ results improve, mainstream companies switch to the cloud, leading to better, more responsive services. In this context, it’s easy to see why cloud services are playing an increasingly important role in the business world of today and tomorrow. It seems that this definition of the word ‘cloud’ does indeed have a silver lining. ibm disaster recovery plan

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