“The Cloud” is one of those technology buzzwords thrown about ad nauseum. And worse yet, it seems to mean anything the author or speaker wants. As loose and airy as its namesake! What on Earth is it anyways? 

What is The Cloud?

In practical terms Cloud is best thought of as a specific type of IT outsourcing rather than any specific technology. The key distinction is that the provider of the service supplies the hardware and technology knowhow for all the underlying tech and equipment needed to deliver the service – either directly, or through their own vendors. This lets businesses using these services stay lean and focused. 

Cloud differs from the traditional approach to business technology, where your business acquires the necessary hardware and lines up support, hosting, warranty, etc. entirely separate from the application your business needs to deploy and the support for said application; this traditional approach is often called “on-premise” or “on-prem” for short. 

How to Use it

While these cloud offerings are far from new, but the rapid pace of internet development continues to make it easier to both create and consume these cloud services, and there is a constant stream of new entrants to cloud services in all levels of the market. The market for these services has more than doubled over the last ten years seeing sustained double-digit year on year growth. 

In this series we’ll be diving into common types of cloud services of interest to the typical small business, in particular Software delivered as a Cloud Service (SaaS/Software as a Service), Cloud phone systems, Public Cloud Hosting, Web, and more. Please, consider subscribing to our Newsletter to see when new posts come out. 

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is the Cloud Safe?

No discussion of cloud would be complete without acknowledging the novel security concerns that come with this style of outsourcing. On whose computer does my data ultimately reside? How can I take it with me if I change providers? How many people and companies are involved in handling my data, and how can I know they are protecting it competently? How widely is it being shared? These are all vital due diligence questions for any cloud service you may consider, especially in a country like the US with few data security or disclosure requirements for tech companies. Knowing the provider may be liable for their negligence will be cold comfort for your customers in the event of a breach – and for the poor sap who must break the news. 

As ever your business needs trustworthy and knowledgeable partners to navigate the endlessly changing world of technology, connecting you with the innovation you need to build your business and steering you away from the fluff you can skip. Consider subscribing for more insights like these, and don’t hesitate to get in touch if we can help. Mad Tech provides Las Vegas professional services firms with friendly local IT service on a monthly all-you-can-eat basis. Spend less time wrestling computer problems with a technology partner that’s in it for the long haul. 

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