Callum Mills of Ideal Systems discusses the increasing influence of Cloud Computing
In just a few years the ‘cloud’ has transformed from being a techie buzzword to a legitimate tool that cuts cost, boosts productivity and eases capital expenditure.
Cloud computing refers to on-line services that you can access from any device that is connected to the internet.
At the most basic level, cloud computing can be utilised to store or backup files to a server on the internet. These files are usually automatically stored on both your local system and in the cloud as soon as you close the document or application. These files can then be accessed by you from any internet enabled device such as a laptop, desktop, tablet or smart phone.
With some systems you can allow other people, with whom you collaborate, access to all or some of your data.
At a higher level you can run any number of applications that are based in the cloud, allowing access to the data from your office and from mobile users. For example Microsoft offer Office 365 a cloud based system that lets you use all the latest Microsoft Office applications and Outlook Exchange email without having to purchase a licence for each machine that you use.
The key benefits of cloud based applications are;
- Everything is backed up saving you time and money
- As a general rule cloud based applications are hosted on expensive high availability servers providing an extremely stable operating environment
- Program updates are applied automatically
- You can try before you buy
- Cloud applications don’t require you to have your own server
- Most services offer a help desk that is phone based and can be contacted 24×7
There are a host of cloud based applications available – here are some of the most popular.
- Google Apps (General Office Systems)
- Microsoft 365 (General Office Systems)
- Basecamp (Project Management)
- Highrise (CRM system)
- Xero (Accounting)
- AccountRight (Accounting)
- WorkflowMax (Invoicing, workflow)
- Dropbox (File sharing and backup)
Callum Mills provides IT support services to UHY Haines Norton. Callum is happy to answer any IT questions that you may have, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org