We’re Talking Cloud, And It Ain’t About The Weather – Cloud Basics You Should Know

With all of the buzz lately about everything being “in the cloud,” you are probably wondering exactly what Cloud Computing is. First, take this easy 30-second quiz to determine if you are currently using Cloud Computing:

Question:  Do you use any of the following services in your life?

  • Gmail, Hotmail or other online e-mail services
  • YouTube, Netflix or other streaming videos/movies
  • Constant Contact, MailChimp or other e-mail broadcasting services
  • SalesForce CRM, Xero
  • Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter or other social media websites
  • Just about any other website service that does not require you to install a program on your local computer to run

If you answered YES to any of the above services, then you are already using "Cloud Computing" today.  Congratulations!

Basically, the web and cloud computing are to storing and processing data what the electrical grid and electric company are to plugging in your coffee maker:  A more convenient, more reliable and less expensive way to access the "computing power" and resources you need to power the tools you use.  You plug the coffee maker into the wall and everything just happens in the background to power the machine with electricity for a small fraction of the cost that you'd pay if you tried to generate electricity all on your own.

Just recently, Microsoft released Office 365, which is a cloud computing or SaaS solution. The idea is that instead of a business having to purchase one or more servers, heavy-duty computer workstations, the Windows Operating System software, Microsoft Office and the technical support to install, configure and support a network, businesses now have the option of simply paying $10 to $39 per user per month and to access Microsoft Office via the Internet. While this service appears to be cheap, it’s NOT necessarily the best solution for most small businesses. There are elements of this offering that must be considered as well as hidden costs that could ultimately make this cheap offering rather expensive.

If you want to know if cloud computing is right for you, visit our website at www.csc.co.nz or give us a call at 09 9506350 for a cloud readiness assessment.